After five years, I’m getting a desk. When my wife Katie and I arrived in Finland in 2014, we were fortunate to have a furnished apartment waiting for us. It was a dorm-style setup, with two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom. No living room. Each of the bedrooms had a bed, a desk, and a bookcase. We rearranged things so both beds were in one room, pushed together. The other room was our joint office/work space.
Less than a year later, we moved into our current apartment. Same size, but more open and a much better use of space. We have one bedroom and a living room. It’s nice to have a living room, but we lost the dedicated work space. We bought furniture, including a desk for Katie that’s set up in the living room. As I don’t require a lot of space, I decided I’d just work from the kitchen table.
In 2016 I started Dancing Lights Press. While I’m making a modest living as a writer, we’re still in the same small apartment. And I’m still working from the kitchen table.
Now, as a temporary solution it’s been fine. The problem is that it’s an Ikea NORDEN gateleg table (not sponsored). As a kitchen table it’s great, and can be easily reconfigured when guests come over. As a desk, it makes me swear a lot. There’s not a lot of leg room when you’re sitting at it 10 to 12 hours day. I’m constantly slamming my knee into the drawers, which are perfectly shaped for holding napkins and silverware but horribly impractical as desk drawers.
After Five Years, I’m Getting a Desk
Katie finally got tired of hearing me cuss and asked me what I needed from a desk. It’s not much. Room for my laptop, my bullet journal, a pencil cup, and a lamp. I am a minimalist, which is how I’ve managed to survive at the kitchen table at all. After some quick measurements I determined how much space I need. I don’t even need drawers, because I have a bookshelf next to me with the few sundry items I need occasionally that don’t have to live on the desk.
On Saturday we went to the local Ikea and ordered a basic white LINNMON/ADILS table. We don’t have a full-sized Ikea here in town. It’s a smallish storefront that has some small items, but it’s more likea catalog and fulfillment center. They’ll get one transferred in from a larger store about two hours away. It’s supposed to be here today, so as soon as we get the text message that it’s arrived we’ll go pick it up.
I realize that this isn’t a particularly exciting post, but this is huge for me. When you do something seven days a week, for a significant number of hours per day, having some basic comfort and workflow is an act of self-care. Given how inexpensive the new desk was, I have no idea why I never just ordered one before. Well, I do know. I have a nasty habit of never doing things for myself. This is why I’m grateful that Katie stepped in.