Pondering the home office, where one finds sanctuary and sometimes even the illusion of control.
December 27, 2012
At long last, I again have an office! Two months from the day we moved in to our new home in Northern California, it is done. Here will be sanctuary from the dominant gender in my household. Nothing against the fair ones –I love my wife and three daughters mightily- but a man needs his office. Especially if said man writes for a living. (Honestly, even if he doesn’t.) Like an old leather jacket or a favorite pair of jeans, an office means usefulness. Not a library (too upper crusty) or a man cave (too lowbrow); I’m talking about a room with desk, television, phone, computer and copier. Files are kept there. The checkbook. And speaking of books, some books. Not necessarily all of them but some. Actual books might be going away but a few stacks keep a guy honest.
I have had an office for the last twenty years and pined for one even longer. To me a home office symbolizes adulthood in the best sense of the word. It is for getting work done –be it a piece of copy, the great American novel or a blog post like this- but, unlike the work office, it is also for pondering.
For even when my laptop is open (always) or the television on (sometimes) I am always pondering. And here that’s okay. Fact is pondering outside an office has lesser terms to describe it. Daydreaming. Fantasizing. Not paying attention. Here, I can do all of that and more. While the hustle and bustle of our household is steps away here is peace. I stare at the squirrels (bigger here than in Chicago) outside my window scurrying up the pine trees (also bigger) and think about nature, while sound muted the myriad athletes gallivanting on ESPN provide subtle inspiration to man’s great potential. From this leather chair all things are possible! Pondering begets plans and plans lead to action.
Pondering is this agnostic’s form of prayer. I meditate on what I’ve done and not done and can do and will. I may worry but the fear is mitigated by this mission control-like space.
I have two other great pondering spaces: my car and the running track. But in those realms I have another priority. The office is an extension of my head space in its ideal mode. In the coming new year who knows what exciting chapters will be pondered and composed there? I aim to find out.