Sunday, August 16, 2020

WRESTLING WITH ORGANIZING

 I've started getting more organized than ever before in my life, and I'm discovering that it is an ongoing process. I got my desk cleared off, appointments listed on my calendar, and my Post-it Notes arranged in a box like quirky rainbows that bring a smile to my face while delighting the eye.

At the recommendation of one of my coaches (Caroline Garnet McGraw, A Wish Come Clear), I wrote 5 small tasks from the list given to me by my publisher on Post-it Notes, and each day I choose one to do, moving my book publishing adventure one step ahead, without scaring off my inner rebel who doesn't want anyone, including myself, giving her orders! Since I can choose whichever one I want to do, I sidestep the sense that it is a requirement.

Phone calls are the most difficult for me, ever since I was in 7th grade and my mother insisted that I had to call one of my teachers to apologize for my sullen behavior at school that day.  I pleaded with her not to make me do it, but she was adamant.  I undoubtedly needed to apologize and my teacher was very kind when she came to the phone, but the damage was done and it still lingers, springing out at me when I least expect it. For most of the quarantine, I have needed to take my French horn in for its annual electronic cleaning, and replacement of the cork pads which have worn down so that when I am playing, each time I depress a valve lever, there is often a click. I keep putting it off and thinking I'll do it another day, or that they are not open yet, except that I got an email from them not long ago saying that they had reopened with all the proper precautions.  Yesterday, I had it on my calendar, and decided to call them first before I called my granddaughter to wish her a Happy Feast Day.  Once I'd made the call, a very helpful man answered my questions, checked that they had a Jupiter horn that I could rent and told me I could come right in.  I have had excellent service every time I go to Bertrand's Music Mart, and they were just as friendly when I brought my horn in as they have always been, despite being disguised by masks. (I've known the owners and their four sons for years, but couldn't recognize if it was one of the sons behind his mask.  He wasn't, but he was also extremely helpful.) When I got home, I called my granddaughter, had a nice chat with her, and then talked to my daughter and told her how proud I was of myself for making that phone call. My children all know that phone calls are a challenge for me, so they let me brag when I overcome my reluctance!

Friday night I had finally chosen and revised the poems for a contest and sent them in via Submittable, which more poetry journals are using now than ever before.  But it had gotten late, and I hadn't filed the last batch of poems that were declined or the ones I just submitted. So my pristine desk--and my work table--were covered with binders, poems, and notes to myself about which poems I had sent and which had been declined.  It seems as if as soon as I get my desk cleared off, something happens and papers pile up as if they were magnetically drawn to the clean, empty surface. But yesterday, I got everything put away, got one of my bills put back on autopay and once again have a clear desk to welcome me in the morning. There are other parts to my current organizing system that I need to use more regularly, such as my reminders to send birthday and anniversary cards, but I am slowly getting those under control, and hope that I will never again discover three Christmas cards from last year that I never opened, in a pile that I am just starting to clear off.  As my horn teacher says, at least once each lesson, "Rome wasn't built in a day."  And an organized office, run by an easily distracted woman, isn't created in a day either. But I'm building it, one colorful Post-it Note at a time!

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