Drowning in Paper!

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        Just One Pile at a Time

Early in my career in government work I had a recurring dream for a few weeks. In the dream sequence I sat in my cubicle filling out paperwork. Then I passed the completed paperwork out of the top of the cubicle. All was good as the paper continued to fall on the desk from somewhere above like snowflakes.

Of course the dream becomes a “Lucy and Ethel in the factory” nightmare as the paper falls at a faster and faster rate. Very quickly the paper is falling off the desk to the floor. I am no longer double-checking my work. I am writing furiously. Faster and faster I go until I am scribbling and tossing the paper over the cubicle wall. I’m balling the work up and throwing it in any direction. Until I am buried in paper, I’m breathing paper in my nose and spitting it out of my mouth. I would wake up gasping for air trying to fight my way out of the mound of paper filling my cube. No…that was my tangled sheet. Whew!

I feel my throat constricting just writing this. Yikes. Can you tell  Milly’s realm was buried in paper this weekend? I felt like I was back in the dream. Just awake this time. So much for a paperless society! Save the trees! I want to cry (well…maybe not the scary ones).

I bought two cars this past weekend. I didn’t mean too. It couldn’t be helped. Honest. The Gray Chariot had to be taken back due to an unexplained vibration after shifting gears. Not good. I can’t drive a chariot that makes me more stressed! Luckily the dealer I used has a no questions asked return policy on used cars. Whew! I’m thankful for that policy! I ended up spending more but, a little red sedan (with fewer miles on her) will be my new chariot. I dubbed her “Spicy Mama!” emphasis on Mama!

Then the paperwork began again. Dear Lord is this mess what our litigious society has brought us: Piles and piles of paperwork? I think so. In four days I spent over twelve hours with my bank and dealer generating and regenerating paperwork. Some of the paperwork was at home. As I was searching for Silver Sweet’s lost title, I realized more than half of my clutter is paper. Of course the paper includes mementos (my budding artists you know) and books. The next project, after the kitchen reno of course, is the paper! It’s got to be scanned, boxed, or shredded. I’ll be culling and archiving.

Paper seems to be another one of my Vices/Virtues. Here’s the thing about someone who has worked in government. You always have to justify your existence. Then you have to document why you did something or the decision you made. This is the nature of the business. The virtue is you become very good at documentation. I can tell you it was extremely satisfying to sell a car back under Florida’s lemon law with no challenge. The dealer asked me, “how in the world did you do it?” I just said I work in government. I live in a world of paper and forms.

The vice side of this equation is we keep everything (yes, I’ll admit it. Everyone in Milly’s Realm is a packrat to some extent). Several years ago, we did start shredding financial documents older than seven years. It always gives us a chuckle because, when we started shredding old documents we had about fifteen years worth of paper to shred. We burned through two shredders in three months. The other vice keeping it organized. Over the past several years, my husband took over the paperwork due to my chronic conditions (very kind of him to step up). However as I found this weekend, he is not as good at filing as I am {sigh}.

We are literally drowning in paper. The challenge has been issued. The gauntlet thrown! Tackling this project gives me an adrenaline jolt! My eyes have been opened. We will see a YUGE difference in my home as we dig out from under the paper. However, the thought of how tedious the task ahead is, makes me gasp for breath. The drowning sensation swamps me. I can’t get overwhelmed. I will move one step at a time.

Come December 30th, I’m diving in! Come on in, the paper’s fine!

Milly

P.S. Just watch out for papercuts.

 

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