It was Friday night – approaching midnight – and I took a step back from my desk to take it all in. I had read a New York Times article last week about the strengths of “messy desk” people and had to capture this moment in time. In a nutshell, the thinking is that chaos leads to creativity. What is fascinating to me about the messy desk is not the sum of the clutter but rather the randomness of its parts.
For example, I love how my hair clip is tucked right next to Dr. Chopra’s Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives: A Holistic Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth on top of an envelope carrying precious evidence of my immaculate driving record needed to resolve a Service Ontario error piled atop business correspondence and active project files. Nestled between my Wawanesa home insurance policy renewal and a photo of my precious puppies is naturally my house key, a bottle of nail polish and frog art bought in Beijing. Above my computer is a bottle of lavender essential oil next to several business cards collected recently. Just below and to the right, two painted mason jars filled with pens, markers and sharpies shoved next to individual scribbled pieces of note paper filed…randomly. Toss in an heirloom pumpkin soy wax candle, matches, a bunch of almonds and a Wendy Tancock mug of every pregnant woman’s favourite drink – ginger ale – and it’s almost a party.
Surely some work is happening on this desk no? Yes! Beneath the blue fitness class schedule, stick of “lip shimmer” and copy of The Entitlement Trap: How to Rescue Your Child with a New Family System of Choosing, Earning and Ownership (by Richard and Linda Eyre) are random pieces of paper containing the secret to my genius. (It’s that brown piece of paper that has the real nuggets.)
I suppose that some day soon my desk will be littered with burp cloths, kiddie toys and half eaten dishes of food. (None of which has ever before inhabited this desk including uneaten food. I always clean my plate!) Despite that, I have this feeling that buried amongst the bills and baby paraphernalia, you will find an ordinary-looking piece of paper scribbled with poignant thoughts and delicious ideas founded in my work – and that’s all I will need.