Before I tell you how new bookshelves inspired me to organize my life, I feel compelled to shriek SPRING STEAL ALERT! For a limited time, you can pre-order the ENTIRE Men of the Zodiac Series boxed bundle for .99. I wrote IMPULSE CONTROL, the first book in the series. Russ is an Aries, impulsive, energetic, hot-headed, and dynamite in the sack. Just like the author! 🙂 Each story in the series has an alpha hero who is a different zodiac sign. All the stories are connected by a secret detail, but they are complete on their own and don’t have to be read in order. If this sounds like your jam, grab it now. If not, read on…
My mother used to always say, “It’s okay to want,” when I was being particularly demanding. In my childish mind, all of my “wants,” were “needs,” of course. The maturing brain is a funny thing. I don’t remember myself as being obnoxious or irritating, but my mother frequently told my sister and I to go outside and run around the house ten times. Now that I have three kids, I know there must have been a darn good reason for that suggestion, and that changes the whole landscape of my childhood. Perhaps my father was justified when he knocked our heads together and called us “flaming assholes” at Arby’s that time? I do vaguely remember stealing cherry tomatoes off the salad bar and hiding them in my cheek so my sister could pop them by slapping me…seemed perfectly reasonable at the time!
But that’s neither here nor there.
For my whole life I’ve WANTED great bookshelves. One of my Facebook friends posts pictures of amazing libraries and cool ways to store books, and those pictures inspire lust and longing in me. One day I fell down a rabbit hole of such pictures and found a wall of books, floor to peaked ceiling, surrounding a door. It was so cool! I wanted it for my family room, but purchases like that are hard to justify when I scramble twice a year to pay the property taxes and look forward to that tax refund like it’s sex with Ryan Reynolds.
But after a year or so (or a lifetime) of wanting, I decided to HAVE that wall of books.
And Mom is right. It IS okay to want, but books have never been a want for me. I need to read. It’s the way I recharge. I get lost in another world for a while, and then I come back to ours, ready to keep chugging. There’s a lot of chugging to do in life…and a lot of books laying around my house. A lot of clutter. Things in need of homes. Especially books.
Books that now live here:
Corey Kertzie, craftsman and drummer, had the passion, creativity, and skill to build these amazing shelves after looking at one picture and having a conversation with me that went something like this: “I want shelves like this, but they don’t have to look exactly like this picture. I don’t know how to build anything except cake, so I don’t know what is possible and not possible. What do you think?” *I* think he’s a genius, and I owe a lifetime of salted caramels to Jessica Topper for recommending him.
All the worlds I’ve loved since childhood have taken their place on a shelf. The kids proudly display their Harry Potters and Riordans. My husband has a shelf for his beloved comic books. There’s a shelf for library books. Books-in-progress. Books-to-be-read. Cookbooks (lots of cookbooks). *happy sigh*
And now that all my basement books have come upstairs, I’m moving collected clutter to the shelves downstairs. I’m boxing up the things I don’t need. I’ve ordered storage thingies for file folders. Hanging shoe storage. I bought a paper shredder for fifteen years of documents in my closet. I’m getting rid of the things that don’t “spark joy” even though I haven’t read that KonMari book my neighborhood BFF Melissa keeps recommending. Maybe it’s my glorious new shelves, maybe it’s spring, maybe it’s my impending birthday, or my renewed joy in my work, but I feel a positive change in the wind.
So yes, it’s okay to want. But sometimes granting yourself permission to have something you’ve wanted for a long time, large or small, simple or complex, can inspire change. (As long as it doesn’t put you in the poorhouse, of course. My shelves were financed by royalties earned from work I did over a year ago and my Wegmans job, which as you might know felt like the death of my dream at the time). So much joy now! I have a wall of bookshelves, and somehow that means I can organize my life.
As my middle kid would say: “Don’t question it.”
Just be grateful.
Are you grateful for something? Inspired? Changing? Has something brought you joy lately? I’d love to hear about it. Joy is contagious. I hope you’ll spread yours in the comments or somewhere else in your world.
Lastly, I’m building up my New Release Newsletter in anticipation of my new series. I’m going to do a sneak peak at the end of March for all subscribers. If you’d like to see what I’m working on and be the first to hear about new releases, please subscribe (to my tribe) (couldn’t resist the rhyme) (a poetry major, beyond her time).