Thursday, September 22, 2005

Living in Lower Slobovia

I have something in common with New Orleans. I'm swamped. I have had to take some time to get myself organized. Sometimes, things have a way of sneaking up on you when you aren't looking.

Does anyone remember the cartoonist Al Capp and the place Lower Slobbovia from his L'il Abner strip? I sometimes feel like I am living there. Why?

Well, for one thing, my son and I are having an ongoing battle about the state of his room and every other area of our home that he graces throughout the day. That means drink containers on the coffee tables in the family room. It means pens, pencils, markers, paper and books strewn wherever he chooses to do his homework on a given day. It means shoes in the hallway and socks everywhere. It means wrinkled clothes on him. You get the idea.

I have to practice what I preach, don't I? So, I am tidying up. At home, any area with stuff of mine will be neat and organized. It already is that way at my office. Scolding my son doesn't appear to work. Perhaps setting an example will work better. One can only hope.

At my office, I can almost see the top of my desk again. I worked hard to catch up on a number of things so I could achieve this state. When things pile up on my desk and get into disarray, I get uneasy. I don't like messes. The unease builds until I finally go on a marathon blitz to catch up, clear the offending mess and then have a fairly tidy desk top again.

I'm not a neat freak. I do like to have things at hand, which means I don't like to put things away if I'm not finished with them. If I put unfinished projects in a drawer or file cabinet, they will stay unfinished. If I put unread books in book cases, they will remain unread. If I put my guitars in cases, they will never get played. So, what can I do? I keep unprocessed paperwork on my desk, unread books on various surfaces around my house and my guitars hung on the wall in my music room, where they will always be within easy reach. It is not having things 'out' that bothers me. It is having things out and scattered and in disarray that makes me nuts.

Perhaps, if my son were to create stacks instead of piles, that would be a good start. A stack is neat, organized. A pile isn't. He should come to my office to see how it is done. The papers and folders formerly scattered about my desk are now in three neat stacks and I feel much better.

Aren't you proud of me?

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