I don’t have a proper work desk.

black flat screen computer monitor on brown wooden desk

One luxury that people seem to indulge themselves with because of the recent work-from-home nature of most jobs is building their home setup. I toyed with the idea, but I’m always finding reasons not to do it: I don’t have the space, or I don’t have the money, or maybe that will not spark joy.

So I don’t have a permanent work desk.

But even before the WFH era bloomed, I had never tried to build my desk. Ever since I started working in 2010, I’ve lived in apartments. I’ve changed apartments a couple of times, depending on my work location. I would still go home on weekends with my laptop and books or Kindle.

Through all those years, I’ve learned not to rely on the permanence of things.

It starts from the practical sense. If I were to build my dream desk setup, how would I be if I were to work in a different place or if I changed apartments? I don’t want to rely on my setup being perfect for me to function well.

Inevitably, I brought that mindset to my creative practices. I would read articles suggesting writers and creatives have their rituals to create effectively. Brewing coffee, lighting a scented candle, putting flowers on the table. But I didn’t want to be hindered by them as well. What if there’s no coffee to perk me up? Will I not try to write then? So I decided to have my ritual as minimal as possible: I’ll put on some music, start the timer and start writing. With enough will, I can write on the sofa (like right now), I can write in a cafe, I can bring out a small notebook and write sitting on a bench, or maybe I’ll be lucky, and I’ll be writing on a desk sitting on a comfortable chair.

I didn’t have to look for the perfect time or setup.

Because I’m embracing the idea of impermanence.

I guess we aim for perfection because we want things to last. We tend to forget the impermanent nature of things. So we keep finding the perfect time, without knowing that the persistence we show in between breaths, the pockets of time in a busy day where we try to create, the few minutes we allow ourselves to do something small – those are the things that will build the legacy we’re longing for.

Looking at the more significant implication this has on our lives, it isn’t easy to accept that everything is, after all, temporary. The minutes you spent reading up to this point cannot be brought back. Flowers bloom and wither. And someday, we too, will be granted eternal rest.

So maybe, we can try to wear a different lens. Try to stop being perfect if we understand that everything is impermanent. Perhaps, with that mindset, we could even do more and be more.

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