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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Confessions of an Unrepentant, Semi-reformed Pack Rat

Remember the messy desk pic from a  few of days ago? In case you don't remember, here it is again:
 Well, today I decided to tackle it.  It was almost like going on an archaeological dig, carefully peeling away  layers of time to reveal the past. There were grocery store coupons that had expired six years ago; store receipts from who knows when because the print had faded so badly; old clippings from newspapers and magazines and more.  Most of the clippings were a puzzlement. I have no idea why  I clipped them. At any rate, I filled a  trash can with stuff.  I am sure that once it has all made its way to the dump I'll remember  why  I was saving some of those receipts and clippings and want them back, but. . .
I finished cleaning up the desk by late afternoon.  Here it is in all its clean, boring, uncluttered glory. It will look like this maybe for a day or two, then it will, in all probability, revert back to its normal disorderly state.
My next challenge was the table - I forgot to take a "before" pic, but trust me- it was piled high.  Plus it  has some trays  holding files.  My first  thought after going through some of  the files, folders and piles of things on the table is that at  some point I must have adopted the belief that if I dared ever to throw anything away, no matter how insignificant, a great monster would swoop down from the sky, transport me to the county dump and force me to  rummage through   trash for eternity.

My second thought is that I am a pack rat, or a hoarder in training.  But my third thought is  that being a pack rat has an upside. I mean, had I not saved  the program, how would I know that at 8:30 PM on Thursday evening, September 30, 1965, I had attended  the  ballets, "Coppelia" and "Carmen"  performed at the Philadelphia Academy of Music by the Royal Danish Ballet? That  actually brought back  memories of standing in a long line   outside the Academy on my lunch break.  and  being late getting back to work. I attended the ballet alone and can remember how entranced I was by the music, the costumes and the beauty and sensuality of the dancers, particularly of Erik Bruhn  and Kirsten Simone as Don Jose and Carmen. I don't think I'll throw away the program just yet.

The table is almost  cleaned off now, and a lot of papers have been either filed in a cabinet or tossed in the trash. There are still plenty of  areas that need to be sorted out and straightened- including the wall hung file sorter which has become another catch-all, as you can see.

I may get   everything in apple pie order, sooner or later or I may not. Maybe someone  will  buy me  the book, The Secret Handbook for Perpetually Paralyzed Procrastinating Pack Rats Anonymous by Patricia NudelmanThen  I could spend my time reading  about how to get   organized without actually getting organized. I'm not going to spend a lot of time worrying about  messy desks or untidy  rooms.  There are birds, squirrels and chipmunks to watch as they  go about their business in the  yard, dogs to play with, people to talk to, points to ponder, Memory Lanes to travel down, and any number of other interesting things to do instead, so I 'll hold off on  sending  my membership dues to Pack Rats  Anonymous for a while and hope we can continue to survive and thrive in a state of semi-chaos.

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