Do you have a happy place? Is it your home? At the cottage? Outside at a park? Perhaps it is at your grandma’s house or a world famous monument! What does your happy place give you? Does it instantly change your mood to happy, no matter how bad you are feeling? Does your happy place inspire you to move? Create? Change the world?
While I have many happy places, my principal happy place to create is in my office, at work. That was until I was assigned a new office. Somewhere in the shuffle, I lost my happy place. My old office had a certain charm to it. It was a small and unassuming office with nothing extraordinary about it. However, I did have a window with a view of a huge mural of a blue jay painted on a large brick wall. My view also contained a tall oak tree that proudly hung over the busy street below. Whenever I was in need of some instant inspiration, I would gaze out at the blue jay, watch the leaves of the oak tree shimmer in the breeze or I would watch people of all different types move up and down the busy street. My office also had a perfect amount of white noise that I could hone in on whenever I would close my door. My office was perfect for me.
Many blog posts were written in that little office as I would show up to work early and indulge in the silence and comfort of a darkened early morning setting. It didn’t matter what state of mind I was in, I could create in that office. It was so easy to get myself into my flow or “zone,” and the words for my blog posts would flow with ease. In fact, one day I even took a vacation day to work on my book… at work and in my office. I confused co-workers with my presence, but I needed my space, I closed my door, and never left my zone for eight hours of uninterrupted creativity. I loved my happy place.
To mix up our working environment and spur some much-needed energy, my company’s leadership group suggested that everyone switch offices. We had undergone a lot of positional changes over the years, and it was time to regroup like-minded people. The idea was met with positivity and excitement as switching offices meant having new neighbors, new views and new beginnings. We could clean out our desks, and usher in a new era of uncluttered work life. I was excited about the move, and I understood the reason behind it. We all get so bogged down by the monotony of everyday work life that a change as simple as an office move can sometimes be the best thing to increase productivity and creativity. A change of scenery is most often the best cure for the ruts we find ourselves in.
After I got settled into my new office, I realized that it offers a beautiful view of our downtown. The room is uniquely shaped and affords me a bit more space than my previous office. While I don’t have the white noise, the blue jay, the beautiful oak tree or the bustling city street below, it does give me breathtaking sunrise moments that capture my attention and makes me grateful to live where I live.
Beautiful views aside, it didn’t take long before I realized that I couldn’t find my inspiration. At least not as quickly as I had in my old office. My work days became a struggle of trying to get into my flow and conquer the ever-increasing workload. While I was able to get my work done, I wasn’t able to get back to those early morning blog writing sessions that I once had. My creativity just wasn’t there. It wasn’t until I had a good conversation with a good friend at work that I realized my mistake.
Creativity, inspiration, and happiness are not the product of an office, house or place. Masters of any craft can create in any environment, no matter the conditions. Famous athletes can perform in any arena, field or city. Musicians can create a beat on a cardboard box or a child’s three-string guitar. Actors can act on the corner of any busy street of the most populous of cities. Masters of happiness can find joy in any situation, regardless of the place or time. What I have learned from my office shuffle is that my happy place is not in my office. It is right here, right now, sitting on my couch with a radio on in the background, a noisy dehumidifier running across from me and the pitch black view of a nighttime picture window.
My happy place is within me!