Sunday, April 25, 2021

Organizing Update No. 3: Prepping for Creating & the Struggle to Stay Positive

Things are coming along. I got a few things done last week in spite of myself. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I've been working on getting organized, and, recently, I've been focusing on my office-slash-art studio.

I covered in my last post, Life Update: Organizing, that when I bought my desk and drafting table a little over a year ago, it wasn't with the thought that I'd ever have to work from home. Working from home seemed like a good thing, but it's been an eye-opener just how much bringing home work impacts my attitude and health. That being said, I've been focusing on bringing the positive and a healthy attitude back and reclaiming my personal space.

So, looking back over the progress I've made, a little over a year ago, I had very little in the way of furniture. When I moved in with my mom over a decade ago, I had to part with most of my furniture that I never got back. I've had to start over from almost nothing about three times. My first apartment after I moved out was a nightmare, and I got flooded more than once. Then I moved here. When I moved in, I just had a bedframe, a TV, a couple of dressers, my armoire, a mirrored cabinet, a tiny writing desk, two old French bergères, and my old work table here in the "office." That was it. When I changed my phone service, I got a gift card that I used to buy a bed, and, until about a year ago, that was all the progress that I had made before buying the desk and drafting table.

A lot of the holdup was indecision, trying to decide how to best use my space, finding out what the options were, and trying to work out the logistics, such as delivery options. Once I decided on the best way and how much I was willing to give for those options, things started falling into place (thank God!).

Last April, I finally decided on a couch. Around that time, work suddenly got worse, and I've been steadily growing more depressed. The feelings had already been settling in, but I had been trying to work past it. After struggling for a few years, I finally gave up and started taking my antidepressants again. 😿 I was trying to follow my bliss, but sometimes it was so hard to find that I wasn't even sure that it existed. Sometimes, it's not just a matter of attitude but a toxic situation that seems impossible to escape, and hopelessness sinks its claws in. People may think I'm a spoiled princess without ever knowing my real struggles or what I have to deal with on my own on a daily basis. But what can you do? Truth is, haters gonna hate. It doesn't matter what you do.

So I set my focus on creating a more positive environment. I believe this is the reason I enjoy writing and painting so much. It's the best kind of escape. Outside of spending time with my family, it's better than parties or travel. And, I'm thankful that there have been some major positive things that have come along in the past year, as if to balance out the negativity. Things that I couldn't have possibly anticipated. Things that help me to think outside of this dark cloud.

In an effort to move toward my personal goals, I focused on organization and finding a place for everything. About a month ago, I got the dresser and bookcase étagère. They were made by different companies, but everything matched, aside from the handles on the dresser. It only took less than a couple of hours to put the étagère together in one evening, but I worked on the dresser for about eight hours. It turned out perfectly. The handles were plastic, so I bought some brass replacement handles and plan to finish putting those on this weekend. I'm a knob snob. 😹 I worked so hard on the dresser that my carpal tunnel has still not calmed down, and I've had to wear my brace again when I sleep. Still, I wake up with my hand buzzing so hard that it hurts. So, I'm just babying that for a while and praying that it calms down soon. My plan was to use the dresser like a credenza for all of my notebooks and paper. I haven't finished going through boxes and putting everything where it belongs. I have filled three drawers with art paper, and I still don't even know what all I own. I just finished untangling a Griswoldesque ball of cables and cords that were in a box that I've been lugging around for a decade or more. There is some ancient technology in that box that I have no idea what it could have been for. I found Game Boy cartridges from the 90s! I found my N-Gage and my Ogo. Man, I loved that thing. I was so sad after AT&T discontinued the Ogo service. I could text, email, and chat with my friends. :) It was pretty great... but, I digress.

I got a new task chair that is a little higher. It's white!!! 😻 It was already an inch or so taller than my desk chair, but then I upgraded the casters because they didn't roll that well. (I guess I'm a caster snob, too. 😼) That brought it up another inch or more. So now it's a pretty comfortable height for the drafting table.

I finally put together the file cabinet. I don't recommend it, and I will leave it at that. It's basically origami with sheet metal. I replaced the handles (of course), and I was afraid it would fall face forward from the weight of them. However, it serves to hold tools and computer and device cables (not the ones in the box), so those are in a place where they belong.

