change and productivity

I spent the last few days con­vert­ing the guest room1 to my new office, after giv­ing it two coats of The Plaza and mov­ing my com­put­er out of the bed­room. This deci­sion was spurred by the fact that I found myself spend­ing an unhealthy amount of time in a sin­gle room of the house, the excep­tions being when I was eat­ing or poop­ing. Now my work area is delight­ful­ly bright, and I have a view of the sum­mer foliage out of the front of the house.

new office with cats

With half the fur­ni­ture now moved out, the mas­ter bed­room looks espe­cial­ly min­i­mal. I’m keep­ing some of my pho­tog­ra­phy light­ing in there, includ­ing a large soft­box, which is a dec­o­ra­tion that fills the room nice­ly but also makes it look like a cheap porn set.

I used to be trep­i­da­tious about cer­tain things, like com­mit­ting to a paint colour or walk­ing into a room with large num­bers of peo­ple, but now I find it a lot eas­i­er to get over my anx­i­ety. It makes me think my anx­i­ety used to affect me more than I real­ized. Doing things that were out of my com­fort zone was a test I need­ed to give myself every now and then, but now I don’t find those things to be uncom­fort­able at all, and I tend to act with­out think­ing too much or over­an­a­lyz­ing.

I won­der if this is what nor­mal feels like. And how much of it is per­son­al growth ver­sus the med­ica­tion.

In either case, it’s nice to be get­ting thing done again, when I had so recent­ly found it hard just get­ting out of bed. Someone relat­ed to me his expe­ri­ence on phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal psy­chotrop­ics, and he said the peri­od was marked less by what he wrote or cre­at­ed, and more by what he did or peo­ple he met and con­nect­ed with. For me, it seems to be man­i­fest­ing itself as a peri­od of change and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty.

  1. Which, until last week, looked like this. []


  1. Damnit, I’m going for a triple mon­i­tor set­up too! Though my third one is an old 19 inch rather than a 23 inch like the rest of mon­i­tors.

    I quite like min­i­mal myself, or at least the look of hav­ing every­thing in its place. Sadly I am too much of a pack rat to have emp­ty spaces in my apart­ment. I do spend a lot of time try­ing to fig­ure out how to make the best use of old junk and used spaces though, that at least is part of my cop­ing mech­a­nism.

    • I was con­sid­er­ing a triple 30″ or a quadru­ple 27″ mon­i­tor set­up, but I’d need to upgrade my video cards in addi­tion to buy­ing the screens, so it did­n’t make finan­cial sense for me at the moment. But yeah, I find hav­ing that much real-estate is real­ly valu­able.

      I’m also a huge pack rat, and I had to throw out / give away a bunch of things to make room, cause I was using the spare bed­room as stor­age. I did­n’t get rid of as much as I want­ed, but I was able to orga­nize some things a lot bet­ter; there’s some­thing very sat­is­fy­ing about mak­ing the best use of a space, that sort of feeds back into the pack rat men­tal­i­ty.

  2. Hey, aren’t the arm chair and the stool an Ikea set? The colour coor­di­na­tion of the room is quite neat and tidy. Great design.
    You nev­er struck me as a handy­man type. Great paint job! There must be a great sense of achieve­ment. Interestingly, man­u­al work can usu­al­ly enhance one’s men­tal state.
    We do need to do things that are out of our com­fort zones, so we can say to our­selves, “Gee, that was­n’t so dif­fi­cult after­all.” That improves our self-con­fi­dence. To quote the cliche again, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

    • Yep, all of this fur­ni­ture (aside from the rug and the plants) are things that were part of a match­ing set in my bed­room, so that’s why it still all match­es. I want­ed to add a touch of green to bring some life into the office, so I picked up a few extra cheap dec­o­ra­tions at Ikea.

      I’m not a handy­man at all, and I’ve nev­er done as big a job as this by myself. That’s part of the rea­son I want­ed this kind of project: to prove to myself that I could do it. And there’s def­i­nite­ly a strong sense of ful­fil­ment that comes along with that.

  3. My agglom­mer­a­tion is get­ting the bet­ter of me year by year as you’re strip­ping things down.… I would do well to fol­low.… I need a stu­dio.

    Good to know, and sur­prised, that you feel like encoun­ters with oth­ers are noth­ing to sweat by com­par­i­son now. Very inter­est­ing; per­haps you were deal­ing with more anx­i­ety than we knew?.

    • Right now I’m try­ing to strip away my mate­r­i­al pos­ses­sions to the bare min­i­mum, but I would­n’t have felt this way if I did­n’t go through a phase of col­lec­tion as well. I think every­one should go through that kind of cycle; it’s refresh­ing. It sounds like you just need to wait until you learn what you need and what you don’t before.

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