I love summer. If the sun is out and I don’t need a parka or umbrella on my front deck, then outside is where I’ll probably be. However, since a lot of my work is done on a laptop, this desire to be outside sometimes creates problems.
After being gently advised by my massage therapist to find a more ergonomic way to write in my outside office—my front deck—I went searching in my attic for a TV tray that could work as a desk. And I discovered an old wooden one that used to belong to my grandparents. It is sturdy and strong and fairly large, but, unfortunately not really tall. But it was better than what I had been doing, balancing my laptop on my lap or leaning over the wicker coffee table.
I experimented with this arrangement during some of the hottest days this summer. I began in the morning in the sun, then, when I grew too hot, I moved to the shady corner of the deck. Despite its age, the old wooden TV tray worked well and I turned out a lot of new material on my novel, all while enjoying the outdoor life I crave.
All was well for a couple days. Then I ran into a snag that fortunately didn’t result in a broken laptop. When I showed Richard my new “desk,” we both discovered a problem. The TV tray—no surprise, the thing was probably fifty years old—was in serious need of TLC. The support bar that kept the legs upright was split down the middle; it had been repaired before but the repair now needed a repair (if you’re lost, don’t feel bad).
Long story short, I had been playing Russian Roulette with my laptop but I hadn’t known it. To continue to use this TV tray would certainly now be foolish.
“I can’t work on this until the weekend,” Richard told me.
“But what am I supposed to do? Go back to leaning over the coffee table?”
As Richard so often does, he had a better solution. He went out to the shed and found a real TV tray—still old, but who cares—with metal legs. The thing was flimsy and covered in sawdust but, once cleaned up and assembled, was taller than the original and just as useful.
I’ve been using it ever since.
The point of course is that we will find a solution for every problem if we want to enough. There is no way I am going to work inside on a gloriously, sunny, hot day, even if that means an extra visit to the chiropractor and massage therapist. But, if I can do it better, I want to. If I can avoid injuring myself, I want to find a way.
What problem are you facing today? Trust me, there is a creative solution. Perhaps you’ll just need to try something to weed out what doesn’t work. Or perhaps your first attempt will be all you’ll need. Don’t let a technicality get in between you and your dreams.