Thursday, February 23, 2012

The William Morris Desk Drawer

It wasn't that big of a project--and it nearly didn't get done.

It's been on my mind for weeks. Several times a day I would open this drawer, yes, this one, actually a basket which sits at the top of the bank of drawers, and get annoyed.

I couldn't ever find a pen. Or a sharp pencil. Or the pencil sharpener. I would have to get up, go around the corner and go to the kitchen or get up and go around the corner the other way and go to my son's room.

So, thinking it would be a great project for the William Morris link-up on Pancakes and French Fires today, I took a picture yesterday morning and then promptly walked away.

I made lunch: potato and onion soup from scratch with whole wheat Irish soda bread.

I watched a movie with my husband home this week on holiday. I went to the library and took my son shopping for pants.

It wasn't until just before bed that I remembered the drawer. I decided to check my e-mail while I sorted. And then this happened. It's our one remaining computer (with any decent speed).

intitializing disk for crash dump.... I have no idea what it means. But as the laptop sat there, whirring away and getting hot, I began getting more and more concerned.

I started cleaning out the drawer, wondering if I should.

I am usually ruthless when it comes to throwing things out. Everything, someday, could be useful. It's true. But to live from that place is to live in fear. I was afraid last night. A little bit afraid. Our new mantra around here is no more debt. That means no new computer until we have saved up for it (and no saving up for anything until the current debt is paid off).

Earlier this week, I had grabbed the old, dead, lifeless computer out of the garage to see if I could transfer the recently installed RAM into the dinosaur my Mom gave us. It turns out it's going to be more complicated than I'd ever imagined. I also thought I could sell off the still working parts.

My dining room is currently over-run with all sorts of things I've listed for sale. I'm impatient for it to sell. I'm impatient for this debt to leave us.

After I'd emptied everything and sorted into "keep," "re-locate," and "trash or donate" I had to go to bed. I couldn't deal with it.

This morning, before the fear and the coffee kicked in, I hooked up the laptop. It came on and acted just as it ought. So, breathing again, I began going through the mess.

You cannot save everything because someday it may be useful. I do know that. That's why I keep only three extra bread bags around--not zero and certainly not all of them. It's why I save the dried out pieces of bread, sometimes, and the heels of store bought loaves. Sometimes. You cannot live in fear. To do that is to invite pure chaos and all that comes with it. Frustration, anger at yourself for letting things get out of control, despair because it is all just too much.

So, I kept all three lighters instead of tossing two (but I put them in the drawer with the candles). I took the fancy pen and pencil set and instead of putting it in the donate pile, extracted the pen and pencil from their box and placed them in the drawer to mingle with the ordinary common pencils and pens. (Yes, I found two!)

But, yeah, I let go of chewed up erasers, pen lids and 2H pencils. There was a surprising amount of just plain unambigous garbage in that drawer.

So, here we have it. Too many staples. Too many dog chewed pencils and way too many return address labels. But it's neat. It's organized. I can find a pencil, a pen and an eraser without fear.

Life the way I like it.


April said...

oh that drawer is the worst...I feel like i could clean it out every month and it just gets junked up again! :)

Melissa@Home Baked said...

Nice work! When I cleaned out my desk drawer, I realized how few things I actually use! It's been very hard to train myself not to dump other things into that drawer just to get them out of sight. Now I dump them in a basket, which needs to be sorted!

The Farmers Daughter said...

good job- I HATE cleaning you I keep way too much stuff just in case....

Carol-Anne (Use the Good Dishes!) said...

....and the computer? Is it dead?

Alana in Canada said...

My mainframe id dead--that happened in January. My mom gave us a really slow mainframe/tower and praise be, the little laptop with the busted up w is working just fine, whew.

Alice Almighty said...

Computer panic is the worst. The drawer, on the other hand, turned out great! And you got all kinds of other stuff done too like errands, and fancy lunch... Nicely done!

onshore said...

Blue screen is always heart stopping, no matter what it says. Good it survived.
Excellent job on the drawer. These places can get real tangled.

That's Ms. Amy to You... said...

Looks like you dodged a bullet! My computer died last week, and it truly was heart stopping. I have the same challenges when it comes to keep/save/use/purge. Good job!

Jules said...

I love what you said about keeping things as a sign of living in fear. I'm going to have to think about that some more.

Great job on the desk drawer. That's a nasty area in any home. Mine's starting to get a little crazy again. I have to nip it in the bug before it gains control again.

jenniferdouglas said...

The junk drawer, it gets out of control so quickly. We thought that by not having one in our new house we'd be saved from clutter. Wrong. So very wrong. Great job on tidying it out. Hope you solve the computer woes, nothing worse than a blue screen. Hope you can get by in the meantime with your laptop!

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