Friday, October 15, 2010

An Office of One's Own

One of the many blessings of this new job at ActionAid is that I have my own office, with a door that closes…if I pull the couch out to just the right place and wedge the door past it. And, I have a big window, so that if I lean way over to the right, I can just see a bit of sky in between the tall buildings. This little space that I call my own is no small thing. (Ok, it technically is a relatively small space, but I’m talking metaphorically here.) It is a place where I can regroup…a place where I can seek refuge…a place that I can call my own.

In the spirit of owning up to my space, new job and general work callings, I’ve decided to thoroughly decorate my office. Hence, I have the usual suspects in the room with me: Mahatma Ghandi, butterflies, a map of people from around the world, my friends and family (with my hubby right in front of my computer, where I can keep an eye on him;)
Last week, I made a proud purchase of 3 sweet little office plants that the woman promised me would be very difficult indeed to kill. An added bonus is that the kitchen (and hence the potential for them actually getting watered) is right next to my office. I grabbed a cute little pumpkin while I was at it, plunked him down in full view at the corner of my desk and declared it fall time, as verified by the Monterey calendar on my wall. My space felt almost perfect...more like a work home. Yet, I realized yesterday that there was one more thing missing.

And so, I surrounded my computer this morning with some key reminders. They’re little pieces of advice that I’ve accumulated over time from wise friends, family members and prophets. Here are a few of them:

- Listen and Look
- Do not be afraid
- Knock, and the door shall be opened
- When in doubt, give
- Seek and you will find
- Live by faith and not by sight
- Forgive
- Be patient

And the big one, placed right at the center of my screen so that I just can't ignore it...Love.

Last week, I had a few work days where I think I broke just about every one of these guidelines. This week, I’m trying to make them a little bit harder to forget. So, I’m thankful to have the space in which to do that.
The final item that I have in my office as a reminder of how I want to work and live my life is a poem, given to me by a dear friend. It goes something like this:
"I asked for strength...
And God gave me challenges to make me strong
I asked for wisdom...
And God gave me problems to solve
I asked for prosperity...
And God gave me brain and brawn to work
I asked for courage...
And God gave me danger to overcome
I asked for love...
And God gave me troubled people to help

I asked for favors...
And God gave me opportunities
I received nothing I wanted
I received everything I needed."



  1. Elise - I love this glimpse into your office. You've given me some great ideas for creating an uplifting workspace of my own. Many thanks for sharing your pictures, love, and inspiration.

  2. I smiled when I saw the plants! :o)