Organizational Obsession of the Day: The File Cabinet
Two weeks ago when I was preparing to apply for a teaching job that was open in Columbia, I got really excited about finally organizing all of my professional documents. I've had a half-done portfolio stuffed into a drawer since I graduated in 2005...and sinking my teeth in and actually finishing it felt amazing. The wierd thing is, I really have no desire to teach band anymore--but I LOVED getting all of my showcase materials prettily arranged in a slick binder. I happily sorted, hole-punched, purged, and printed for Lord only knows how long--all before breakfast. And when I was done, I surveyed all I had done, and I saw that it was good. Mmm. Sweet satisfaction.
Today, I've been awake for approximately 2 hours. I am still in my coke-bottle glasses and boxers (don't worry...there's a shirt involved too), I haven't eaten breakfast, I still need to practice and run , I have a long list of other things I could be doing before I go into work at noon...but I've had other things on my mind.
There is a drawer on the lower right hand side of my desk that is stuffed full of papers in disarray. They are mostly beginning band handouts, scales, warmups, grading rubrics, and songs I have been collecting since I began teaching in 2006. I haven't had the need for any of it this year, but with our move coming up, I wanted to go through it to see if I could get rid of some extra baggage. And so, all morning I have been making piles and labeling files...making everything "just-so"...and now it is done...and it looks amazing. Not to mention the feeling of accomplishment it gives me.
It's like popping a zit or picking a dry scab. Sick...but oh so refreshing.
I used to think that my overwhelming desire to organize things meant that maybe I should be a Professional Organizer. One summer I even contacted a local P.O. to apprentice her and learn the business. I soon discovered that I found little satisfaction teaching someone how to organize their things when I could just take it over and do it myself instead. I've noticed that I only get the itch to purge and sort when life begins to fluxuate into a transition...and I am convinced that the outward expression of being organized and completely put together is just my way of excercising control when I feel like things are spinning out of control around me. If there are circumstances in my life that I can't fix or figure out...I desperately search for something I can.
Admitting it is the first step, right?