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Building My Own Office

I was the guy who rarely put anything on my office walls. Maybe a calendar, sometimes, but rarely, a picture.

So I’m a little surprised how excited I’ve been about getting moved into my new home office. I pretty much got to build it myself.

I spent far more time researching colors than I ever want to admit, trying to pick the right color combination that will match the new laminate floor. In fact, I put the laminate floor down myself. And painted. And installed the baseboard, even hung a new closet door.

I could so my thing. I could invest in an office and a space that was me. Because this is where I want to be. This is what I want to do.

Heck, I even chose a new light fixture. And installed it. Without electrocuting myself.

The after picture of my office, with new flooring, some of the wall hangings, bookshelf and desk.
It’s still a work in progress, but at least I can now see my desk.

It’s a work in progress. I have a vision for a couple other things I want to do yet.

Including a Bistro table.

And a bike – as wall art. A real bike.

It kinda makes me giddy.

How does a guy who had little to no interest in decorating his office in the past get to being excited about picking the colors for the walls?

I wonder if it’s just a sense of ownership? Or maybe I feel more in control of it all than I ever did before.

And maybe that has me feeling like I’m ready to make it completely mine.

Changing the whole house around.

Youtube is a wonderful thing.

Youtube is a dangerous thing.

Especially when you watch an installation video and utter those famous last words. “I think we can do that ourselves.”

Three rooms, 532 square feet of Pergo flooring and some very sore knees later…. we turned the larger room in the basement into a quilting studio for my wife, another into our new bedroom.

And there was this room in the back corner. We just put an egress window in, so there was plenty of natural light and you know, it would make a great office, wouldn’t it?

For a few years our house has been a musical chairs of rooms. That happens when the kids get older, they move out, and you can do something now with the space.

We were able to set up an office for my wife when she was working on her doctorate. Once she finished and I started building my websites, I set up shop. As an educator, she has been working from home quite a bit during the pandemic. We’d share the office space or she’d work from the kitchen. But it’s becoming clear that work from home is less temporary than we first thought.

And that’s when we first thought, hey, you can take this back over, make it your own, and I’ll set up downstairs.

I never thought that just setting up an office could be this exciting.

Originally, it was like, okay, cool, I can set up an office downstairs. And that was about it.

And then, as I’d look at the space, I’d start imagining.

The before picture of my office renovation with old tile floor and yellow paint.
The before look

The desk could go here. Or would it look better there?

Hey, I can set up the old L-Shaped glass desk – I really like that but it didn’t fit well in the earlier space. Would that look better butted into the corner? Or facing the door?

Ohhhhhh, I’ll have room to set up the tripod for videos. It always got in the way.

Maybe I should put a table over there – I’m thinking of a vlog, and I’d love to set it at a table. A good chance to hide behind it, you know?

The possibilities started coming out.

And maybe just some dreams.

All this while my website is taking off. All of this while I’m realizing how close I am to making a full time venture out of this.

I think that’s when I realized it’s not as much about an office….

… as it is about an identity.

This was going to be me.

I started to understand why I was getting so caught up in getting this office set up.

Something deeper is going on here. Maybe that something deeper is why I rarely ever decorated my office in the jobs I’ve held.

Only now is it dawning on me, that much of what I’ve done up to now always felt like it was stop gap. Temporary. These were jobs, but I’m not sure they ever felt like where I wanted to end up. It was a way to pay the bills, but I wasn’t all in. There was always that something in the future.

I wonder. Did I never fully commit? Decorating the office was making it mine. But if it wasn’t where I really wanted to be, if I wasn’t doing what I really wanted to do, was that made manifest in my not decorating?

I finally started hanging pictures when I started using the upstairs office.

But building this office. From the ground up, almost literally… maybe not building the walls out or anything like that, but everything else… I think that’s why it’s been so exciting. Maybe this is why I’m so excited to be set up now and in this space.

I could be me. I could invest in an office and a space that was me. Because this is where I want to be. This is what I want to do.