Is your desk clean?

You have always tried to defend your messy desk by saying, “I know where everything is!” If that is true, then put those things in an ordered place. The only thing that is keeping you from doing that is…

I am the worst. My desk is a horrible mess with stacks of papers, books, unopened mail, folders, loose paper clips and a million other things, it seems. I can’t find anything when I want to. It’s always a day later when it shows up right where I thought it was. It’s hard to work in such conditions.

Do you have too many tchotchkes (pronounced chotskis)?

Tchotchkes, in John Carter’s terms, is anything a thief in your house wouldn’t steal. If he wouldn’t steal it, why do you have it?

Tchotchkes. Hmmm. I have a thousand tchotchkes and all of my papers from third grade and fifty thousand baseball cards— worth less than a penny these days. I can barely maneuver around my house for all the stuff I stick in corners.

Would you take a shower in a dirty tub?

The bath tub has mold in the cracks, has twelve different shampoo bottles on shelves and tub bottom, a couple razors and a toothbrush on the shelf above the shower curtain, and soap scum on the faucet and ringing the drain. It’s hard to take a shower in such conditions, and if you do, you still feel slightly dirty at the end of the shower. But taking a shower in a clean tub, with only one bar of soap and one bottle of shampoo is very refreshing. There are no distractions, just you, the water, and the soap, and by the end you feel great.

Aha! This isn’t me, but I have taken a shower in one too many showers like this. I tip toe around for fear of getting more dirty! But man, oh man, do I love a nice clean tub with water as clear as a summer sky. With pearly bits of steam rising up and that brand new bar of soap that smells like a freshly picked lemon. That’s how to shower and feel clean.

Do you multitask?

I do. When I drive to work I take voice memos or talk on the cell phone. When I get home, I eat dinner in front of my computer screen. I have a book by the toilet—not because I sit there very long, but because I can read a page or two before I finish. I brush my teeth in the shower and edit while I am watching my favorite show. As I try to sleep I get in my exercise. I thrash around for at least half an hour trying to get comfortable and clear my head of the things I didn’t get done today. I can’t remember the last time I sat down at the table to eat and didn’t

Does any of this hustle and bustle and all these things help you feel at peace?

They don’t help me feel at peace, and I have a gut feeling they don’t help you either. When was the last time you left home and thought to yourself, “oh, at least I have all of my tchotchkes safely in the glass cabinet!” Stay tuned for more in Part III!

© Seth Crossman