Going in Circles

Friday, October 21, 2011
Earlier this month, I wrote about the cyclical nature of seasonal employment. Despite realizing that switching between two jobs and lifestyles each year is a process not dissimilar to going through the complete cycle of grief biannually, this go-around, I'm having trouble adjusting. When I mentioned how odd I was finding this fall's transition back to working from home, my friend Sarah pointed out that this might just be because there's nothing "new" about the transition. 

While this was my second summer at the museum, I'm used to my summers repeating themselves. It's what I've done in the winter that's been different every single year since I graduated college. This is the first time in a long time that my life has completely repeated itself over the course of an entire year. I'm literally going in circles.

This is not a bad thing. But it's a little disorienting.

"Didn't I just go past that rock last October?"

Granted, the museum's only just closed on Sunday and this is actually my first "normal workday" morning that I've spent at home. Still, some things have changed around here. For instance, just yesterday morning I had a desk.

(Granted, it's not really my desk. For one thing it's a table. For another, it actually belongs to Andy's mother.)

Now? Not so much.

Let's look closer at what's going on here. What once contained some houseplants, reference books, notebooks, stationary and a laptop, suddenly sprouted a desktop computer, a ginormous printer/scanner/copier, and many, many more piles of, um, "files" yesterday afternoon. 

While I've complained about my less than tidy desk before, it's really the winter months when desk space is most at a premium around here. Because during the off-season I work a few hours a week for the historical society that operates the museum, I end up adopting several pieces of office equipment on a seasonal basis for a couple reasons: 1) so it doesn't freeze in the museum 2) to avoid spending half my day transferring files.

There are about a gazillion things I could spend this first morning working from home doing. But something tells me, if I don't get this clutter straightened out, I'll spend the day going in circles. And while, I might feel fine about going in circles annually, during a work day "going in circles" is really just code for "spinning your wheels."

Can you work in clutter? What do you do to make transitions easier?


  1. I can not work in clutter... At all. And yet, when it comes to my desk, which is HUGE as it's an old door- seems to get piled with "working clutter" everyday.

  2. I cannot work in clutter and our office is driving me crazy right now! I want to repaint and redo it, brighten it up. And I've got junk, er, important stuff, everywhere! I just scored on a free L-shaped desk on craigslist that we're picking up tonight. Maybe a future post...

  3. I prefer organized.... I do remember different times though. During such your desk would have looked very tidy.....ssssshhht. Don't tell!

  4. Amazing how sometimes change is hard and sometimes repetition is hard. Depends where we are, I suppose, in our journey.

    Meredith From A Mother Seeking Come find me on my blog, A Mother Seeking...

  5. I can definitely WORK in clutter, what I can't do is relax in clutter when I"m NOT busy.

  6. I can't work in clutter either. A cluttered desk means a cluttered mind!

  7. Clutter can make me neurotic. Especially right now as I have multiple jobs so my head feels like a jumbled mess anyways. Throw in a messy workspace.... pandemonium ensues.

  8. It seemed impossible for me to not surround myself with clutter--"I'm an artist!" I protested, even though I couldn't work in clutter. I ended up calling a patient friend every morning at 8 o'clock to say my desk was clean. This way, the one deep clean actually made a difference. I was AMAZED that it only took me 5-7 minutes to clean off my desk when I did it each day. It took about 4-6weeks for it to feel like the new normal. I love this normal; it makes me feel like a grown-up in a good way.
    I have to reflect a lot with transitions (big one right now). It seems that bitching and laughing with other friends in similar transitions (you should have plenty to pick from with the seasonal life in GM) helps a lot. I also just brood, but I try to keep the brooding on paper and hope that it will be entertaining or something. I certainly benefit from talking with another woman rather than only with Jay.
    ...and I eat a lot of sugary things. :(


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