This post was written standing up.
I believe I have mentioned here, frequently, how much I adore my in-laws. In fact, yesterday I blogged about the beautiful cross-stitch my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas. Tom did not cross-stitch anything. However, he did build me a standing computer desk.
As Tom told me several times yesterday, "This is only a mock up." It’s built with waste wood, and he gave it to me suspecting it had ended up an inch or so too tall. (He was right, but it’s not if you stand on yoga bricks.)
I asked for this on Sunday, and it was waiting for me when I came to see Tom yesterday. I wanted it because I’d read awhile back about people standing and writing, and it sounded intriguing, and because as I explain the back pain story to everyone, they all tell me how they’re sure it’s all that computer use, and while I’m sure they’re right, the scary thing is there was hardly any computer use in December, and it kept getting worse. Since I have big plans to do a hell of a lot of writing through 2009, more than ever if I can get away with it, I thought I’d best figure out how to get around the death-by-back-pain issue. Strategy one is taking all the medication. Strategy two is going to PT and launching carefully back into the exercise regimen that honestly wasn’t doing too badly until I kept getting sick. Strategy three is to make sure fifty percent of the day’s writing work is done standing.
What I like about this idea is that there is this sense of flee-anytime that is oddly grounding. Standing at a computer makes you feel like you’re just there to dash something off. Obviously this will change if I do this too much, but it’s a nice mind trick right now. On the other hand, it does in fact mean you can leave very easily. No cat on my lap (though they are loving that underpass, let me tell you.) When I’m doing one of my insane bits where I write a few lines, then run away, it will be so much easier, especially since I plan to write in tennis shoes. Though there’s a lot to be said for the yoga bricks. I’m sort of shifting back and forth on my legs right now, and sometimes I kick my heel off the edge and stretch out my calf muscle. All while composing a journal entry. God, the shit this could do for fiction. Of course, standing on the floor has a nice grounding effect, and it keeps my shoulders more square, which makes me think Tom got the height better than he thought.
The only thing I am not liking is that boy does the iMac seem unstable way up here. I think it’s because the cats keep walking, and also because I can’t bear to center it because there’s no wall behind it, just that weird shuttered-window into Anna’s room. The nice thing is Tom made it narrower than the desk, so TARDIS (my external hard drive) is sitting down on the actual desk. I think I can beef up the bottom with heavy books–the printed version of TWA just went down there, and that helped. English Furniture and Nelson’s Navy will help, too, on the other side. There–actually, this is pretty good. I think if this stand goes any shorter, it should only be half an inch. The real kicker is the keyboard–it hunches your shoulders no matter what you do. I’d need one cut in half so I could put each section in front of each hand. Now why isn’t anyone making that, I ask you? I know, the ergonomic keyboard. No. They don’t do it for me. Not far enough apart, and I hate that mountain slope thing.
But no, this is very good, this standing up. I keep shifting my feet and loosening my hips. The real trick is to not lock your knees, and that’s harder than you think. The tennis shoes are going to help, and might take care of that last half inch, too.
Actually, my favorite part about all this is having somebody like Tom on my team, who not only built this thing so fast, but had fun doing it, and even showed me the wood and spindles he’d use for the pretty version when I was absolutely sure what I wanted.
Back doesn’t hurt just now, which is the first morning in like ever. Physical therapy at 4PM, and I still have lots of vicodin and muscle relaxants. Okay, my left hip is a little tight. But hey. I have a standing desk.
I also ordered Absolute Sandman Volume 1 today. Thank you to the many people who have given me gift cards.