The holidays — time for the “little” things

Did anybody really have a break this winter holiday? In our household there was a whole lotta working going on, though in my case most of it was at home, at least.

We’ve all heard the productivity gospel about making our work spaces comfortable. Why do we blow that off as a would-be-nice?

Karen, as a spa employee, worked Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve — but we still managed to celebrate. I worked whenever she did and played whenever she was available. We went on some great trail runs, made amazing meals, shared some old and new traditions with good friends, played a few curse-inducing matches of FIFA 2012, and overall did manage to rejuvenate.

Plus, I was fortunate enough to receive some much-appreciated gift cards from various family members. Between those and some Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales on various music software, I’ve got myself very inspired for another year of hard but totally fun work.

As mundane as it sounds, here’s one thing I’m quite excited about: A heater! Glamorous, right? The truth is, my little studio, a.k.a. the guest bedroom, is pretty cold throughout the winter. OK, it’s FREAKING GLACIAL. But not just any space heater will do. Loud fans have no place in my composing and mixing space.

I did some research and soon thought I’d found a stylish and compact solution in this hip little orange/white number from Sunpentown.

A review claimed that it was “absolutely silent.” Sadly, that’s absolute b.s. It’s cute as a button and quieter than many, but not silent by a long shot. Back it went.

In exchange, I’ve ordered a really well-reviewed oil-filled radiator heater by DeLonghi. As radiator style heaters go, it’s pretty sexy! …in a Darth Vader sort of way. So we shall see.

So, I know that this might seem like a small thing, but I realized last winter – yeah, a year ago! – that the cold was making my studio time uncomfortable, but I was too busy to do anything about it. I even caught myself avoiding working there – which meant I was out on the living room couch with headphones rather than good speakers, and with a fraction of the sound library I’d saved and saved for. Oh. And all because I didn’t want to be in there freezing my scrawny butt off. That had to end.

So I’m getting a heater, dadblammit, and I’m not settling for a cheap, noisy piece of crap, either.

Look, we’ve all heard the productivity gospel on this topic: Remove all possible obstacles. Make your work space humane, at minimum, and ideally inspiring and soulful too. Make it a joy to be there. So why do we blow that off? I’m really good at working hard… and not as good at taking time for creature comforts. But this stuff that might seem unimportant catches up to us.

What gifts will you give yourself for the New Year?

Advertisements

About CK Barlow

I'm a composer and music-technology instructor. In the summer of 2011, I decided it was time to give full-time music-making a shot, so I left my corporate job (I've always had one). That's part of what inspired Composing Kitchen, the blog I publish with my incredible spouse, Karen Milling. View all posts by CK Barlow

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: