Yesterday, the rain didn't want to stop and when it did a gray humidity stuck around to remind you that it wasn't a day to be outside enjoying the world. Most of my day was spent reading and finishing Creative Quest. A must-read for anyone who knows in their bones that they are creative.
We had the rug in our living room cleaned so that isolated us to our sunroom and my office.
Pausing, I looked around my office. The dog beds were in here, so Jaz was fast asleep on hers. I laughed as I composed the photo and still am not sure how she sleeps this way.
The photo switched me into observer mode. The variety of books, photography and outdoor gear, my choice of art on the wall and the randomness of the souvenirs that could be seen.
A friend from college on Facebook mentioned that all of these things had been part of my life as long as she had known me. That made me smile, but also made me realize how right she is.
Looking around the rest of my office, on my desk around my fingers as I type this and in any backpack, I have with me on any given day there is the same variety.
Books - They feed my soul. My Kindle has a never-ending library of books that I want to read. Having that library with me at all times makes me feel good. The stack of books to read and ones available to flip though make me happy. I've had friends who decided to get rid of all their books because of the space they take up, and that baffles me. While I appreciate downsizing and the minimalism lifestyle it isn't for me.
Any time I need a jolt, I can slide a book off the shelf and get what I need. There are photography books, travel memoirs, cookbooks and a few comic books. When I need a reminder that I am creating things of value, I only need look at my shelf of the books I've written that have been translated to other languages and it helps balance my mood back out.
Gear - My name is C.C., and I'm a gear lover. It doesn't matter if it is for camping, photography, video or anything else. I love gear.
I'm always trying to find the best gear to use in every situation. That is why you'll see a GORUCK GR1 sitting next to my Evergoods CP24L and my Eagle Creek suitcase still sitting here from my recent trip to London. My Canon camera is laying next to an old Samsung one and a Google Pixel. My Benchmade folder is laying next to my Serepick kit.
To put down my coffee cup this morning, I had to relocate the new microphones that arrived last week from Shure and R0DE to test out and review. There is an endless sea of cables and connectors. No matter how much I prune down and focus in on the best gear for me, there will always be plenty around me to choose from.
Art - Hanging on my office walls are a couple of Chank Diesels and a bunch of Hugh MacLeods. There are also a few of my photographs, my prized signed Dogma poster and a poem my Great-Grandfather wrote. Part of me thinks I should change out the art from time to time, but each was hung for a reason, so it keeps me from changing them. But, I need to have creativity hanging around me to help inspire me. It adds a layer of comfort and a blanket of inspiration.
Walk through our house, and you'll find a different variety of art. Paintings from Laura's Great-Grandfather, a painting we bought on a trip to New Orleans and a couple of special photographs from friends. Everyone has different tastes and styles, but art is something to be appreciated, and I'm always interested in looking at more.
Souvenirs - These are not the shot glasses and t-shirts you find in every airport, but more personal mementos from my travels over the years. The crystal Coke bottle from one of my favorite client projects, a hand-turned mug from Fargo, the challenge coin given to me by a loving fan, the rug I bought in Istanbul and my iron buffalo from speaking in South Dakota. While they all may appear random and without thought, each of them is on display for a particular reason, and I can tell you the story behind every one of them.
Sure, they get dusty and take up space, but they also give me an instant smile. One look at the top of my desk and I'm instantly transported back to Ghana, Amsterdam or my fifth-grade performance of The Lorax.
Why do I tell you these things? Why not?
I write to get the words out of my head and into the soul of a few that might read them. Perhaps a bit of it is because as I looked around, I realized how badly I need to clean my office, and while I know this has to be done, I know that piles of new things will appear in the coming weeks and months.
Having a home office and studio is a true blessing for me. It empowers me to do the work I need to do in an environment that benefits my soul. Being surrounded by that which makes me happy is the icing on the cake.
What do you surround yourself with? Take a few minutes to think about it. If nothing else, I hope it makes you smile.