Thursday, March 25, 2010


Current Project: St. Patrick's Anthology
Status: Moving steadily if slowly

Is there something that overwhelms you to the near panic attack stage?

Maybe writing a synopsis? Facing an auditorium of a thousand people to give a presentation? Watching your child be stitched up after a fall from his bike? Organizing the piles of paper in your office?

That last item pushes my panic button.

It usually happens every year about tax time when I'm confronted with the piles of paper in my office and the spare bedroom--don't even mention what's in the closet-- that I swore last year I was going to organize, input in a database every month, and file away in neatly labeled folders.

Ironically, I've had quite a few people comment on how organized I am. And I am in some ways. But a week ago, when I thought of all the papers I had to face to get my taxes done, my gut started clenching and my breathing turned shallow. After talking myself down off the edge of the recycle dumpsters at the Salem Transfer Station, I returned to my office to go one step--er, one surface at a time, and attack the paper monster.

I focused on my admiration of Debbie, who is clearing out and organizing her office. Holding her in my mind as a role model in this effort, I've been clearing and stacking papers. Labeling what to sort, what to file, and what to throw away.

With April 15 a mere three weeks away, I know I have to step it up. But I'm moving on it now! I'm even armed with a better shredder this year.

How about you? Is there something that overwhelms you? Have you learned ways to attack it or do you just avoid it? Or did you put it up for sale on Alice's garage sale table?

P.S. I now have about a foot and a half of uncluttered space on each side of my computer and it feels sooo much nicer!


Paty Jager said...

LOL, Genene!

Panic comes when I need to spell a Nez Perce word I haven't used in a while and I can't find it to spell it right! I look through my reference binder, I start flipping through all the research books and then I go back to the first manuscript and scan pages. And usually I've worked myself into hyperventilating when I finally come across the right spelling!

As for papers, I'm a file or toss person with everything but the notes to my WIPS those are in a not so neat pile next to my computer along with my steno pads of notes.

Fun Post! Hang in there you'll make the deadline.

Piper Lee said...

Genene-- I'm one of those sick people who loves to be organized and throw stuff away. If I need it, it better have a place or I'll figure out a way to get rid of it. LOL

Things that send me into panic attack stage is thinking about what would happen if I actually were to finish a novel (or five) and then have to be out there doing the promotion thing. That makes me (((shudder))) and come close to losing my lunch. ;)

Good luck clearing and organizing. Think of it as clearing the way for better things to come into your life. :)

Genene Valleau said...

LOL, Paty! Isn't there a Nez Perce dictionary online?

Maybe you and Piper can come to my house and help me throw things away. :) I'm a "reformed" pack rat and I still have lots of stuff.

But you're right, Piper. Clearing things out really does make room for better things in life. I'm finding that already!

Paty Jager said...

Ironically, you can only find a few words in Nez Perce online. There is a wonderful dictionary you can only use in the reference section at the College Library or you can buy it for big $$.

Alice Sharpe said...

Genene -- Since I ignore papers that pile up, they don't cause me too much angst except when the dh says, "Could you get your tax stuff together for me by Friday?" Ack!!!

Otherwise, what really panics me is social communication. Knowing there are things I should care about but not being able to force myself to care. Double ack!!!

Genene Valleau said...

LOL, Alice! I'm there with the taxes. However, in my case, I know ignoring all those papers is what brings me to my paper panic at tax time.

"Knowing there are things I should care about but not being able to force myself to care." I'm thinking your attitude might be on the right track here. :)