Funny how sometimes life has to smack you in the face before you "get it". One day, I was operating reasonably fine and the next, I was in the midst of a tearful breakdown over having to restart my computer and lose my bookmarks for some unforeseen reason. It was as if I was running on fumes; adrenaline—whatever you want to call it. The "straw that broke the camel's back"—or whatever proverb you'd like to use. I was pushed over the edge and there was no clear path for bringing me back. Even after my husband came to my rescue and found my long-lost bookmarks in an annoyingly little amount of time, I still couldn't seem to pull myself together. Yes, this was much deeper than a computer mishap. It was as if the flood of built-up anger, helplessness and resentment of the last four months came rushing out all at once. Cathartic, really. And looking back on this, it was long overdue.
I just can't sit here anymore!" I declared, between sniffles and sobs. "I have SO much anxiety when I sit down at this desk
And there it was. I couldn't, not even for one more day, sit at the desk I've called home everyday for the last four months. Mind you, this was a desk I begged my husband to go down to IKEA and get. And better yet—build the darn thing. It seemed perfect for us! A dual workstation where we each have room to do our thing. Attached was some nice shelving which makes for more optimal storage in our tiny place. We even got rid of a large wooden desk that was a piece of nostalgia for my husband because there was no room for me to work. And now here I am, feeling stifled and wanting to run far, far away from this desk that was built with a lot of love, a little frustration, and the best of intentions.
It felt like walls were closing in on me every time I sat down. I was just slightly immersed enough in my work to be able to get it done, but the day-to-day minutiae of the home was just within sight in my periphery. My son's toys sat just a few feet behind me. They were the background to my every Zoom meeting. At first, I didn't mind it. This humanized me, as it did my other coworkers. We were all in this together. It was common ground to bond on, and better yet—they truly didn't mind the mess. But at this point, it's just an annoyance for me to have to look at all day even though I'm facing the complete opposite direction! It is a constant reminder of how home and work have collided at high speed and there is no way out yet. I stare at the walls, the carpet, the decor—finding fault with everything and silently making a to-do list of everything I want to change.
So, this leads us to what does any Type-A, solutions-oriented but slightly (or not so slightly) anxious person do? Jump on Amazon to see what can be delivered tomorrow that can change my life in a meaningful way. And I did just that. Enter: the amazingly simple, inexpensive, and accessible tabletop desk.
Words cannot describe how this has changed my life. I've said it to my husband multiple times. My new "home" is perched atop a shelf in our front window where I can see the ocean. Yes, I also see distractions. I see the surfers walking down to the water. I see the dogs out for a walk. I see the construction workers pulling up across the street. But these are secondary distractions I can focus on for a slight second, and seamlessly move back to whatever I am doing. Contrary to what was happening within my own home, I have no desire to add those to my to-do list to fix. Just merely being able to see the water, the waves, and the pelicans flying above—it is a daily reminder of the beautiful place we live in and connects me to the outside world I feel so disconnected from.
Not only does this desk come with an ocean-view, but it is adjustable as well so you can take it wherever you like. I am able to sit on the couch comfortably and work as well (gasp). I can rest my neck and my shoulders this way, and I am able to put my feet up. In fact, that is how I am currently writing this post, and it is quite delightful.
I realize the ocean is not something everyone has sitting outside their window. Perhaps it is a beautiful cityscape, or a mountain view in a rural area, or the lush green trees of the suburbs. There is beauty wherever we are—we just have to remember to look out the window sometimes. I suppose my point is, and my advice would be — if you are feeling trapped, uninspired, unproductive, stuck... whatever it is, just move. Whether that be a physical move or a mental one, it can make all the difference. Taking the first step is the hardest. For me, it was as simple as moving 20 feet away.
Hi! I'm Laura, a 30-something first-time mom raising her little dude in southern California. It's been quite a first year, and this is my way to try to make sense of it all. This is a safe space for all moms to get some laughs, recommendations and feel like they are not alone.