Two weeks ago, I started my new job as communications director and editor of the monthly diocesan newspaper, New Earth.
I’d been in the office of the outgoing director quite a few times over the years. To me, it was her office. So those four days of training, I worked out of a different, temporary office while she finished up her final duties. Eventually, she invited me to start moving in.
I was reluctant. It was a strange feeling, thinking of inhabiting space that had belonged to her; someone I admire and appreciate. But it was time. So I started with some special items I still had in a box from my newspaper desk. This plaque is from my good friend Mary and fit in well with the office colors:
The next day, I brought in some things from my home office, which isn’t getting much use these days. This is a photograph by Leo Kim that reminds me of home on the reservation:
I couldn’t not include some of my kids’ artwork:
And my kids:
The doily, ceramic vessel, desk calendar and snail were all gifts from friends. I think of them whenever I see these things. In a way my friends and family are part of my new digs.
Oh yes, and my framed “P is for Peace Garden” poster. It felt good to find a place for it on the wall behind my desk. After all, an author doesn’t stop being an author even when she has other titles, as a good friend once reminded me.
When I first arrived in the newsroom, I loved being in the middle of the action. But I’m someone who requires space, too, and I have to admit, it’s nice to have a door that I can close when I need to really think. It makes up for lack of a window. You can’t have everything.
I feel very fortunate in this new space. The atrium just outside my office is full of sunlight. There are warm, inviting colors everywhere.
Perhaps best of all — and something I will enjoy even more in the fall when my hours have a more regular rhythm to them — is the chapel just steps away from my office. The beautiful wood carvings on the doors tell you it is no ordinary space within. And they tell stories, too, which I love.
I plan to make this neighboring space a part of my routine — a place where I can talk to God in the middle of the everyday as well as some of the more stressful moments.
One of my favorite moments in my office so far was when I brought my middle daughter into it to show her this new working space. The look on her face — her eyes and smile — told me she recognized pieces of me in there, and finally realized why I’m so excited about this change.
Now that I’ve got things in place, the real work begins. I know that. But at the very least, I feel comfortable in my new office and excited at the thought of what is to come.
Q4U: If you could make a list of “must haves” in an office, what would be on it?