CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I love being organized -- a place for everything, and everything in its place. I was always a good manager of me.
Before I got married, I kept my cubicle tidy, my bed made and I had only one piece of work on my desk at a time. I met or exceeded all my deadlines, was rarely late for anything. I fought political battles at the office and generally won because my paper trail was irrefutable.
My clothes were hung by color on identical hangers. I could go to a file and put my hands on my first-grade report card.
Compromises have since been made.
There are more papers and clothes on the floor and the dining room table than there are in the filing cabinets and the closets. I have no idea what any of it is or where it belongs, and I don't have a plan.
My husband generates about 7 inches of paperwork each day. I try not to look at the mailbox or the inbox, because each piece of mail requires essentially 12 steps: opening, reading, throwing away the envelope, calling people, negotiating, arguing with insurance or unauthorized credit card/smart-phone-charge criminals, filing, note taking, calendar notes, calendar checking, and running to the malls for the school, or running to the school for the malls.
This is just the email and the U.S. Postal Service that I'm talking about. Not time-sensitive Fed Ex or UPS mail.
I cannot count the times that the landline telephone, which has at least 50 unchecked messages at this time, has been turned off.
Each unchecked message will require an action or a set of actions.
We haven't used the landline in months, because I am the ONLY person who puts the phone in the charger, and I quit. I haven't seen a handset or heard the talking Caller ID in months.
When Frontier took over from Verizon in West Virginia, at first they were nice.
Now they shut it off and leave a nasty note in an email account I rarely check. This doesn't embarrass me in the least. I'm just thankful I remember to pay the electric and the water.
When we had our first son, I still believed in New Year's resolutions. So I took the HUGE BOX of unopened mail and went through it meticulously before the ball dropped in Times Square.
Now I ignore everything that is not personally interesting or practically urgent, to include the deeply mysterious activities of Independence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Pennsylvania and its "Personal Care" program. Contrary to the marketing scheme, they only answer the phone if you want to enroll.
Sometimes I like to hit "1" for "enroll" and chew out the person who answers.