Space matters

In an ever increasing world of do more, go faster, work more efficiently – I find more and more my space matters!


I work essentially in a little box. It’s a nice box, mind you. Brand new, clean, organized.

But, it is a box. I can touch all four walls by sitting in the center of it. Short walls, lots and lots of distractions by the flow of people around me, the copier, the lock and unlock of the door just a few feet away from me, the break room in front of me.People hanging over my cube wall that’s about 12 inches from me. Of course, at least I have walls!

So, I do like everyone says to do (as if this is some magic that will transport me to some place quieter) – I put my ear buds in. Stream Pandora – and click on my favorite station: Train.

For a few minutes, I am absolutely transported. My foot begins tapping, I’m moving my head to the beat a little bit…and my mind starts to clear and focus again. Then, the interruptions begin…

“Hey, sorry to interrupt you!” – first person stops at my desk. Oh, yes, of course, what do you need?

Phone rings. Yes, I’ll send that over to you.

Try again – ear buds back in.

“Do you know where so and so sits? Oh, sorry to interrupt you…” Oh, ok – who are you? Yes, I know where they sit.

Someone stops by to discuss a project. Yes, I already sent you an update – did you check your email yet? It’s ok, here it is.

I have to IM someone for an answer. Three other people ping me at once during that conversation. Whoah! Settle down there, Communicator.

Finally, everything stops again. Ok, now, where was I? Oh, yeah, ear buds – project. Go!

“Hey, hey, do you know where I can find…oh, sorry to interrupt you! Do you know how to use the copier?” Ha ha, yes, it looks easy but it is out to trip us up I just know it.

At this point, it’s only 8:15 AM. I give up. Just put the buds away – give into being available as needed. Learn to work focused in an unfocused space. But, at least I’m helping people…right? I mean, isn’t it rude to try to keep working with ear buds in when a living breathing person is standing in front of me?

Don’t get me wrong, I can do this. And, I love helping people. Some days it’s even fun to have a truly collaborative space. But, that’s if I don’t have to work on anything by myself – HA!

The question I keep asking myself: why do I look so cranky and irritated? Why does my head hurt all day? I am forgetting to breathe. In a culture of no privacy, all access I find I’m losing myself.

This introvert is craving space. Space to think and restore. I am energized in a quieter space.

Well, I find it a hollow place for me to be very long. Push, push, push. But, what am I working towards? I’m not advocating low accomplishments.

I’m simply saying my space matters. Your space matters.

Which has led me to truly evaluate: how do I give myself the space I need?

I can’t very well control every situation and have it molded to my personality. But, can I create enough space in my day that I can better handle the smaller spaces?

I read an interesting blog posting by Melody Ross (founder of the Brave Girls Club): I am taking a 90 day break from Facebook…

This got me thinking about all the stories I have yet to write that are swirling about in my head. All the art I’ve yet to release from my soul because I am still sitting here watching t.v. So, it may not be a Facebook break I need, but a break from things that do not add back into me.

I know that I know, I have so much in me wanting to get out – good things, inspired things. I just need to give myself the space to release them.

I crave a quality of this life. Where time to think and consider a choice is valued.

Maybe I’m just a hopeless creative soul –

Lucky me. πŸ™‚

If I could create a workspace for myself, I think it’d be a mix of an outdoor nook and an eclectic indoor room with a fire place, a coffee maker (of course!!) and splendid window with a view of the ocean or Irish rolling hills of trees. Twinkling white lights hung around the room, soft chairs with foot stools, a bed for Cleo.

Something akin to The Secret Garden meets Harry Potter – enchanting, you have to walk a trail to find it, duck around trees, but once you do – that’s where the magic happens.

And, you watch – I will have a space like this, maybe several.

So, let it begin TODAY: 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon of writing. Sketching. Fabulous. I feel my soul restoring already.

And, the idea of an art journal – fabulous! I am beginning this today as well. Mixes my love of words on paper with the expressions of my heart in the form of art.

Some creative spaces:

My favorite magazine: Where Women Create

Different Office

Pixar Animation Studio

What about you? What would your space look like? Or maybe you’ve already created it – please share! Send pics!

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7 Comments

  1. Oh Melissa, you are a woman after my own heart. Do you remember the small, maybe
    5×8 ft patio we had ourside the kitchen in our apartment in Houston. Do you remember the stenciling that I did on the fence of the patio. To you remember the one potted plant and on lawn chair on that patio where I would escape to for a cup of coffee or a glass of tea while you girls were playing or watch TV or whatever three little girls do. That was by quite place. I could see you all since there was a glass patio door but that same door blocked out the noice and commotion of the house. So I could recover from the hectic day in my little box at Amoco. Alot like yours right now. The fence kept out the distractions of the parking lot and the pretty stenciling on the fence reminded me how much I enjoy doing that. It was a place for a breather. A place for a quite few minutes where I could regroup and go back in and enjoy my family, but after I had a little time to myself.
    We all need that so much these days. And there are so many things to keep us busy and take up our time that we drain ourselves and then wonder why we are so tired.
    The Bible says, “Be still and know that I am God”.
    I think He really does means “be still”. Space is important. And very well said.

    You are encouraging us all to find that time to “be still” and quite and listen to your heart. It is there that we find our “wellspring of life”.
    Thank you again for the reminder. Love you. Mom

    Reply

    1. Yes, mom, I very much remember that patio! How smart you were to make it beautiful! Yes, woman after your own heart…you taught me about the importance of quiet…thank you!! I love you very much.

      Reply

  2. Yes it is great to have a “Space” for self. It is probably not gonna happen in the workplace though, sad, but most jobs are just jobs.. So make yourself some space girl, you need it, but don’t hide in it. I am reminded of a saying, To be of service means to be inconvienced.

    Reply

  3. Love, love, LOVE this post! First, I certainly can relate to that workplace of yours *wink* πŸ˜‰
    This is an important reminder to take care of ourselves in this way too hectic race we call life. I, too, have experienced similar feelings lately, but haven’t taken the time to identify the need. Well said!
    BTW, if you could peek into my brain/spirit, my dream space would look almost identical to yours!! Whimsical? Yes. Cozy fireplace? Yes. Coffee? Yes. Pet? Yes. Ireland? Heck yeah! Twinkle lights? Um, of course! Yay!

    Reply

    1. Oh I KNOW you know what I am talking about…ha!! Sure sounds like we are destined to be friends, I mean if I wasn’t convinced w/your love of the Northwest where my beloved is from…lol!! I will share my dream space with u!

      Reply

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