I don't know if I mentioned that my laptop got murdered in November with an update. I had already restored it twice, but the third time was definitely not a charm. I just got it back after having my brother do a clean install on it. In the meantime, I received a new gaming laptop. It is wonderful! One item on my wish list was a new monitor, either 32 or 34 inches. I was blessed with a 34-inch, and it's great. I can see five full-size pages of my novel side by side. This is going to help editing so much! My old monitor is a 22", but it has a great picture. I still need it to run my games because they are so skewed on the ultrawide screen. On Wednesday, I worked on setting everything up the best way. I had hoped to use the old laptop for my writing, but I am cramped for space on the desk with three monitors and two laptops already. I'm planning to put my printer on top of the file cabinet, so perhaps I can put the old laptop on top of that. Correction: printer is a no-go. I'm still getting that cartridge error, so the printer and unusable cables will probably go out on the street for the garbage or anyone who has hopes of reanimating a printer. I'm over fighting with it. (Funny development: My daughter told me that she went over to her Dad's recently--I think she said it was that same day!--and found his printer in pieces in the middle of the floor where he had thrown it. I asked if it was the same brand as mine. She said yes. 😹 That's hysterical.) Seriously, I'm thinking I should send mine over to the son-in-law's for target practice. He can even stick turkey feathers on it.
I got the curtains hung. There is a new gold curtain rod with glass finials. I have gold curtain rings holding up the curtains and the lace panel behind it. I installed tiebacks that are also gold with "crystal" knobs. I really don't know what material they are made of, whether they are glass or acrylic.

Today, I finally got around to hanging up my bulletin board, the last grids, and my chalkboard calendar. The bulletin board is for my index cards to move things around when plotting my project. I can write snippets of scenes and rearrange them because it is better than printing a 400-page novel every time I want to analyze the flow and make changes. The wall grid was meant to hold art supplies, but I can also use it to pin lists on, such as wish lists, needs lists, task lists, etc. since there are four other wall grids next to the whiteboard. I found the blank calendar chalkboard at Walmart the other day. I intend to use it for my timeline. Most of my story takes place during one month. I had printed and filled in calendars on paper, but with the chalkboard, I can move things around and keep up with what happens when. It's just a good visual without having to rewrite everything in ink and keep up with pieces of paper. I have a very detailed spreadsheet timeline, but this is more of an "at a glance" calendar for the book with real days of the week. The chalkboard, grid, and bulletin board are all behind the door of my office. There's a bit of wall there that is the side of my closet in the bedroom. I am running out of wall to hang stuff. (I'd be willing to accept donations of extra walls and possibly a couple of walk-in closets. This one and a quarter, non-walk-in closet deal is  pretty lame. Doh, there I go complaining again. Sorry!)  It's pretty high up, but I can take the chalk board down to look at it closer and make changes. It came with a chalk pencil, but it's very pale. So I got some of those liquid chalk markers, and those are amazing!
I still have to hang my Kanban board, which I plan to put behind the work table. The work table is for messy projects that require glue or for a table top easel for oil painting or pastel. Currently, the messy project table is a total mess. I also have my white board over the dresser, and it will be used for brainstorming and working out plot holes. I had been brainstorming my novel and trying to work out some plot issues on the fridge with dry-erase markers, and the property manager came in while I was out of town. I'm sure he's confused about the notations about murder and witches on the fridge. 😸 Sure, it seems funny now, but I was upset when I heard they were coming inside while I was out of town and unable to do anything to prepare. My sister informed me that the fridge was known as the "hillbilly whiteboard" on some TV show she saw. Or maybe it was the "redneck whiteboard." So... yeah.

Now my main issue in here is to clean off the work table and figure out how to hang my unused frames. I would like some long hooks, several inches long, that will hold about three open back frames each. I would rather not have to hang each frame up like it's a piece of art, although they really are. I've mostly been goofing off today, arranging flowers and my rock collection, because that's what I do when faced with insurmountable goals such as organizing. Rock collecting kind of runs in the family. The "crystal ball" is actually a photography accessory for taking photos of reflections. I think the base is even made to screw onto a tripod or something. I just like shiny things. These won't stay like this, because I'm sure I'll be putting more practical stuff on the dresser.

And you wouldn't believe how many things I've spilled over there while "trying to be so extra careful" with the essential oil thingy and not make a mess on the nice, new furniture. ("Let me move this out of the way." *knocks it clear off the dresser and all over the electric cords, surge protector, and a stack of unused canvases* *shaking drops of oil into cup, not realizing that the plastic dropper insert is still attached to the lid, and dumps 95% of the oil in there* 🙀 I'm still smelling the oil. If I'm not uplifted now, it ain't never gonna happen with that one! All I have to do for the next two+ months is add water. I'm tired of the flavor already, and sometimes I'm pretty sure that I can feel it on my eyeballs just by the stuff being in the air. Maybe it's good for removing cataracts.)
So it's been pretty busy, and there is still so much left to do! I feel like I'm gradually making progress. I know it will get better. It sometimes feels like it never will, but then I look at how much has changed in a year's time. I am really grateful for all the good things that have some my way. For now, I'll keep reminding myself of the good things while I attempt to organize and design a positive environment. 

No comments:

Post a Comment