Sunday, September 30, 2007

Now, Where Did I Put That..........

I simply must get organized! That has been my mantra for all of my adult life. It is a goal I have yet to achieve.

When I was working, I was the very model of efficiency. My desk was bare of everything except whatever I was currently working on. (How about that dangling preposition, Hillbilly Mom? If I had said that correctly, it would have gone something like this: "except on whatever I was currently working." Does that sound right? Of course not.) But, I digress. Don't say I didn't warn you.

All of my filing was always up to date. I was able to anticipate my boss's every wish - most of my bosses, anyway. The jerks and lunatics were harder to read. But, the ones who just wanted to maintain an even strain were easier to anticipate. They all had one thing in common. They didn't want to attract the attention of upper management. I always met my deadlines when publishing the company newsletter. I was hardly ever late.

On the job, I was an island of organization surrounded by the sea of chaos that was the rest of my life.

I spent countless hours planning what I would do after work each day, only to have the plan unravel as soon as I got home. "Mom, we're out of milk." "Mom, we need to go to Wal-Mart." So, back into the car I'd go, forgetting my great plan for the evening.

I'm also a nest builder. Beside my recliner, there is a basket that is always full of little pieces of paper, catalogs and other miscellany. More often than not, it overflows and when it starts creeping across the floor, I might or might not toss out the oldest items.

I have been known to leave the dinner dishes on the counter until the next day - or even later. And, for some odd reason, I don't like to empty the dishwasher of clean dishes so I can refill it with the dirty ones in the sink.

Periodically, I decide to clean out the drawers in the table next to my chair, but I usually get so distracted by things I find in there, that I spend the rest of the time reading little notes to myself, looking at photos that I stuffed in there instead of putting them in an album, or reading carry-out menus. Those drawers are a treasure trove. Finally, I'll decide it's getting late, so I stuff everything back in the drawers until the next time.

I can remember times when I rushed out to go to work only to see my car and house keys on the kitchen counter, mocking me through the window of my closed and locked carport door. It usually took about 45 minutes for the locksmith to get there. After doing that twice, I got wise and started carrying extra keys. Duh.

I regularly got in a hurry while putting away groceries and put things in the wrong places, sometimes disastrously. I put a fresh jug of milk in the cabinet with canned goods one day. I have a habit of thinking I am out of something, like ketchup or Miracle Whip, and that thought seems to travel in a loop for two or three weeks in a row, and I end up with multiple items.

At work, my calendar reflected the birthdays of all my friends and co-workers. At home, the calendar is blank, and so is my memory for such things. Now, when I have an appointment of some knd, I write it on a post-it note and stick it on the side of my chairside table so I will see it, presumably, in time to keep it. It's not foolproof, especially if the appointment is for something I didn't want to keep in the first place.

In spite of the notes, my doctor always has to track me down and reel me in when I've avoided him as long as possible. He is in collusion with the pharmacy, which I consider unsportsmanlike. Nevertheless, I will eventually go to pick up a renewal of my prescriptions and there will be an admonishment attached from my sneaky doctor informing me that, once again, time has run out and it's time to bite the bullet and go to his office for blood work and consultation.

For years, my door sported a post-it note reminding me to turn my thermostat up or down, depending on the season, so it wouldn't keep coming on all day and run my electric bill through the roof.

Every New Year's Eve I made the same resolution. "This year, I'll get organized." But, what's a girl to do when she has a mind like an unmade bed? I'll tell you what. She quits making that silly resolution!

21 comments:

Chancy said...

Once years ago I bought the book "Getting Organized"

and I lost the book....

Oh well.

Cazzie!!! said...

The old saying, —Be careful. what you ask for, because you might get it! ...
But, I digress..... I'd love to be organised too. Right now, School vacation time, organised CHAOS is what I have, haha

Tink said...

I'm a piler. I have neat little piles of things all around the house. But don't confuse "neat" with "organized." I have no idea what's in them. Maybe that checkbook I've been missing for two months? Maybe that shirt that went missing last week? I wish I could be more organized. But when is there time?

