Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The blog entry without a clever title.

Many years ago when Counselor Shelley was in grad school, she had an interesting assignment. She had to draw her family as animals. (Gee, grad school sounds a lot like kindergarten sometimes.)

Remember, Shelley’s undergraduate degree is in Art. While the rest of her classmates pulled out notebook paper with stick-figure animals scrawled on it, Shelley’s was drawn by colored pencils on high-quality paper. Even more importantly, her animal family actually looked like animals.

Her hubby (a lawyer) became a shark. Her mom, a peacock. Her pregnant little sister was a kangaroo with a joey in her pouch. Shelley herself was a flamingo, and her stepfather was an owl. (Yes, these are all good choices—I’ll let you speculate as to why.)

Me? Shelley drew me as a sheep dog. Why? Well, because I’m always trying to organize everyone and everything. Instead of barking, I’m the one clapping my hands shouting, “Work WITH me, people!”

Kimberly, the sheep dog. (Keep the dog jokes to yourself, okay?)

Shelley’s not the only one who sees my sheep dog tendencies. The Playfriends seem to think I’m uber-organized for some reason as well.

Well, sorta. I’m schizophrenically organized. My office supplies are in sorted into clear plastic shoeboxes, contents listed clearly on white labels. My desk looks like a disorganized teenager dumped the contents of a backpack on to it—candy wrappers and all. All the events I’m planning have their own multi-sectioned, top-punched folders. Other small projects are in manila folders. All folders live in a Lucite hanging file organizer. But I’ve lost my checkbook four times in the past two weeks.

Ask me where my keys are this moment. Not a stinkin’ clue. Downstairs, somewhere. Probably close to my purse—wherever I left that. Ask me where the warranty information for the iron is. Third drawer of the filing cabinet, in the folder labeled “small appliances.” (No, I didn’t even have to go check.)

My watch hasn’t shown the correct date in five years. My shoes live in a giant pile on the floor of my closet (Amazing Child and I play a fun game—I find one of the shoes I want to wear, then she goes and digs for the other. I’m sure that’s teaching her some kind of important science skill.) But my CDs are in alphabetical order, and all the love letters Darling Geek wrote me while we were dating are in the top drawer of the file cabinet in their own folder.

I can organize luncheons, workshops, conferences—you name it. One time, I organized a conference at a rural state park 45 minutes outside the city and managed to get 200 people with limited English skills out there and back. Yet I forgot to invite one of the Playground’s favorite people to PM’s birthday party on Saturday (sorry Sabe!).

The Playfriends tease me about my lists. But I’d be lost without them (hence the invitation omission last week). They are the only hope I have of organizing myself. And I live with the hope of one day being truly organized—my inner sheep dog nipping at my heels instead of someone else’s.

Don’t ask me why some things are organized in my life and others aren’t. It’s not a matter of relative importance or anything. It’s just a quirk of mine. Am I the only one who has this schizophrenic nature when it comes things? Please tell me I’m not alone.

And before you make too much fun of me, let me ask you: Where is the warranty information on YOUR iron?

Hmmm, that’s what I thought.



Playground Monitor said...

There's a warranty?

I thought they were cheap enough that if it broke, you just tossed it and bought a new one. At least that's what I did with my old one. Of course it was about 15 years old and WAY out of warranty.

I used to have a little piece of wood that sat on my kitchen window sill (back when I had a kitchen window sill over the sink) and it read "I'm too busy to be organized."

I'm the kind who knows I should have lists, buys the paper to make them, actually makes a partial list and then is laid back enough that maybe half the list gets done even though I have the time to do it all. If it's REALLY important (like calling the restaurant tomorrow to arrange the graduation night dinner) then I'll mark it with highlighter so I know I HAVE to do it or bear the wrath of DH.

Wonder what animal Shelley would draw me as?

Rhonda said...

My warranty for the iron went in the trash along with the box. (But I do have all of my warranty information for the big things--TV, dishwasher, microwave, W&D, etc...-stuffed away in a filing cabinet.)

Each child has a folder as well, which contains all of their important stuff, including each and every one of their report cards. I guess I would say that I am fairly organized--this house could not run without the aid of my refrigerator calendar--but probably not to the point that you are, PC. Of course, I don't think I have as many irons in the fire as you do, so you have to stay organized or risk cracking up. :-)

If hanging onto that old iron warranty makes you feel better, then file away, babe. File away... :-)

Instigator said...

