I am grateful to have an office with a window (caulked shut,
plastic-covered, and grimy, but a source of some natural light) and a desk with
a real wooden top. I admire that lovely wooden top late, late, late on the Friday
before I go on vacation. That’s when I maniacally sort, toss and deal with all
the paper that my first publisher (and recently retired chamber VP) Linda
Toohey tried, unsuccessfully, to teach me to handle once.
|Vacation Eve. Nice (for me)|
Why can’t I keep things neat? Why can’t I put away each
markup, printout, memo, note, letter and resume before proceeding to the next
one? If I put my mind to it, I tell myself on the eve of each vacation, I can
keep my desk as neat as it is at that moment.
Clutter creep began the second I returned from vacation, and
it didn’t take long to be back to where I was before, with all new stuff.
|End of first day back from vacation.|
|Two weeks later: Clutter creep complete|
By the end of my first day back at work, the cover-up was
underway. On my desk were Pink Sheets, Saratogians, notebooks, reference check
forms, my red coffee mug (a Christmas gift one year from Assistant Managing Editor
Betsy DeMars) and a fortune cookie (leftover from lunch, getting my Chinese
food fix after vacation on the Cape).
Two weeks later, what do we have: a hopeless morass
newspapers, story planning sheets, primary election flyers, 11 Rolodex cards, two
DVDs of reporter applicant tests, my watch (which I always take off and
sometimes forget), my aforementioned red mug, a travel mug, three water bottles
(two of them empty), my cell phone and my iPad.
Well, I hear it’s beautiful out today — and if I wrap this
up I can enjoy 30 minutes of daylight. That should be my priority. I can clean
my desk tomorrow.