As I sit here at my computer, I am surrounded by piles. Piles of papers, piles of magazines, piles of books, piles of piles. Piles on my desk, the kitchen table, the floor, the kitchen island. There are even piles hanging on my cork board: piles of papers hanging vertically and precariously held that way by a single push-pin. These hanging piles occasionally flutter to the floor and cause a panic until we find the push-pin. We don’t want Daisy to eat the pin or for someone to step on it.
One day, they will find my cold, dead body under collapsed piles of paper products.
Piles are useful for sorting stuff, but it’s too easy for them to grow all by themselves, merge into each other, and take over a house. I have to make myself go through them periodically, but what I really need is a schedule. Go through this pile on Monday, this one Tuesday, and this one Wednesday…you get the picture. Or maybe it would work better to schedule it by room, since the piles are somewhat unpredictable in their nature and growth. Kitchen piles Monday, living room piles Tuesday, library piles Wednesday….
Such order and discipline won’t happen. It never does in my world. I just fantasize about it. It’s much easier to think about how to tackle the piles than to actually tackle them. Oh, I’ll get around to each one eventually, when the situation is urgent. For instance, as soon as I finish whining to you about piles, I’m going to clean the piles off my computer desk.
My poor computer is completely surrounded. I can barely use my mouse on the square inch of bare space left for it. I’m not exactly sure what is in all these piles, though I see George’s ear buds which I borrowed and haven’t returned, a box of tissues from when I had a cold last month, an art project Nick intended to give to his dad at Christmas but gave to him last night, a calendar my friend stamped for me, a stack of business cards I pulled out of an envelope on the cork board so I could find the number for the optometrist, a small olive-green moleskine notebook that I keep prayer requests in (along with five or so other notebooks used for various purposes), some sticks of never-dry modeling clay, the boys’ most recent report cards, a wad of receipts stuffed behind a basket overflowing with paperwork, and a lovely hand-thrown pottery vase that holds dull pencils and dried-out pens.
What a lot of stuff to sit precariously around a large laptop on a 39-inch by 22-inch desk.
I also just noticed the phone isn’t in its cradle. Funny how chaotic a house can get when people don’t put things back where they belong, eh?
As much as I would love to slide the whole mess into a trashcan and walk away, I think I better just get to work. At least I know I’ll be happy when this one messy corner of my life is tidy once again.
Because that’s all I get in this mess that is life: one tidy corner at a time.
Today, I am okay with that.