Wednesday, May 25, 2011

QED: It pays to plan ahead!

Ten days ago I had today’s post all ready. It started like this:

With all the things to worry about a year before retiring—paycheck, benefits, isolation—the issue most occuping my mind at the moment is: What am I going to do with all the books in my office? (I think I’m worrying about things like this because that way my brain is engaged and isn’t worrying about paycheck, benefits, isolation.)

It went on from there about how I had a hard time getting rid of books even when I knew I would never read them again, and how there are boxes of books in our attic that I haven’t opened since we moved to this house 18 years ago, etc. We live in an old house with nice big windows and have a lot of art hanging on the walls, so there’s not much room for more bookcases. I had considered the space between the window and the walls in my study, but it seemed impossibly narrow. I really felt stuck.

So I knew it was counter-productive to go to the local Borders’ closeout sale last weekend, since if I bought yet more books, what would I do with them?

I went anyway, and of course I got some books. But! I also got:

Two of them! As you can see, there's a very narrow space between the wall and the window (and on the other side too) and these fit without an inch to spare. They're solid wood (except for the back; who cares), eight feet tall, $35 each! I called dibs on these two and got Greg to come over and remove them from the wall, and we transported them home very slowly, and here they are. One shelf is already full of my knitting stash and another two hold backup copies of some of my books, but the rest are just waiting for my office collection.

I don’t know that it would have occurred to me even to find out if the bookcases were for sale if I hadn’t been obsessing about stuffing the beautiful books from my offices into boxes come next May, so it turns out that a bit of worry can be a good thing. (I also queried a children's writing correspondence school to see if they need instructors; they're in a hiring freeze and will hold my application. So by writing now I'm a year ahead of the people who will apply between now and when I retire.)

And now with that worry solved, I can start thinking about paycheck, benefits, isolation.

P.S. While I had my camera out, I arranged one copy of each of my books in order of publication date and took their portrait.


  1. This website's name says it all:
    Not as functional as Borders' remainders, perhaps, but seriously cool is right!

  2. Hi Tracy
    What a cool "self-portrait"...i.e.your published works! If that's not a hint as to your new self description.....WRITER....I don't know what is! It's also a great way to see where you've been....and continue to try to chart where, in this business you wanna go.
    Making changes is NEVER fun....but it IS exciting. And now considering a life style change might seem like when you were a teenager, and dreaming about your life. You know, that kinda sorta seems like a great mindset to write about angst.....not teen angst, but "change" angst!