Today, it is my honor to write for the blog over at The Joyful Life Magazine. Here is an excerpt of the essay I wrote about non-conformist workspaces and how to embrace them.
The trees are nearly bare, most of the leaves in windswept piles against the shrubbery and there is a chill in the air. I’m eager to decorate my home and continue our humble family traditions. Just a few days ago, I found myself compiling an ambitious list of DIY decor projects I’d love to complete in time for the holidays. The one that most caught my eye is a paper bead garland to wrap around the Christmas tree.
I’ve always thought it was necessary to have a dedicated craft room to do my projects in since I have twin boys and a toddler who thwart my creative efforts nearly every time I sit down to do something for myself. I imagine an oasis-like space where I can work in uninterrupted swaths of time—complete with a big beautiful door that protects everything until I came back. Pure fantasy. In reality, my children need constant supervision, and it’s not possible to close myself off in a room all day to indulge my creativity in making paper beads.
I often have an urge to do something creative with my hands, to connect with the artistic part of myself that too often sits in the dusty recesses of life due to the season I’m in. Because I can’t have a dedicated room for my projects, I’ve searched my home for alternative workspace solutions. In the process, I’ve found I can accomplish a lot more than I thought when I approach the challenge with ingenuity.
Over the years, I’ve used all kinds of non-standard spaces to accomplish the work I’ve wanted to do. I’ve never had a dedicated desk. When I was young, I did my homework at the dining table so I could ask my mother questions as she prepared dinner. In high school and college, I preferred to do my homework on my bedroom floor. Spreading out all the pages and having open books around made me feel that I could access everything I needed at any time. I would study curled up in a non-ergonomic ball because it felt comfortable and peaceful.
Working in non-standard spaces has become part of who I am. I stand at my bar height counter during the day to pay bills. I snuggle into my sofa with my laptop and reference books to work on writing projects while my kids have quiet time in their room. I utilize baby gates to corral my kids while I spread out important documents to organize and file on the living room floor. And here I am back at the dining table again as an adult with all the elements needed for my latest creative pursuit. I roll paper beads with a sense of satisfaction in my ability to indulge my creative desires in the real home in which I live, not the ideal space I dream about. That brings me joy.
For the full essay visit here.