Oh, bother

I hate working in confined spaces.

I look up in irritation. The knuckles on my mouse-hand have just brushed against a pile of paper on my desk. I push the paper away impatiently, muttering under my breath.

Who put it there, anyway?

Truly confined spaces like tight tunnels are out of the question, of course. I had to let the International Space Station folks down easy.

I clench my teeth in aggravation. This is my umpteenth flip through this pile of paper, looking for the one piece I need this time. With no horizontal space, I pile the rejects atop the printer as I go, and try to ignore the occasional sheet making an unauthorized break for the floor.

Why has no one better organized my office?

Even spaces that require me to restrain my natural gestures are not my happy place.

I frown in frustration. The cutting board is jammed against the roasting pan jammed against the knife block jammed into the counter’s corner, leaving me no room to change my angle of slightly-dull-carving-knife attack on this slightly undercooked turkey.

Who put all this stupid stuff on my counter?

My shoulders hunch, my breathing shallows, my patience dims (and it never glows what you’d call brightly).

I roll my eyes in exasperation. My quick elliptical beating with a fork is slopping egg onto the counter. Somehow the soup/cereal bowl that is perfect for breaking up two or three eggs is proving miserably inadequate for four.

Why didn’t someone give me a just-slightly bigger bowl to use?

In truth, my working conditions are entirely under my control. I can place piles of paper out of the way of my mouse-hand to avoid inadvertent contact. I can sort my piles of paper into folders to minimize searching time. I can think ahead all of 10 seconds to the inevitable next steps when I take a dagnabbed turkey out of the oven. I can choose the bowl in which I break up eggs based on the number of those eggs.

I hiss in annoyance. My shoulders are high and tight as I tentatively roll out the pie pastry. The counter’s backsplash won’t accommodate the sweeping stroke needed to obtain an even result with minimal handling: not working front to back, and not working sideways from the end of the kitchen island.

Why haven’t I learned to roll out pastry on the floor?

Oh, bother. Not *all* my working conditions are *entirely* under my control. All the more reason to do what I can, where I can, to avoid the botheration of confined spaces, saving that precious store of patience for when it’s really needed.


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6 Responses to Oh, bother

  1. Tom Watson says:

    A lot of bothering going on there.
    You need a vacation?

    Or maybe there’s a Murphy’s Law for that. Dunno, something such as, “If there’s anything that can bother us, it will.”

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – 🙂 Maybe a vacation *would* be helpful. If only I felt like getting on an airplane.

  2. Ha Ha Ha! You (and I) are among the most accomplished of organizers so it’s not our fault. The fault, dear Isabel, is not in ourselves but in our stars that we have been asked by those cosmic forces to do more than is humanly possible in these constrictions of counters and bowls and island space. I am guessing, of course, that the turkey was not strictly for your consumption, that the eggs ditto, and likewise the pie pastry. Recalling the extreme levels of neatness, cleanliness, and orderliness of my premarital abodes I can certainly fault others for demanding the time and attention that would otherwise clear the current clutter — and I’ll bet you can, too.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – Well, in that context, I don’t resent the constraints quite so much. Who wouldn’t want to put time into other people instead of a clean desk?

  3. barbara carlson says:

    As you read about, I spent a year pitching stuff to clear my head and my shelves. Over 6,000 items (some multiples) and it didn’t change my material environment at all and I am not a hoarder! It just reduced the already neat piles.
    Everything in our adjoining condos has a home and is usually in it. No homeless objects.
    But… there is something about this Time Out of Time right now that is making me ratty. Not surprised you are striking out against Things — which can and do fight back which I found when trying to Pitch some of them.

    After 7 months with our stuff and same routines day after day, life is beginning to feel like House Arrest — a very pleasant house to be in for John and me, but … the sameness does now seem never ending.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barbara – LOL. Ratty, eh? Possibly. But those piles of paper better watch out, nonetheless. (And it is notable how even a small break — a car ride, a patio meet-up — can make a big difference in my mental health.)

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