It was such a small mountain, I hadn’t really given it much notice. But every day it occupied my view.
It didn’t start that way. Its foundations were formed on a handful papers brought home from my other office. Soon the contents of my briefcase were added to lighten my load before a trip. Upon them some books that I wanted to transcribe notes from. Scraps of post-it notes. Mail. Receipts. And endless tangles of computer, iPad and phone connectors. The once flat surface of my desk had morphed into a mountain.
Weeks ago, in my haste for space to work on a looming project, I quickly cleared some land. It wasn’t a fix though. Leveling one part of my desk only added weight to another. And to me. So this past weekend I went on an expedition. Or should I rather write excavation? It was a little of both.
Perhaps it was the start of new year, or the awareness that I need to focus on a huge deadline in front of me, that motivated me to clear my view of the clutter. It doesn’t matter. The climb to the top took me about four hours. It really was a like a climb. Every scrap of paper reminded my why I set it aside to begin with. One agonizing step after another, I made what seemed like a million decisions about what to do with my discoveries. The one decision I didn’t allow myself was to put what I find in another pile, or hide it in a desk drawer.
When climbers reach the summit of their mountain, they often stand with arms raised high. I did too, swelling with the exhilaration of victory over my own small mountain. I later wrote in my journal how surprised I was by the relief I felt from it. For far too long I carried the stress that mountain. The contents of its long forgotten hills and contours calling for my attention. And every day I labored in its midst, ignoring its growth pressing against me.
But no more. For I am king of this mountain.
Comment below: How’s your view? Is there a mountain in front of you that you need to climb?