Do you know where the pencil came from? In the 1500s, a storm tore down a tree in an English village, unearthing a shiny substance now known as graphite. Farmers began using it to mark sheep, then encased it in wood to prevent it from staining fingers, explains James Ward, the author of “The Perfection of the Paper Clip.” The rubber eraser was invented in the 1840s. Until then, the best “device” for removing pencil marks (believe it or not) was a piece of bread. (Real Simple, September 2016)
My current work space is the dining room table and a collapsible canvas box that contains files, notes, receipts, ideas, notepads, and other pieces of paper that are best kept in one small space. I report to my desk everyday in order to write this blog, check emails, and other clerical tasks.
Tomorrow is a new adventure. I’m starting a temp assignment at a local law firm and I’ll be a professional once again. At first, I was feeling overwhelmed. How will I handle all the work? Will I remember the local rules or how to create a signature block? Will I get up in time? Can I avoid the freeway traffic to get there on time?
After all the negative self-talk, I came to my senses. Of course I can do the work! I’m starting fresh with a new work space. I’ll grab a notepad, write down everything I’m being taught, do my job to the best of my ability, and then go home at night. The freeway traffic is, unfortunately, out of my control, so I’ll be sure to leave myself enough travel time in the morning.
I was with my last boss for over 30 years, and we worked together at several law firms. When we changed employers, I packed up my belongings in a box; that box (and additional boxes and bags) followed me from location to location. Hoarder much? In the last few months, I’ve gone through the boxed crap and, you know what? It was mostly garbage, and I wonder why I kept those boxes over the years.
What’s most exciting about tomorrow? No gadgets or trinkets to haul around. Nothing on that desk will be mine….although one day I may bring in a coffee cup. I feel excited and free right now, looking forward to a new work space, clean slate, a regular paycheck. Here’s to new beginnings.