It was extremely difficult for me to choose between the topics for this blog cycle. Should it be time-management or marketing?
How about Sumo Wrestling? Because I am sure that were I to suit myself up in that butt-cheek dividing diaper and go mano a mano with some huge fat man with sleek dark hair pulled back just so, I could seriously be better at that than either marketing my own work or managing my time. It's not that I haven't tried. I have purchased many products, the most recent of which is pictured below, the first pocket of which holds all the errands I planned to run Monday. Register the car, renew the daughter's passport, mail back the shoes that didn't fit. I got the idea from this extremely entertaining (I'm saying HOURS of enjoyment!) series on the organized home. I want to be this woman. The labels! The systems! Everything in its place. Except that when I set out to 'get things done," which has become an inside joke since I flunked the lessons of the extremely popular book of the same name, I discovered it was a federal holiday! So maybe today I will set out to GET THINGS DONE, unless my blogging takes forever or I blow it off for yoga. After all, there's something to be said for procrastination.
The BINDER system, unplugged.
So I'm trying. As my dear friend Jane Ulrich would say, "very trying."
I bought this thingie too.
That purchase was from November, when I was seriously going to change my life. Until I totally, seriously, hard-to-believe-but-true, forgot it was there! Yesterday my dear husband commented on it, saying, oh, so nice organizer and I looked at it and said, I can't believe I walked the aisles of Staples today and almost bought another To Do, To File, In Box divider.
Is it any wonder that I'm still doing this?
and this and this ??????????
I fear I am incapable of doing things the way other people, even the ones I want to emulate so badly, tell me to. My organizational theory is more like a containment of clutter in some places so that I can keep other parts of my life, th. e more visible ones, orderly. Like this.
But even in my somewhat symettric neatness, I'm prone to sabotage. For example, on that coffee table, I had to arrange things a certain way.
So sue me if I can't make a joke.
I also am a big believer in PRETTY.
So, for instance, the only folder system I've ever been able to follow, involves an accordian file I found in Florence. It's so pretty!
Not only that, but it hides piles of file behind it. A two-fer!
Best of all, because I love using it, I put things I love in there. Things I want to remember. Things the clutter experts would have thrown out years ago. Here are the contents of one sleeve, which obviously, I do not categorize.
From top left to bottom, here are its marvelous souvenirs. A picture from my daughter's first grade, my acceptance letter on my first manuscript, my premie son's birth announcement, a letter from my 8 year old daughter begging me to let her ride in a car that I wasn't driving to a dance competition, a card, a photo, the set list from a favorite Bruce Springsteen concert, a letter a wrote my brother a week before he died, in which I told him everything I admired about him, and a letter from my siblings in 2010 when I was recovering from cancer and my dad was dying of congestive heart failure and we were all gathered in New Hampshire to be with him.
My point? I held onto these because I knew they were precious, and also because I really wanted to untie the ribbon and use my PRETTY folder. I love knowing my treasures are contained therein. So I guess if I were to advise all you wannabee sumo wrestlers out there, I'd say try doing what works for you, don't worry if it's not like everyone else's system, or if it's the opposite of a system. Some of us were born to organize, others to run. Others still are just holding on by the seat of our pants to the things we know we need to remember. And it's not the errands that so dearly need running, it's not the passport that must be renewed, but those parts of time that have fled so quickly, leaving in their place simply text on a page in their stead, photos we can't quite believe, or maybe a vase of flowers, long gone but not forgotten.