We all have things we think we're good at, things we pride ourselves on mastering. I have a few, I guess, but being organized is not one of them. Nobody would ever tell you that I am neat, or particularly organized, or orderly.
I seem unable to work unless I am surrounded by clutter. If I file things away neatly, I immediately lose them. If I stack them up in big teetering piles, I somehow know where everything is.
You've seen this picture before, or one very much like it; it's me at my desk last October. I believe when I posted it the first time, I claimed that the reason things were so messy was because I was deep in the Christmas books, and as soon as I got them all written about I could get rid of them and everything would be back to normal.
But the truth is, once the piles of Christmas books were finally dispatched with, other piles took their place. On the desk, on the cabinet, on the floor. Books out for review. Books I am writing about. Books I would like to write about. Books I would like to read, but maybe not write about. Regional books. Books that I would like to send out for review except for the fact that my budgets are already full through April. Books that we've already reviewed but I need to have available and close to hand just in case. (In case of what? Oh, who knows.) Also, news releases, notes from interviews, notebooks, budgets, and lots and lots of pens, scattered everywhere, because the three--count 'em, three--pen jars are crammed full.
I create this mess, I live with it, work in it, and yet I get frustrated. In my head, I picture a quiet place, with clean desktops and bright reading lamps and order, a soothing place to work and think. Instead--well, look at the picture.
When I did an interview earlier this week, I had nowhere to put my tape recorder. I keep losing my teacup. I have a big wide desk area that I try to keep clear so that I can read page proofs on Wednesdays, and see my calendar every day, but instead it ends up piled over and I have to shuffle stacks of books around in order to clear space so I can do my job.
Why can't I be more organized? Why can't I put things away? Why do I keep hauling up more books from the book room than we will ever have room to write about?
On Friday, I stayed at work late to clean off my desk. I filled a grocery cart with books that I need to bring back down to the bookroom, books that we've either already written about or never ever will. I cleaned off the side of my desk to reveal my calendar (and discovered an appointment I had forgotten about). I washed my teacup. I packed up all the books that were piled in heaps on the floor and dispersed them to other piles, which I labeled with Post-It notes.
All this is rather in vain, I fear. I already know what is going to happen, and so do you. On Monday morning, I will go to work. And I will not be able to find a thing.
ABC WEDNESDAY "S" Stony Sculpture
3 hours ago