You know how sometimes things get worse before they get better? Yeah, that.
I moved into a newly remodeled, bigger office last week after being shuffled through two different temporary spaces ever since my old office wall came down to expand a classroom back in August. Most of my stuff has been in boxes, just like when you move residences. I got to pick a paint color and tell them how to place my furniture. The new space has great light from big windows. It feels good to finally unpack and begin to settle in. But it also feels overwhelming.
I always like to sort and purge as I pack for a move. That’s how through multiple home moves I have kept the accumulation under control. But when a move comes on top of normal job responsibilities, some very urgent, you don’t get the luxury of sorting through things.
I had a dream once where we had to move in one day, so we put all our household belongings in grocery bags in the back of a pick-up truck. At least this wasn’t that bad.
So now as I unpack, I’m trying to sort and purge. When I took this job, I inherited several other people’s files and never reorganized them to integrate into my system, which admittedly needs improvement. This must be wrestled to the ground. Keeping in mind document retention guidelines, so far I’ve filled a wastebasket and run to the shredder several times, and my table is covered with piles. The office that looked so fresh and clean before I moved in is now controlled clutter. And in the midst of this, regular work must get done. Nevertheless.
One thing became abundantly clear yesterday. A lot of stuff I thought was essential to print out 4 or 5 years ago because I was sure I’d use it or reference it has not seen the light of day ever since. My temptation is to read it all through again and hang onto it like lost mementos, when it should probably all get pitched. After all, it’s all no doubt still available online.
Life lessons in all this?
Often things have to get worse before they get better. And they will get better only if we persevere through the ugly times. Keep looking forward.
We create surroundings that reveal and reinforce our inner condition. If I lack focus, how can I expect to keep organized?
Clutter squanders energy, and who can afford that? I’m still learning this lesson.
Patience. God, the God of order, is patient with me in my process. I need to be patient with myself.