It’s strange how stuff can take over our lives. If you’re not careful, one day your office turns into the family storage bin. I had run a business out of my home for twelve years, offering my clients a professional and comfortable place to meet with me and benefit from my services. At least I’m pretty sure they benefited or why did they keep coming back. About twenty years ago I merged my practice with a local firm and my office was soon sitting vacant. Oh I still tried to keep it as an office, but I was losing the battle.
It seemed the stuff of life was running out of space in the rest of our house and just like that it began its relentless take over. It must have happened late in the evening when we had retired to our bedroom and then, in the darkness of night, the stuff would creep downstairs and take up position in my office. On the occasions when I would stop into my office, I would sense it getting smaller but I couldn’t quite identify the invaders. For awhile they hid in the closet and under the desk and this alone might explain why in my complacency, I hadn’t noticed them. They are sneaky, that stuff of life, and I think they breed. No other explanation could adequately explain how suddenly they were under the bed too. Wait, the bed? When did an entire bed sneak in here? I couldn’t even find a room in the house from which it might have escaped. And yet it had clearly taken up residency and now the stuff was hiding under there.
As the years passed, the office was overrun. There was no corner that the invading army hadn’t claimed. If only there had been a United Nations of Offices to come to my rescue, I would still have an office and the insidious Army of Stuff could have been held within its borders and my office would still be a free nation. But of course, I was too late to the war and my office was gone.
But wait, there is a happy ending. Retirement left me without an office and my old office would need to be reclaimed. I rolled up my sleeves, and yes, opened my wallet, and the war of reclamation was begun. It has taken several hard fought months but the invading horde has been soundly defeated and sent packing. Off to Goodwill and Restore and any other Nation of Stuff that would take them in. Oh there were casualties, as there will always be in these type battles, but in the end my office has been restored and is thriving.
As testament to its existence, I decided to write this piece. My office, once the work place of a multitude of IRS forms and then the land of unrelenting stuff, is now my writing office and yes, semi man cave. Tomorrow I will build a moat at its entrance and employ some stout guards to patrol the perimeter. Stuff, TAKE NOTICE. If you try a counter attack, YOU WILL BE REPELLED. This office is mine. Long live the King.