Tag Archives: disorganization

(Dis)organize(d)

Life Piles Up

You know that this can happen. It’s silly asking why
the books and papers pile up from desktops towards the sky.
You do not dare to open the window that’s nearby
lest the papers blow away to flutter yon and nigh.

I wish I had a simple life with time to do it all
so I could post a picture to prove it to y’all
that my house is super organized and tidy and pristine.
My life as orderly as tasks spewed out by a machine.

Unfortunately, nothing stays in its usual space.
A new thing starts before I’ve filed the old thing in its place.
Boxes from camp still stand in rows out in my garage,
while papers from last April’s trip slide down in a barrage.

I cannot find the cord and mike that belong to my amp.
Perhaps they’re buried deep within the boxes left from camp?
Or other boxes in my car from events even older?
I think perhaps dealing with life is more than I can shoulder.

Somehow I think that WordPress may have gotten word
about my loaded desktops. I know it sounds absurd,
but if you’re keeping track of prompts then surely you have noted
that lately this one topic is one on which they’ve doted!

I told you you just four days ago–I’ve cleaned off desk and table.
I promised I would clean the rest when I was free and able;
and so today I’m sorting books and papers and detritus,
but to this prompt I’d like to say, “WordPress, kindly bite us!”

IMG_3608Okay, the desk area in my bedroom that I promised to clear off the other day is a little bit better.  To check up on that by comparing to its state just four days ago when we had  a very similar prompt, go HERE.

IMG_3606In the meantime, the desk in my sala hasn’t piled up again–much. So please, WordPress–no more nagging.  I’m as organized as I’m going to get for awhile.  Okay to check up again in six months.

The prompt today is organize. This was actually the prompt two years ago, almost to the day, so I have reprinted my post for that prompt. Things haven’t changed much. I had a party a few days ago, so the desk is cleared off, but two boxes of items to “put back” in their designated places are hidden in a corner of my bedroom.  What can I say? Life piles up.

Orderly

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Fulfilling Order

How does one get orderly?  I fear I must confess
the only way to get  there is by first making a mess!
Since I have put this off for years, the fault is all my own.
Procrastinatiion is a fault for which I must atone.

I sort the photos into piles by topics or by years––
photographs of family and landscapes and my peers.
I wish my album stuffing were not in such arrears.
They’ll take a month to organize, or now it so appears.

I locate half-filled albums  and plastic sleeves and pages.
It seems I haven’t filed a single photograph for ages.
I try to be most organized and get them into line,
then fall into reflection of the lives of me and mine.

I have company coming and a meal that I must cook.
I’ll find the table easier to clear if I don’t look,
but oh that slumber party that the boys decided to crash
and all those tame adventures where we thought we were so rash.

Who knew that all this sorting would lead to this great mess?
and yet I am enjoying it.  Who would ever guess
that sorting under pressure would still lead me to this?
Memories of parties, of camp and that first kiss.

Sixty-seven years of life all spread out on my table.
I’ll clear them all by nightfall, then cook if I am able.
Too bad the nearest Colonel Sanders is so far away,
or I would save the cooking for another day.


One “find” in the thousands of photos I have yet to stow away in the headboard filing cabinet of my bed that has been recently cleared of poems was these photos of the night John Kuckleberg and Doug Tedrow raided our slumber party.

This was not as racy as it looks. The fellas were there before the shortie pajamas were donned, and by the looks of it, boys danced with boys and girls with girls.  The fish, by the way, were plastic ones from my dad’s den in the next room. There has been some progress since the 7th and 8th grade party. Looks like I’d tiled the floor, my sister Patti and I had painted the walls and she had painted a somewhat strange mural of a man leaning against a cactus to take a siesta. I think this was my junior  year. The ceiling had not yet been installed by my dad and me! It must have been Rita’s birthday as we seem to have been giving her a spank for each year.

The prompt for today was “Orderly”   https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/orderly/

Controlled Chaos

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The other day in a comment to another blogger, I said something on the order of how I think life is cyclical.  We go from the intuitive state of children to the increasingly rational world of the adult and then, as we retire and age (or age and retire, depending on how anxious we are to do so) and get on to the next stage, we start evolving back into the state we were in as children.  We perhaps start to forget details of the present in favor of remembering vividly details of our past. Our present seems to fall into an increasing sense of disorder as our past comes back with a strange clarity.  In the farther stages of dementia, this seems to be true as well.

Judging by the fragmented comments made by my sister who is experiencing the journey of Alzheimer’s, she seems to be going backwards through her life.  In her mind, she was for awhile once again married to a husband from whom she had been divorced for twenty-five years.  A year later, she was talking about her high school boyfriend as though he was waiting for her; and this year, when given a baby doll, she sat rocking it and calling it Judy.  Eleven years older than me, I’m sure she was remembering me as a baby.  More proof of my theory, because she has had three children and five grandchildren since she rocked me in that long-ago rocking chair, most of whom she doesn’t remember.

