Thursday, October 29, 2009

Because it's so Much Easier Running Somone Else's Life

A few days ago I took a four day working vacation to my parents. I caught the bills up, did 2 years of filing (and cleared off a buried table in the process), arranged for automatic payment of some bills, took them to tour a very nice retirement facility (that I sure wouldn't mind living in in 20 years), took them to various places, joined in a nice dinner that my brother prepared and excellent and frank conversation afterward.

And then I go home. I too have a slightly missing table and too much paper. At least my bills are caught up (thanks to automatic payment), but there's still this pile of paper that drives me nuts. Why is it that I can totally organize their lives, but then I come back to my own stuff that's just starting back at me?

I think because when I'm somewhere else I'm not being distracted by the dogs who want to go out and in and them fed and walked and trained and entertained. And I'm all to happy to oblige them as I love them and that's why I have them. Then there's the 101 home maintenance things starting at me, and the dirty dishes and the floor that needs to be swept, and last night it was doing major lamp readjustment including taking two torchiere's apart to be recycled and pulling down a heavy light fixture to replace the bulbs. Oh and I had to go get the bulbs and be impressed that Home Depot actually has nice lamps and marveling at how much influence Boomers are wielding against normally tacky hardware store selection. But that's another blog entry...

So the pile still stares at me. One reason there's a pile is that I've gotten tired of burgeoning file cabinets and have started scanning bills and other things in and then shredding them. This is really, really cool except that each piece of paper takes more time because it has to be scanned and then named and electronically filed. Not much time, but enough that it's easy to fall behind.

Also paper can be a real problem of mine and it's just too easy to just set it down (i've learned to sort of cope by not allowing myself to set anything down unless it's in its designated "home." The problem is that bills and statements get mixed up with agility course maps, and other information that I kinda want to keep, stray photos that someone has given me, cards, letters, and the endless little notes I keep. Fortunately I'm good at sorting so instead of walking a dog at lunch today, I kicked them out into the yard and brought the pile out and sorted it. Also fortunately a good part of it got dumped into the recycle bin, but there still is a sizeable scan pile and there's this annoying nebulous stuff I don't quite know what to do with 9which got placed in a different pile and someday maybe I'll look at them within a year (yes, I have a couple of 2+ year old piles just like that - pathetic I know), and the course maps got stuck in a file folder, and I paper-clipped all my little notes together.

It's the curse of the almost, but not quite organized. It's vaguely tempting to just stop worrying about it, but not doing it would cost me a lot of money because Health Net needs a surprising amount of management for a huge company, and it would drive me nuts anyway, even if it feels like an unobtainable goal. Being organized is a goal worth striving for because even if you never achieve it even just doing it some means you've put thought into it and likely have SOME idea of where something is. Though I don't have quite the amazing skill that some disorganized people of being able to find one piece of paper 5 inches down in a pile.

I'm still mixed on the scanning solution. I really like it, but I don't like the extra time. I'm thinking of going back to paper and then scanning a pile of the same bills in at once. Then I wouldn't have the hassle of changing directories and each name would only need minor changes. Of course to do that I need to clear some space out of the file cabinent but with Google a log of that save paper can go away. Ok some of it, not all of it is on the web. Maybe I should scan it. Argh.

Then there's the unscanned 1000s of photos (which are at least date organized), but that's another angst ridden blog entry as well.

1 comment:

Elf said...

Sounds like my life. But screw the scanning of papers. Not getting around to old slides & photos is bad enough; I don't also need to not get around to scanning papers!