That would assume I own an iron. And besides, that's DH's job. I'm fairly organized at work but home...that's not my territory :-)


Linda Winstead Jones said...

The only iron I've ever owned is the one I got when I married. Let's see, that makes it 34 years old. It looks a little rough, but it still works so who needs a stinkin' warranty?

In the bigger picture, I hear you, PC. When the iron was still fairly new, I took a creative writing course. The instructor commented once on how organized I was. I had a neat filing system for my work for the duration of the class, plus a place to keep the copies of everyone else's work. (We always shared. It was a small class) The truth is, I was organized because I knew if I wasn't it would all get lost.

So, I have boxes in my garage that haven't been opened since we moved into this house five years ago, and boxes under the house that weren't opened when we moved into the house before this one (but there might be important stuff in there, somewhere). I'm of a mind that a clean desk is a certain sign of a sick mind, and yet I have many properly labeled files around the house. I will occasionally try to organize my books, but the closet . . . oh, my. :-)


Smarty Pants said...

I am exactly like this. All my warranty cards and instruction booklets are in the top drawer of my file cabinet along with every tax return I've ever filed, etc. I have a list on the refridgerator that says what we have for dinner each night. I carefully craft the list based on what's in the pantry, then alternate meats and ethnicities so we don't eat chicken or Mexican two nights in a row. I have a premade grocery list on the fridge next to it that lists all the things we typically buy, organized by what section of the store they are in. When we run out, I highlight the item with a marker, then take the list with me shopping.

Now...ask me where my sunglasses are? My birth certificate? (I lost that one so many times I actually bought a safety deposit box to keep it in so I finally KNOW where it is.) Look at my desk at work or at home. Look at the backseat of my car. Eww.

How I can lose my keys on a daily basis, yet me able to tell you to the page, where my Bon Jovi CD is in my 200 CD book?

I once read something about my personality type (different from myers-brigs) that called me a Mastermind. This mad scientist could do anything in his lab and yet he'd forget his head if it wasn't screwed on tightly. Sounds about right.


Angel said...

As anyone who has visited my house can tell you, I'm no where near organized in all aspects of my life. I have a multiple personality disorder in this area.

First of all, it is too time consuming to organize myself and 3 "Messies", so I've about given up. I still haven't figured out a way-short of bulldozing-to get our house ready to put on the market.

I tend to only organize my own important stuff, like my writing projects, calendars, and essential paperwork. I'm great at coordinating events, and have lists upon lists to go with it. It's finding the right list that can be a problem.

As for my desk, well... I tend to make piles everywhere. I pile and pile until I can't stand it anymore-then I purge and file. Sad, really. I know I can be organized in some areas. Why not in all?

I think a lot of it has to do with priorities. Do I actually want to write a book or spend my time organizing my files? Hmmm... hard decision. :)

And if this post goes through, that means my internet worked for longer than 10 minutes. I'm spending the day at home waiting on the cable guy. :)


Kathy said...

I write grocery lists and then leave them on the counter or in the car. I write things on the calendar and then forget to look at it. I put my sunglasses down or leave them on my head and don't know where they are. (I've lost quite a few this way.) My car's a mess, I often go to the store and forget to buy the very thing I need to make dinner.

But the bookcase in my study is organized by subject matter so I can find my research easily enough. I know where to find all my warranties. My writing essentials are stored in files or folders. And I try to do things immediately so I don't forget to.

My kids tease me mercilessly and say I've got 'Old Timers' instead of Alzheimer's. I say my mind is just too full. Running a house, taking care of a DH, 4 kids (well, 3 now), 1 dog and 3 cats (add on DIL and GS), sports activity chauffeuring, volunteer work and trying to write create lots of confusion.

You're way ahead of the game, PC! Be proud. I rather imagine myself as a hyena, laughing hysterically amidst the chaos.


J.B. Thompson said...

K/PC, I hope you don't mind, but I've linked your post into my own blog this morning. Too cute, and a little scary, how much I read of me in you.

It's refreshing and comforting to find folks just like me who are both scattered and organized at the same time. Thanks to the Playfriends for making me feel a little less like an anomaly...

Problem Child said...

Y'all, it's a metaphorical iron...


And hey there j.b., welcome!


Carla Swafford said...

My boss tells me that she wishes my organizational skills could be bottled. Now that's scary. I'm no genie. Yet if you ask Elizabeth and Susan, they would say my big thing is lists. Tons of them. But YOU expect me to remember to bring the list to meetings. Ha!

Huh...iron...who irons nowadays? Rather write. :::grin:::