Monday, January 8, 2018

Office Inspirations

I'm already using one of the mini journals
with this fun summer print.
Years ago, when I was a fledgling blogger, I took a workshop with Sarah Reinhard at an online Catholic Writers Conference. One particular piece from that workshop stuck with me, perhaps because I continue to use it many years later. Every time I feel stuck for a post topic or bored with what I've been writing about, I go back to Sarah's advice to just look around and let an object inspire me.

This morning, I was in particular need of inspiration because my blog planning pad has gone missing, leaving me feeling a bit adrift (even though I suspect this week's entries were still blank). I ventured into my office for inspiration and, once I had a few objects in hand, decided that rather than focusing on just one, I'd use them them all. Together, they not only represent my inner world at the moment, but they say something about me, too.

  • The current issue of Live Happy magazine. In a little over a week, I'll begin teaching a new course: Positive Psychology. The inspiration for this arose from the materials I've been using in the first year seminar I teach and, while I'm excited to begin, I also have a lot of work ahead of me. Not only does this magazine serve as inspiration, it also has Allison Janney on the cover. Though quite late to the game, I've been binge watching The West Wing (in which Allison Janney plays C. J. Cregg) and just recently started the final season, which I may or may not finish before the new semester starts.  
  • The Catholic Prayer Book sits atop a pile of small items that need to be sorted through, reminding me of my good intentions (to actually open the book and use the prayers, for example). Open or closed, it also reminds me who's really in charge and nudges me to put a little prayer into each day, even if it's simply taking a moment to be grateful for all the good things and to pray for those who need prayers.
  • A pack of mini journals from Thirty-One Gifts. After a five-year run as a Thirty-One Gifts consultant, I went inactive in December. I still have a stack of inventory to find good homes for, but these little journals are staying with me. A few may become giveaways in book baskets, but these definitely speak to the stationery-loving side of me, as well as providing a great place to jot down ideas and goals for new writing projects.
  • A set of colored 3 x 5 notecards in a purple plastic index card case with file tabs. Currently, these cards are blank, but I bought them to help me create a plan for the next step for my Organizing by STYLE project. I've been teaching, writing and blogging about this topic for more than a decade and, although I'd like to create a book, none of the formats I've tried so far has been exactly the right fit. I'm hoping that color-coding my information by style (of course) will help me take this project to the next level. And, as a side note, the purple plastic case is throwback to the days when I did organizer giveaways with my elementary school students -- part of the project that got this whole concept started. 

What tales do your possessions tell about you?

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