Saturday, November 01, 2008


I am a novelist, a creator, an actress of sorts, a romantic, and a generally goofy person who probably has a touch of undiagnosed ADHD. What I am not is an organizer, a plotter, a planner, a supervisor, or a multi-tasker. Therefore, I have boxes, drawers, and cabinets full of unsorted papers, ancient papers, that is, dating back to high school and college days; old report cards, outdated car insurance tabs, oil change records from autos I no longer possess, medical insurance statements from 1970 (exaggeration), and so on. In case you're wondering, Cecil has his own filing system in his office, and never the twain shall meet. So there's my filing system, which pretty much stinks, and there's Cecil's, which stinks less.

Now, as my writing career takes wing, I find my flawed, foppish filing system falling further into futility, and frankly, I'm full-out frustrated!

So, I was talking to one of my girls about this in the car the other day, telling her I'm at that stage, what with publishing contracts and other important work-related papers floating around in unknown places, business receipts lying under paperweights and stuck in corners, where I need to hire someone to ORGANIZE ME! I said, "I will pay someone $15 per hour (I don't know what the going rate is, but I threw out that figure) to go through all my files -- redistribute, purge, sort, shred, whatever it takes, and get me on the right track. She quickly raised her hand. "Mom! I can do that!"

"You can?" I almost drove off the road. This is the girl who never cleaned her bedroom as a teen, well, rarely. Only when she could no longer make a path to her bed. "Seriously?"

"Seriously. I'm good at that stuff."

"You are?" Now that she's married and has a child, I will admit her housekeeping skills have changed dramatically. She hates dust, dirt, and disarray. But she likes money and the chance to make a little extra as the holidays draw near.

So, guess what. I hired her! And she is doing a great job. Well, I cringe every time I hear the shredder, but that's beside the point. "What are you shredding now?" I call from my computer.

"You don't need to know!"

At one point she did come into my office with a stack of papers and ask, "Mom, why are you saving these?" They were my gas and electric bills from the past 20+ years all clipped together. I told her I like to compare costs from year to year. She asked why. I said, "Um, I don't know really. So I can get depressed?" She shook her head at me, and 30 seconds later, I heard the shredder. There went the last 20 years of utility statements! Blink! Gone! But so much of my life was wrapped up in those utility statements. (Just kidding.)

Okay, so this will be a good thing in the end, right? I will have a system that works. Tonight she asked me if I'm going to maintain this "system" once she has it all in place, and I told her I absolutely would, but I had my fingers crossed behind my back when I said it. "Mom." She gave me that narrow-eyed, scolding look. "I'm going to have to keep checking up on you." Wait! Who's the mother here?

Well, for the past few days the paperwork's been scattered across the floor in the guest bedroom downstairs. She has already filled one HUGE garbage bag to the brim with shredded papers. (Dear Lord, what of my life is going to the dump?) And she is working on the next bag! (Help me! I've created a monster.) Anyway, thought you'd like to see a photo of my assistant hard at work, earning her 15 bucks an hour.

Oh, and she has to have this done by next Friday, as I'm having that bridal shower at my house, you remember. Never can tell who might wander downstairs and peek into the guest bedroom. I wouldn't want anyone thinking I'm not organized! teehee


Gwen said...

Fun post, Shar! Love how you write. Sounds like your assistant is a good hire!

Rich and Darcie said...

And what a lovely assistant she is too! So good to be organized and get rid of old papers.

Love to you!

Nise' said...

She is a gal after my own heart!! Organization is my thing!