I Love Being a Writer. What I Can't Stand is the Paperwork

I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork. ~ Peter De Vries

The holidays are over and it is good to buckle back down to daily tasks and goals. However, my heart feels a little tugged in different directions, like one of those maps with strings tied to a pushpin at each of the locations where my children live. The distances are varied, but I still yearn for more time with each of them. I’m even feeling nostalgic for the one who lives across town, whom I see frequently, but is busy with a toddler and her own activities.

Most often the remedy to jostle my less than buoyant heart into a happier mood is to occupy my mind and hands. That is why I tend to throw myself into some ridiculously huge and complicated project early in each New Year. This year – it’s my office. The rest of the house has been overhauled, remodeled and redecorated, but the office has been lurking in the background, dingy, disheveled and nondescript, and experiencing not only an identity crisis, but a crowding issue as well. I have a paperweight on my desk that our oldest daughter brought to me from a trip to Atlanta. On it is a quote from Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind. “In a weak moment I have written a book . . .”  

Although I’m not the author of an international bestseller, and am comfortable in the knowledge that I never will be, nevertheless, I am a writer. As such, my office has accumulated a lot of paper. I am not really a pack rat – I normally do not have heaps and mounds of stuff stacked around. But, organized and neatly boxed or not, it’s still a lot of paper. Although the rest of mankind long ago came to the conclusion that we are no longer as dependent on paper as we used to be - that we are becoming a paperless society - I have finally realized and accepted that means me, too. While it is usually pretty well corralled, I’m tired of the idea that it’s all hanging around in here. It is not only taking up physical area, it’s cluttering up the space in my mind. And, as my family will be happy to tell you, it’s getting snug up here in Grandma’s attic.

So, I am attacking the file cabinet that holds not only decades of my work, it is also home to every set of small appliance instructions we’ve purchased since our last clock radio. Not only does this big metal monster hold a bunch of stuff I don’t really want and don’t know what to do with, it’s clunky and takes up precious room. And it is way beyond shabby chic. It needs some serious camouflage to keep it from looking like a throwback from a 1950’s office. But its early 90’s coat of burgundy paint and clever rope handles just aren’t cutting it anymore.

It’s going to have a new life, though, because one of our daughter’s classmates needs a file cabinet just this size. So, it’s off to its new home where it will live a new life – happy organizing, champ!