At Peace With Paper

This week has been anything but exciting.  My highlight (so far) came from the fact that I perused our little town newspaper and found an ad that all county residents can drop off all personal documents they need shredded, during a free recycling event Saturday.  This is very exciting.  Do you know what this means?  It means that I can avoid sitting in front of my cheap, hand-me-down shredder for a few hours, while I destroy receipts, bills and credit card applications, to the sound of a whiney and overworked motor.

It means no paper cuts.

It means no more piles of “I’ll get to that”.

It means silence – less frustration – and no overheating small appliances.

I try to be organized, but my ambitions and lack of time only take me so far.  I have a file box with hanging folders that are appropriately labeled and organized.  Instead, I usually end up with a three inch pile of paperwork that is crammed between the tops of the folders and the lid.  Eventually the lid doesn’t close; I drag the box somewhere and it spews all over.  Not today.  I spent the last couple hours weeding through the least eighteen months of paper we “might need to reference one day” and I’m so ready for Saturday.

You can say I’m lame and ask why I’m actually wasting even more time on this by writing about it, but it’s truly exciting to me.  Just a couple months ago, I dreamed of having myself an office and a workable and clean workspace.  I’m so close.  My walls still need to be painted and my books are in Rubbermaid tubs for the moment, but my desk is perfect, as I’m not pushed up against a wall and I’m not seeing scattered piles of paper to distract me from the calm demeanor this room is supposed to enable.  I feel at peace with paper.

Now, what to do with my hoards of greeting cards that I’ve saved…

Sometimes I wish I were heartless.  My house would be so much less cluttered and my basement would be empty to build our dream pub.  For another day, I’m feeling too accomplished to put that kind of weight on my shoulders tonight.

Photo courtesy of rangershredding.com.

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I’m starting to see a trend that my Sunday posts are not so inspired. It makes me wonder if posting every day is working against me. I like to feel inspired to write, or have a goal, so instead of waiting for that to happen, I’ve forced myself into a spot of obligatory random writing. Some days, there just isn’t a lot to say.

I don’t know if any of you writers out there feel this way, but I find I must have my workspace in a very particular manner to feel right when I start writing. I really haven’t had an ideal workspace in…wow, ever? Maybe once or twice I had a random station set up that felt do-able or felt at home in a cozy café, but this is all about to change.

We have two guest bedrooms in our home and no guests. Not often enough to have two rooms set up, anyway, and one in particular was never used in almost four years. Today, the amazing husband, (insert Superman theme here) spent the day helping* me swap furniture to other rooms, the attic and the basement, in order to make one of the guest rooms exclusively my office. It’s not a shared space, which will find my desk serving as a table for fresh towels or a suitcase.  It will really be my room.

*His “helping” by the way is a loose translation of: He did almost all the work. I try not to just be a supervisor, but I’m also a weakling.

The room isn’t right just yet. I need blinds in there so I can work at night without feeling creeped out. I’m thinking I’m glad I never had a guest sleep in there, with the lack of blinds and sheer curtain issue. We’ll paint and move all those books onto some shelves, but my desk is in there and that is a start. And by “we”, I’m fully investing in getting this done, paint speckles in my hair and all.

I find that setting my environment to the right kind of writing mood helps, and maybe I will be more inspired in there, than with the laptop in bed while I rush to meet my personal deadline. The daily deadline, by the way, I keep missing because there is no real punishment resulting from a late post.  The worst that can happen is that I say “Damn it” and keep writing. After all, this is not a real job, though I wish it could be.  Maybe I should set real goals so I go to bed earlier and post timely.

Shannon: No cookies if you post after midnight…got it?

Oh, and also, stop thinking up good ideas, composing them in your head while you drive or do dishes and then not write them down.  You get proud of yourself and think you’ll remember but you never do.  You’re killing me.

And with that, I say, “Good night”.