What The Affair Illustrates About Making Things Work

I recently watched the first three seasons of The Affair. For those who aren’t familiar with the show, it’s about a novelist named Noah who is married with four children. He has an affair with a married woman he encounters while visiting his in-laws for the summer and the show “examines the psychological and emotional fallout” of the affair. There’s also a mystery that keeps everyone together.

I found the show to be incredibly fascinating and could write a more in depth post about what I like and what I didn’t like (because there is one aspect to the show that I really didn’t care for), but today I want to talk about one detail that caught my eye in season two. Like, I was on Instagram while I watched the episode and I put my phone down when I saw this particular detail and watched with rapt attention.

Noah gets up early and walks into the bathroom. The counter is covered in books and notebooks and the mirror is filled with post-its. My first thought was, “He’s using the bathroom as an office.” Nah, who actually does that?

Noah Solloway, does. As soon as the thought crossed my mind, Noah pulled out a board with his computer on top, placed it over the sink and got to work. And that, my friends, is genius.

I’m not talking about the working over the sink part. The slightly paranoid part of me worried about water gushing over the computer if the sink somehow turned on. 😁 It’s the making what you have work for you part.

What the TV show "The Affair" illustrates about making things work. // dreams-etc.com

So often I think, “I need this” or “I need that” to get things done. And I know I’m not the only one–I hear it from others as well. I need an officeBut if you don’t have space for an office, what nook can you adapt to be a workspace when you’re working? I need a desk. But if you don’t have a desk and can’t afford one or don’t have room for one, how can you create a makeshift desktop that fits the workspace you have? I need a better computer. But is yours functional? And if not, what other way can you get the job done? If you’re a writer, all you really need is paper and pencil. (I actually know someone who drafts each novel by hand and types it when the novel is finished.) I need more time. Can you get up a little earlier or stay up a little later? Can you prepare tools that will help you work “on the go?”

And yes, I think there are naturally ebbs and flows to your ability to work, especially if your creative passion isn’t your full-time job. My excuse is often time. I wish I had more time. Sometimes, when I realize this is a constant refrain, I look at things like how much TV I’m watching. And then there are periods like the present. Let me tell ya something: I feel like April is kicking. my. ass. It’s been busy and chaotic. At the beginning of the month my goals for April were to write an hour a day for Camp NaNo (at least I’m not at zero?) and to get through my full editorial calendar for this little space (LOLs… all we need to do is look through recent posts to see how well that turned out). At this point my goal for April is survival.

But when our excuses start to surface and it becomes a regular thing, I think it’s time to examine them. In an ideal world we’d have endless time, the best equipment and tools, the most beautiful and inspiring office space. If we don’t, we need to adapt to whatever our “limitations” are.

So, here’s to making things work! For me that means surviving the week (this was supposed to go up on Wednesday, not Friday) and intentionally carving out time to write in May. I think I’m going to put that time on my calendar so that it can’t be claimed by something else. What does making things work mean for you?

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  • Reply
    April 28, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Oh, I loved that show so much (though I couldn’t STAND Noah. I just hated everything about his character and found him hard to listen to sometimes. But that’s a comment for another day, LOL)… Anyway, this is a great post and I really hadn’t thought about that before (and I also don’t remember him using his bathroom as a workspace, but really does exemplify that you can make it work just about anywhere). We really don’t need much outside of our passion and perseverance!

    Great post, Crystal!

    • Reply
      Crystal @ Dreams, etc.
      April 28, 2017 at 5:44 pm

      I really enjoyed the show and overall I really liked it. It’s a fascinating show and I loved the way they tell the story. It would be a fun show to dissect from a storytelling standpoint. 🙂 I agree on Noah, though. I can’t stand him! At the end of S3 he had a moment where I just thought, “Wow, you’re not being a complete ass and you’re actually putting someone else above yourself. That’s a shock!”

      It was a very quick blip in S2 and then he mentioned it to his agent briefly in a conversation. I don’t think it was meant to stand out, but it totally did to me. 🙂

      Thanks, Charlotte!

      • Reply
        April 29, 2017 at 9:38 am

        I love the versions of every storyline, too–it’s so fascinating how differently men/women sometimes view the same things and this show really captures that. I almost stopped watching because of Noah, but I’m glad I didn’t… because it’s a great show, and overall he does eventually (kinda) redeem himself. Maybe. I dunno 🙂

        XOXO and hope you’re enjoying the weekend!

  • Reply
    Beth Kondrick
    April 28, 2017 at 10:34 am

    I haven’t ever seen this show and now I’m curious! And what an interesting take on making things work for you! I really like your thoughts on this!

    • Reply
      Crystal @ Dreams, etc.
      April 28, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      It’s a good show, for the most part I really enjoyed it. I love how the story is told and now that I’ve watched it once and gotten a feel for it, I think it would be interesting to rewatch and pick out the little details. But that’s probably the lit major in me who’d like to analyze this show like I’d analyze a book. 😂 Thanks, Beth! I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  • Reply
    April 28, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Great post! I don’t know the show, but that doesn’t matter – I like the idea of making things work for you that you got form the show. It’s so true!! 🙂


  • Reply
    Sheryl @ How to Make a Life
    April 29, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Oh Yes, I believe we often get caught up on accomplishing something because we do not have the “Right” things. We think we will write better, perform better if we have _______________. This is a reminder that often we all have too much and need to learn to live with what we have.

  • Reply
    Shani Ogden
    April 30, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    When I think about making things work, I think about sacrificing things like sleeping in so I have uninterrupted time to work on my blog. Everyone only has 24 hours in a day, but it’s up to us how we use them.

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