My long-time best friend, Russ Hogan, used to say, "Margason, you're custodial" after I would make yet another in an endless string of goofs/gaffs/mistakes. Much of the criticism was (and is) based on the fact that while I understand and can fairly well define the word "organization," I seem incapable of practicing it.
Last week, someone was kind enough to ask me to do a guest blog for their site. I was of course flattered, as I always am by gratuitous acts of kindness, and immediately set out to do the blog. It was to be on the influence of Frank L. Baum's "Oz" books on the my life and my writing. The blog is not due until later this month, so I set it aside for a few days. When I went back to work on it this morning, I realized to my horror that I could not remember for whom I was writing the blog, nor did I, therefore, have any idea of how to get in touch contact the person who had requested it! I frantically went back through past emails hoping to find our exchange, and cannot. Of course, my search was negatively effected by the fact that I receive emails at four separate places. My main email source is gmail, and it contains no fewer than 25,000 emails--I am also incapable of using the "delete" key if there's any possible chance I might want to go back to a past email--and was of course unable to find it. And unless I do find it, I will miss the deadline and the person who asked me to write the blog will, wrongly, assume that I just couldn't be bothered, and have every right to assume that I am not to be depended upon. This drives me absolutely crazy!
I never make notes simply because at the time I should be making them, I know perfectly well what the note is about and therefore don't need one. It's the same with my keys, my wallet, my glasses, and almost anything I might have in my hand at any given time. I set them down knowing perfectly well at that instant where I put them, yet fifteen seconds later when I go to retrieve them, I haven't a clue.
My compulsive friends (that is, those who do actually believe in organization) always tell me I should always put things in a certain place, and that way I'll always know where they are. All well and good. But when I walk in the door with a couple magazines and a piece of mail I want to open right away, I'll set my keys down on, say, my dresser, and go to get the letter opener--which, of course, I can't find. So I pry up one corner of the envelope's flap, insert my index finger, and rip the envelope to shreds in the process. By that time, I'm not even thinking about my keys, and I won't think about them until next time I need them, at which point...well, you get the idea.
A key (no pun intended) factor in my not being organized is that I have never been a candidate for "Homemaker of the Year" award, so chances are good that whatever I'm looking for at the moment has been buried beneath something else (the keys under the magazines, for example).
I am also cursed with a total lack of short-term memory. I've mentioned before that I spend an inordinate amount of time bouncing back and forth between windows on my computer simply because if I want to refer to a name or a number from one email to another, by the time I get to where I want to put it--all of three seconds--I've forgotten what it was and have to go back to look it up. I've been known to do this five times in the space of thirty seconds.
When I was in the service, I took movies, which I recently had converted to CDs. Earlier today, I wanted to send the CDs to a friend. Can I find them? Of course I can't find them. I live in a very small apartment only slightly larger than a breadbox, and I keep all my CDs in one place. I look, and sure enough, they're all there...except the ones I want at the moment. Where in the hell can they be? Where can I possibly have put them? I know they're here, somewhere. But where?
Organization takes time, and I simply do not have the time to organize. I'm too busy looking for things.
I think Russ might have been on to something.
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