Organization

I will probably never be really organized, but I’m addicted to the idea that someday I might be. Like the dream of losing five pounds, or the perfect partner, or wrinkle cream, or a sunless tanner that after all the technological advances in sunless tanning doesn’t still smell like Q.T. underneath…

I can’t give it up.

And somehow my feelings about organization are irrevocably entwined with my feeling about school. Even for the decade or so I wasn’t in school, there was still that feeling, each time I moved, each time I changed jobs or started a freelance project. I am still driven by the thought that I COULD be organized, together, that I might sit on my couch not out of overwhelmedness or depression about all the random life administration I’m putting off, but because it’s all done and I am actually free to think about something else.

In the 80’s I bought into the myth of the Trapper Keeper. I dreamed that the color coding would make it all clear. In September I could deny that the foldered pockets would become so overburdened and heavy that I would take them off their three ringed tethers—that by October I would be habitually late for class and without time to visit my locker would begin to put chemistry notes in the blue French folder instead of the green one, and that copying all 501 Spanish verbs would fill up the red notebook long before the year’s end.

By the 90’s I had to acknowledge the Trapper Keeper had been a false religion, but I wouldn’t give up on its premise. I simply transferred my hopes to three-ring binders with the five tab dividers. You could keep adding paper—and you could get more binders—one for sheet music, one for stage managing The Taming of the Shrew…how could you go wrong? (Is it any wonder I ended up in production? The production book is just a too-cool-to-say-it Trapper Keeper with a three-inch D-ring.)

And I actually found I was able to get through a semester or a play and kind of just hold it together. But what then? What to do with all the binders full of sheet music, verb lists, blocking notes? And then I started working, got an EIN number and needed to keep resumes, cover letters, copies of invoices, pay stubs and expenses. It was time to admit I need more than a binder. (To be continued next post…)

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