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A Quiet Office, an Organized Desk, and a little Peace of Mind

June 3, 2010

Life gets crazy. Its inevitable. There is and will continue to be chaos, pain, heartache and loss. I’ve experienced each of these things first hand, watched loved ones endure life’s slime, and read stories of brave souls who trudged through the depths. In painful circumstances, I often find myself looking on toward the light at the end of the tunnel. Assuredly, I must face the reality that at the end of that tunnel there is a new problem, unexpected heartache, and painful loss. Looking on toward that light or pulling up those bootstraps sometimes isn’t enough. Thus, I pose a new perspective, yet it is not a new philosophy at all (for there is nothing new under the sun). Living a life of gratitude.

My mom has probably taught me the most about gratitude and the joy that comes from simply being. This woman has experienced life: the heights of joy and the depths of pain. She has managed to stay grateful through it all. I think I can boil it down to two things: grace and choice. God has blessed her with strength to endure and He has blessed her with a temperament to choose to stop, breath, soak in, and enjoy simplicity. I, on the other hand, am not naturally inclined to adopt the “stop and smell the roses” philosophy of life. My tendency is to do and to do quickly. I like having a full schedule and a long list of things to accomplish (and yes, I do add things I’ve already completed just to check them off the list). I’m quick to speak and quick to act (which is partly why I have so many bruises–I don’t slow down long enough to realize that there is a counter, door, bookshelf, wall in my way). Yet in the last five years I’ve experienced a lot of “forced rest” as I mentioned in an earlier blog. Life’s circumstances have forced my to allow my plate to be smaller, I’ve learned to say no, I’ve learned to sit, I’ve learned to be still, and I’ve learned to breath. In the being and in the breathing, I begin to see. I see beauty, simplicity, grace and love. When I allow myself to be and breath I am overwhelmed by gratitude for the simple things (maybe not the smell of roses, but in mixing up a batch of cookies in a clean kitchen). In chaos, in heartache, in pain and even in joy–being grateful for the simple things is how I want to live.

That ended up being a really long introduction to my first few days of working. As you’ve all experienced first days of work, I’m sure you can fondly recall the overwhelmed, chaotic, “oh my goodness, I’m never going to learn all of this” feeling. Yes, that was in fact my first few days at work. Thursday I spent my first half of the day reading through history, policy and procedures, current work, etc. I grabbed coffee with my coworkers (who I really like by the way). Then at about 1:00 my boss (Maya, the CEO–I’m her assistant and I really like her as well) arrived to the office after spending a week in Peru. We had a quick staff meeting (which I understood about 50% of what was going on). I had a meeting with her where we chatted about my role and I don’t even remember what else…(clouded by tired/overwhelmedness). Friday was kind of the same–not only was I trying to understand the history and mission of the organization (which was quite cloudy to me at first), I was also trying to learn Google Apps, while trying to function as the Executive Assistant–a job that I’d never had before and a new position for them. All that said–everything was new. I ended up choosing to stay in DC for the weekend (bailed out on NYC with a dear friend, it was a hard, but good decision). I spend Saturday/Sunday reading, napping, reading, napping, jogging, reading, crying. Then Monday was considered a floating holiday, so I could choose to work and use that vacation day another time or take the day off. I chose to go into the office that day and after an overwhelming weekend of crashing from moving/new job, God gave me a gift: an empty office. I love people and really enjoy my coworkers, but this empty office to organize myself was such a blessing! I am now well acquainted with Google Apps, have organized calendars, color coordinated post-its, blue + black Sharpie pens, and as of today a completed work plan. I know its simple and even pretty cheesy, but I am so grateful for things like pens, Pandora stations, a quiet office, an organized desk, and a little peace of mind. I think I always thought busier was better, but simple is much sweeter.

Check out my desk [woot!]


From → Living

  1. excited to be able to follow your life in DC! no more facebook snooping haha.your pictures are making me want to come visit :D

  2. this is rachel brown by the way

  3. Your desk makes me happy! :)

  4. antibacterial dispenser? (sigh) I love you Em. and I love that you love post-its as much as i do. (i miss you a lot by the way, and it's your blogs fault…)

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