Wiping the Whiteboard Clean

What is it about a whiteboard that binds us to commitment? List an idea on a whiteboard, and suddenly, it must be done. Thoughts are richer. Lists are more cohesive. A spark of imagination is recorded as truth.

Today, I wiped my whiteboard clean.


A clean whiteboard. All I left was my inspirational posters that remind to never quit and to continue to sparkle along with a press clipping of my son that inspires me to follow my dreams.

Normally, that 3 1/2 X 5-foot space is a brainstorming mecca. I write my ideas down before they float away. I organize, prioritize and then gaze at my mind-flow from behind my desk, thinking of all the greatness I will achieve when these ideas take fruition in the form of presentations, blog posts and well-managed projects.

Today, I wiped it clean before I even had the chance to embark on the list of 2013 goals I had begun developing long before January rolled around. I wiped them all away, first with the felt-backed eraser, then with the cleaning solution that came in the handy dry-erase marker set.

Gone are my plans…, and suddenly I feel freer and lighter than I did when I walked from my office yesterday.

I hadn’t expected the feeling of liberation I experienced when I took that first pass of the eraser across the board.  Some words vanished with ease, but others had been in place for so long, they clung to the surface. Only thin strips disappeared, my ideas so permanent only sheer determination could clear them completely.

I scrubbed and scrubbed, sometimes with one hand clutched around the foam block, sometimes with both as I added more force. I didn’t want to see these thoughts any more. I didn’t want them taunting me from across the room.

Finally, they were gone entirely. In there place was a swirling film of red, blue and green. I launched a second assault with cleaning solution and paper towel. The colors cleared, and I was left with nothing but a blank field of white.

I stepped back, and unexpectedly sighed with relief.

I had been frustrated after meetings the previous day, having just found out I would be forced to realign my expectations in the aftermath of a corporate reorganization. I glared at the whiteboard this morning, knowing the goals I had set for myself would no longer help me succeed. The future seemed too uncertain to count on these plans. I could find no joy or excitement in reviewing them every time I lifted my eyes from my computer. They had to go.

Now with the remnants of carefully planned strategies physically wiped away, I can see clearer.

I see the freshness of things to come, the newness of things yet to experience. I am excited to discover what the next steps will be, and I am filled with anticipation of making new lists, setting new goals and proving myself on new territory.

Last week, in the wake of New Year’s celebrations, my whiteboard glowed with promise.

Yesterday, it screamed disappointment.

Today, it is clean, and I am ready to start over.

How do you handle things when faced with a significant change?

***This post was written as submission for The Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge which tasked bloggers to creatively capture the theme “Starting Over.”  I spent two days planning a light-hearted post on the Young One having to start over with her self-image when I decided she needed to grow out her bangs. Then corporate shake-up and reorganization happened.  I ended up with a new boss with a new vision, and when I erased my whiteboard, I knew what I needed to post this week.

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