You Need a You Space
They say the happiest kind of actor is a working actor, and that’s true of writers too. Lately I’ve begun to think that it may be true of all people, period. Sigmund Freud, albeit he’s be cancelled for a lot of things circa today, got it right when he said our most core human needs are to work and to love.
What to work on—how to find the pursuit that will enable us to live our best life—is a topic for another post. In this one I’d like to take you on a photographic journey of some truly cool work spaces, including two of my own, then explore some of the advantages to having one, and also answer arguments against.
No matter what kind of work you do, you’ll be better off in a You space.
- It’s a signal to the world that what you are doing is important—that you are important. When you enter your office—or even just the slice of space you’ve carved out for one—here’s what you’re really doing. You’re saying, I take up space. Literally. You’re saying, what I do in here matters. I matter. That’s a helluva big job for one small space to accomplish.
- That’s right—It doesn’t have to be big or fancy or elaborate. When I was on book tour with my husband car-schooling our two little kids, I would write in the closet of the hotel where we stayed. As long as it had a door, I could mentally get away and inhabit the world of my book. And as you can see from that picture with the pink wall, a closet suited me just fine even when I got back home!
- Research now concludes that multi-tasking doesn’t really work. Doing two or more things at once means doing a less good job on each of them. So if you’re trying to answer emails in the kitchen with its mountain of dishes waiting, or doing research on your phone in bed with a show streaming, you are not able to apply the attention you should or get the output of which you’re most capable. In a dedicated You space though…you set the task to be done. Singular.
- One of my favorite childhood books is called Evan’s Corner. It’s about a boy and his siblings who live in an apartment and how he finds a Him space. I recommend this charming story, if for no other reason than that it may allow you to identify a space for yourself with a more lenient eye. Don’t have an extra bedroom to convert to office space? Neither do most of us. But we might have a nook beneath the stairs. Or some extra room in a basement or attic. Or even just a corner.
- She-Sheds and Man-Caves. Maybe it’s time to go all out and build a space from the ground-up, redo a family room once the kids are gone, maybe finish the basement. If there’s a little extra in the budget right now, consider really giving your You space the Taj Mahal treatment! In the photo with the little desk, you can see I’ve stayed small, but now at least I have a window looking out on our endless woods as I write.
- I hate to gender things, but women can have a hard time laying claim to a space and a chance to pursue their dreams. How can you when there’s laundry to be done? There’s a reason the “Calgon, take me away” ad campaign targeted women—and made it seem as if, if we were bailing on our responsibilities, we’d better at least be getting clean and fragrant during that time. Your You space is where everyone knows you go to work and wish and wile, and that everything done there is worth something.