Some people have it easier than others. They clean when they are stressed. I stack papers I can't face. Or I shove them under a book. Or I pile them into a drawer. Or they sit scattered across a couch and I avert my eyes when I walk through the room.
I have this one chair that is really cool. It's all lime green, and aqua blue, blotched by squares of red, which are smothered with that orangey-yellow (I swear it's beautiful) and I'd photograph it except it is covered and has been in books and papers and zip jackets for, like, thirty years or at least since I started grad school. It seems like the perfect chair for reading, or so I've heard, but in my office, it serves as file drawers and book shelves, without all that annoying structure of files and shelves to hinder the sliding around of said books and papers.
I was at this non-profit gala the other night for an organization whose aim it is to eradicate a disease I can't pronounce that afflicts about 1000 people in the world. Yeah, I know - crazy rare disease with dire consequences! Half of the afflicted seemed to be in the room. Anyway, the woman who organized the organization is from Cincinnati. When her daughter was diagnosed with this incurable illness she did what any mother would do--she started a 10 million dollar foundation to do scientific medical research to identify the gene, discover the medicines that might treat it and to set up the first clinical trials of the treatments....
Yeah, right!! Who does that? No one. It takes a freak of nature to do something like that. Most people hear their daughter is going to die and there's nothing you can do and they then do nothing. Not this babe. She turned on her uber-mother gene and got to work. How did she do it? According to the speaker, Sue Byrnes (founder) has two essential qualities: She's a workaholic, and a perfectionist.
Well, of course she is! And so seem to be all the other people who do remarkable things. I mean, it's not that I'm lusting after dooce's OCD for example (or is it?), nor is it that I want to be Sue Byrnes.... but well, I blame my parents! They're ridiculously organized neatniks and I can't figure out why I didn't get the gene. Growing up, I can't remember ever seeing a stack of, well, anything as a kid. My mom cleaned out our closets once per year and if a game had even a cracked lid (never mind that all contents were within and accounted for), that game was out the door to Goodwill. I wasn't allowed to have an extra pencil in a drawer, let alone a junk drawer.. My father's "junk drawer" opened easily and slid shut with a happy click, containing sensible items like a hammer, pliers and a ball of rubber bands.
My junk drawer (okay, plural - junk drawers) don't open or close. They sort of ooze.
Today, I wish I knew how to tackle this desk. So I'm doing what I always do when I don't want to organize (see? I'm so not a perfectionist). I'm writing.