Hillbilly Mom said...

Congrats on that preposition you ended your sentence with! My work environment is much more organized than home as well. At home, I am a boxer. I will sort through the pile on the kitchen counter after it becomes too unstable, and deposit the vital items in a box. The box goes downstairs in my office. I have a total of 17 awaiting sorting. Don't tell the fire marshall. I think I could probably just toss that stuff by now, but I might miss a keepsake of my kids' school careers.

And I must also add: WOW! You have a DISHWASHER?

Joy Des Jardins said...

I swear we were separated at birth Betty. I've been trying FOREVER to get motivated to get organized. I need to 'weed out' a lot of things...organize. Everytime I try....it seems so overwhelming that I run the other way. This is stuff from all four of my kids....stuff they haven't bothered to think about and take with them. And, I'm the worst one...I hesitate to throw ANYTHING out...I'm probably the most nostalgic of the bunch...well, maybe not. I've saved everything from all their school years and a lot of their games and toys, etc. HELLO! And...it's not just their stuff. I need to focus on organizing all this stuff instead of live at my computer....but it's so much more fun. Boy, did you hit a chord with this post. Thanks....I think.

Kell said...

I love organizing my plans to organize. I make so many lists that you'd think I was the most organized person, but it's all an illusion.

susan said...

You can just stop making that resolution? Huh, what a concept, I'm SO with you!

John said...

My wife is a list addict, but we still end up with a cupboard full of cans of tuna.

her indoors said...

great idea there - i won't make the new year resloution -! i used to be organised, now i just blame it on my age!

Betty said...

chancy: I have a feeling that book wouldn't have done me any good.

cazzie: Maybe, when the kids are grown.....

tink: I'm a piler, too.

hillbilly mom: A dishwasher doesn't do you much good if you don't fill it up, and then turn it on. Turning it on is the hard part, the one I forget to do.

Betty said...

joy: I think four kids would make one permanently organization-challenged. lol

kell: You know, I make lots of lists, too. Then, I forget where I put them, or forget to take them with me.

john: Cans of tuna are fine, if you have a cat.

her indoors: I can blame it on my age now, too. It's a relief.

Lena said...

Never mind, at least the intention is always around. And I know how you feel when it comes to plans that others whip away from you! Rotters....!lol

Claude said...

I have never been organised, and I guess that at the ripe age of 63, it will never happen :(

Betty said...

lena: I don't even have the intention any more.

claude: Probably not, but now you can blame your age! A win-win situation.

CarmenSinCity said...

I am equally unorganized at work and at home. I don't even care that much. hehe

Newt said...

This post assured me that I am not alone. In so many ways. It was the going through a drawer and getting totally distracted by the contents that cracked me up. I have spent hours rummaging through drawers. The fascinating things that are in there.

Betty said...

carmensincity: I think it's better to be disorganized everywhere - or organized everywhere.

newt: You ought to see what happens when I start cleaning the closet that has my old yearbooks in it.

SirFWALGMan said...

I used to be psychotically organized and one day I said "Fuck this!" and tore up my room throwing everything out of place. Now I am just Psychotic.

Patsy said...

I have three suggestions that might help you:
1 - Flylady.com
2 - Microsoft Works - Task - it will remind you to do whatever you list and however many times that you want it to.
3 - Once I owned a book (now the hard part- i am not sure of the title) some like: Organization for the Left Sided Brain I do not remember the title either; but it was a different way of thinking. Good luck with whatever.

Sister--Three said...

Well, my desk is piled high and I like it that way. I dig through the pile to find what I want. Sometimes I have 3 piles on my desk. They say if the new superintendent sees it ...he will tell me to straighten it up or else. And I will say or else what?
Nothing...teehee One advantage of being on the same job 36 years is they don't want to embarrass themselves!

Betty said...

sirfwalgman: Did I get that name right? Welcome to my padded room.

patsy: Thanks for the advice, but I'm way too far gone to get organized, now. lol

sister-three: Sounds like you're in the driver's seat, all right. Good for you!