Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Life is like my Bottom Office Drawer

by Mary Allen 

My bottom office drawer is filled with items which once had purpose. Short, white phone jacks; thick, yellow USB cords; blue cords with funny square ends to them that no one knows that they do; enormous grey plugs that look as if they mean business; and, six surviving cords from deceased laptops and printers roil about in my bottom office drawer. Each one was carefully placed in the drawer by me at some time in the past. Some of them are even labeled.

I didn’t throw them away because I expected them to be used again in the future. Plus, after laying out so much money, it felt wasteful to pitch them when the computer died, the monitor remained black, or I changed service providers and they didn’t want the old modem returned, a definite red flag as to why I shouldn’t have bothered to keep it any longer, either.

Recently, I reached into the bottom office drawer and the cords came out en masse. Also entangled in them was the cup heater, the direct line house phone (in case the power goes out), various program start-up-rescue disks, and several miles of thin, flat, black phone line. All that and I still couldn’t find the cord I needed. I was sure I’d labeled and stored it there.

I have a theory how this happens. It’s an enchanted drawer. Once the drawer closes the cords come alive and entwine like baby rattlers in a snake pit. The big nasty snake-cords eat the more benign snake-cords and have hybrid baby snake-cords that don’t belong to anything, which is why the drawer remains messy and full of useless cords that spring out at me when I open it.

A writer’s life is a lot like that drawer. We each have items we keep that were once useful. It could be articles we’ve written when we started out or blogs and activities we do that no longer serve a constructive purpose. When we try to keep all these once-useful things life gets messy, tangled, and bogged down.

A writer’s life, like that bottom office drawer, needs spring cleaning. What no longer has a direct use, makes a connection, or serves an immediate purpose must go. It’s not as simple as hacking away what was once a joy, but now is a chore. Sometimes “chores” feel that way because we’ve crowded them with other activities that cause us to lose focus. This means we have to lift each activity to God and ask what He wants to do with it. Only He has the foresight and insight.

How about you? What in your life needs to go? What needs straightening? What needs to be rescued from the bottom office drawer and moved to a place of importance on your desk top?

May God whom I serve, bless you, guide you, inspire you, and speak through your writing this year.


  1. Mary, if there was a Like button for this, I'd push it!

  2. Thank you, Jean. May you have clarity in your decisions. As I write this I'm sitting in an even bigger mess because I'm sorting that drawer and my entire office. That's a good reminder too. Things often get messier before they get better. haha.