All of this speculating is a roundabout method of preparing you for what I really want to talk about, and that is the topic of “chaos.”  As we age, our rational mind seems to give way to intuition–forgetting details like what we are driving to town to do or what we came from the bedroom to the living room to find. Instead, we wander from task to task as we get distracted by whatever our eye falls upon, much as we did as children.

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In a similar fashion,  objects collect on the table-like headboard of my bed and on my night tables. Have you ever seen the room of  a teenager?  A perfect example of chaos.  Dirty clothes and caked ice cream dishes are swept under the bed, dirty clothes are in piles mixed in with the clean ones delivered by mom a week earlier, magazines, electrical equipment, soccer balls and school books all seem to be placed in the same category and spread evenly over the surfaces of the room.

The bedroom or playroom of a toddler or child seems to follow the same organizational plan:  Leggos, the detached limbs of G.I. Joes or Barbies, coloring books, plastic kid-sized furniture, trikes, blocks, kiddie computer games, unmatched socks, clothes outgrown months ago, plastic trucks and assorted game pieces from kiddie games cover the floor as though organized by a tornado into the perfect organizational plan of a child: chaos.

So it was in the house of my oldest sister.  Every year, more piles appeared in her bedroom.  Her kitchen drawers were a jumble of knives, jewelry, old electrical receipts, diamond rings, half full medicine bottles, plastic lids to butter tubs, photographs, drawings her children had done twenty years before, unused postal stamps and corroded batteries.

When I visited a few months before she went into a managed care facility, hoping  I could facilitate her staying in her house for at least another year, I reorganized her house–– putting labels on all her drawers.  In the bedroom, I sorted out a tangle of necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets.  In doing so,  I discovered  23 watches–all dysfunctional.

“Betty, why do you have so many watches?”

“Oh, they all stopped working.”

“Did you exchange the batteries?”

“Oh, you can do that?”

Now I look at the boxes of slides and photos of the art work of my husband and me–sorted and condensed from four boxes  into two boxes, then abandoned unfinished when I needed to use the dining room table to entertain guests. Now the unresolved mess resides between the bed and the closet in my bedroom. Sigh.

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There are junk drawers I’ve been shoving things into for 15 years thinking one day I’ll sort them.  Boxes of miscellaneous papers I packed up 15 years ago to bring to Mexico still sit untouched in my garage.

Like the rest of the universe, having come from the chaos of childhood, I seem to be returning to it and I wonder what the solution will be.  Perhaps, as many of my friends have, I will start shedding the accumulations of a lifetime and simplify my life so there is less in it to be transformed into chaos.  Or, perhaps as has been my pattern for the past 15 years, since divesting myself of most of my possessions to move to Mexico, I will continue to collect thousands of little items for my art collages, dozens of bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings–even though I wear only a few favorites.

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Perhaps I’ll continue to buy the books of friends, the paintings of talented Mexican artists, huipiles from the market, woven purses and alebrijes from beach vendors, gelato makers from the garage sales of friends.

I have a special fondness for one basket vendor who sells the lovely baskets made by his family in Guerrero. I have them in every shape–square, obelisk, round, rectangular–as well as every size from coin purse to three feet tall.  Yet I keep buying them because I admire his perseverance.  For the fifteen years I’ve been here, he has traversed the carretera from Chapala to Jocotepec, laden front, back and to each side with these baskets.  He wears five straw hats piled neatly one on top of the other on his head.  Baskets nest within other baskets or are threaded onto a long cord and worn diagonally over his chest.

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He is a a master of organization–and to query about any basket as one sits at at table in the Ajijic plaza  will invite his ceremony as he divests himself of baskets to display them.  Soon the floor around your table will be covered in so many baskets it seems impossible that one man has been carrying them up and down the ten miles between the towns on this side of the lake–all day and for years long before I moved here.  His is an incredible sense of organization that is the opposite of chaos, and in admiration, if I am unable to persuade visiting friends to buy his baskets, I always buy something myself.

Back home, I fill one with outgrown underwear, another with scarves, another with old keys and padlocks I may one day need.  It is as though his organization rubs off on me as I fill baskets, instilling some order into a life potentially chaotic–but at the moment held within the confines of normalcy.

Ten years ago, my other sister opened my junk drawer in my kitchen and declared, “There is no excuse for anyone to have a drawer like this.”  Because I know of no one who does not have a drawer like that, I was somewhat surprised, and was especially surprised because before her visit I had more or less organized my junk drawer.

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But now I look around and realize I have a number of those drawers.  In spite of the basket vendor’s good example, my sense or organization seems to be veering toward having a special drawer to thrust categories of things into: batteries, items of clothing, kitchen tools, jewelry.  Controlled chaos––the way of the universe and certainly the seeming course of our lives. For some of us, at least.

(If you are dying to make out exactly what is in these drawers, clicking on the photos will enlarge your view.  Snoopy!)

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/chaos/