Having just a few hours ago publicly said that I'm putting on the back burner the various home projects I had in mind for this spring, I promptly decided that maybe I'd just tackle one of them -- moving my desk from the study into the adjacent sun room. I blame all of that Rehab Addict I was watching; seeing other people bring houses back from the brink of destruction into a gorgeous state, I was motivated to do my own tiny version of such a transformation.
Of course, as always, it wound up being a far more complicated project than I'd anticipated. I decided to dump everything on the desk and its various drawers into a big box and then sort through stuff as I was putting it all back, which seemed much more fun and rewarding than sorting through it beforehand. But then I managed to knock the box over, spilling paper clips and notepads and umpteen piles of accumulated crap all over the floor. And then I had to take off the door in between the rooms, and even then the desk was about 1/4" too wide to fit through. I finally went next door and asked my wonderful 70-year-old neighbor, George, if he'd come over and help me; it wasn't just the muscle, because the desk is actually quite light, but rather the brain and spacial ability to figure out how to turn the desk so it would get through the door. He came through like a champ, as always, and then stayed to put the door back on for me. And while we were working, his wife, Pat, came over and brought D and me homemade muffins. Oh, and they apologized for not bringing treats for the cats, which they always do when they're cat-sitting for them. Seriously, when they move into a retirement home, D. and I may have to move, because I'm just not sure we can live here without them.
Anyway, the whole thing was a little bit embarrassing because the only way into the room was almost literally to crawl over a chair and squeeze through the furniture that will eventually go into the study where the desk was. And of course there were my piles of crap that had spilled all over in the study. But these are lovely and nonjudgmental neighbors, and they completely understood about projects that start out small and grow to take over two whole rooms.
I'm actually going to take Pat's advice to just leave almost everything from the desk in the box and to start using the desk, and only when I find myself needing something will I put it back on the desk. For example, I seem to have four rulers and about a million binder clips, and I'm pretty sure I won't find myself needing all of them. She's also the one who told me that our neighboring thrift store will actually take things like binder clips and rulers, which they then sell for a buck, so I can donate all of the perfectly good office supplies and blank notebooks and all the rest that I really don't need in the quantity that I have them.
But here's the really important lesson of this whole story: When this project was on my "to do" list, as it was all of spring break, I didn't do it and felt lazy about not tackling it. But as soon as I resolutely strike it from the "to do" list, it immediately becomes more attractive to me, and doing it becomes a form of procrastination from the things that are still on the list (in this case, an hour of grading). I should know myself well enough for this not to be a surprise; productive procrastination is almost the entirety of my productivity.
So now the back two rooms of the house are still a total disaster, but I've cleared the furniture enough so that we have a path to the back door, and I'm going to call it quits for the evening. I'm grungy and dusty and tired, and I want to go soak in a hot bath and not do any more labor tonight. But I'm looking forward to spending a little time in the sun room in the evenings this week, perhaps sipping a glass of wine as I set up my desk and maybe even work there, looking out at the back yard and the infinitely better view (which is what prompted the whole move in the first place).