Thursday, October 04, 2018

The importance of neatness and organization

My living room
cluttered with research
Ever since I’ve been in my tiny cottage, I’ve stressed the importance of keeping a small space free from clutter and mess. Twelve-year-old Jacob has been the particular recipient of my repetitive lectures. So here’s how my space looks these days. My desk is a cluttered mess, and my living/entertaining space not much better.

The problem? Research materials for my latest writing project. Papers are strewn everywhere, as I try to put all these photocopies in meaningful order—important, marginal, probably not useful. The problem is complicated because I inherited someone else’s research—more on that story another time.

Yesterday, friends from TCU Press came to do a podcast, and I felt obliged to make a clean
sweep of my desk, hiding most of the loose papers and stacking the couple of books and magazines in a neat pile. Jordan came along and promptly laid a couple of loose sheets on top, destroying the balance—I incorporated them into the pile. But by last night, my desk looked as you see it in the picture. You’d think I could at least read Bon Appetit and get it out of the way, but it takes me two or three times through a cooking magazine before I can discard it. I must be sure I’m not missing a recipe I can’t live without. And these days I am driven to go through all those research papers in that huge box, so reading fiction or food magazines seems a little frivolous to me.

Typical of my dilemma—yesterday I came across a master’s these that could be central, but it was missing the first forty pages, including the attribution. I wasn’t sure who wrote it, where it might be stored, etc. Then I discovered I have it in digital form on my computer. I run into duplication all over the place. But I keep plugging away—and I’m having fun.

Yesterday was also a day of surprises. I washed my hair early so it would dry before the podcast—and then came an unexpected phone call. Rosa was here two days earlier than expected to cut my hair. I can’t say enough about Rosa, who’s been keeping me trim for years and has become a treasured friend along the way. Since getting out is a bit hard for me, she comes by on her way to the salon about once a month, and we get a good visit while she snips and cuts.

So there I was—trim and neat for the podcast, if not scintillating on camera. I haven’t seen it yet, but I will share when I do. We mostly rehashed my writing career.

Another surprise, less pleasant: when I tried to refill my ice water, the cube dispenser got stuck and sprayed ice cubes all over the kitchen. Not easy to sweep up from a walker. I swept, put the broom and dustpan away, opened the freezer—and sprayed a second batch of cubes all over. Repeat sweeping.

Pleasant to end the day at Pacific Table with Betty—Caesar salad, fried oysters, and a decadent chocolate brownie topped with peanut butter ice cream. I think my appetite is returning.

1 comment:

Deb said...

I agree with you! I use a walker constantly, so things need to be put where they belong. My youngest daughter,19, still lives with me. She is constantly leaving her shoes in the walkway or forgetting to put my shower stool back in the tub! There are times I feel like I am doing an obstacle course to get to the toilet!
Your dinner sounded great, especially the ice cream 😊