Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Normally, I like paperwork and hate housework.  My job requires a rather ridiculously large amount of paperwork.  I get a certain satisfaction out of organizing all this paperwork into systems I think work best for our staff.  I want the paperwork to reflect the work we do on the ground; I want it to paint a picture of the magic we create with families.  I usually believe I'm the best person to do this job, and the endless reading and printing and editing and piling and filing are part of this job, parts I do willingly, and with great satisfaction when I do it well.

Housework ... well, I guess I'd rather just skip to the end result.  My son's too-small clothes are semi-organized.  Meaning: that one time when my sister came to town and organized the 0-12 month clothes?  Those ones are still organized.  The 12 month to 2T can be found in an assortment of bags, both paper and plastic, and piles, most of which are found in the general vicinity of the attic, with no organizing principle whatsoever, except get-this-out-of-my-face.  I don't necessarily believe that I'm the best person for this job.  My sister showed me that in one weekend visit.  In fact, I'm pretty sure she's the best person for the job!  But the fact that she'll be birthing a baby any day now makes it substantially less likely that she'll show up and do it anytime soon.

And lately I've made a switch, as complete and dramatic as a florescent overhead light in a pitch black room.  My disorganized attic calls out to me.  It haunts me while I hobble to and fro on the first floor of my living quarters, trying to tidy things as best I can.  I daydream sitting cross-legged (I can't sit cross-legged; are you freakin' kidding me?  I can hardly sit at all.) behind the walls, in the uninsulated eves where we store all the belongings with no defined place, all the too-small baby clothes, boxes of Christmas decor, and bins of books awaiting the future purchase of bookshelves big enough to contain them, all our homeless, forlorn belongings.  They whisper my name while I'm sleepless in bed, and I imagine myself creating order from that chaos, moving like a whirling dervish (yeah, highly unlikely) through stacks of stuff we've chosen to keep, but left neglected while trying to manage our everyday lives outside the attic eves, the parts of our lives the world sees.

And paperwork?  Bah humbug!  My dad recently retired from teaching, and has long enjoyed the cynical teacher's past time of scoffing at any new development designed to improve the learning of students, but seemingly more likely to create a new set of hoops for teachers to hop through on their way to wherever they were already headed.  Usually I'm more optimistic.  I readily adopt, and adapt whatever is sent to us, and attempt to use it to show how amazing what we do really is.  I look at the endless forms, reading between formulaic lines for hidden poetry to unearth ideas for how we can be better.  But now?  Ugh.  My desk?  UNcomfortable!  Forms?  A PAIN in my ass!  Paperwork?  WHATever!  I think I'm ready to be done with work.

My chiropractor recommended I not teach my last yoga class, scheduled for this Thursday evening after I told her I don't mind the stretching, but the students, my God!  What are they doing there?  What do they want from me?  They need to chill.  She told me about her last day of popping backs before her maternity leave a few years ago.  She knew it was time to go when clients told her about their back problems and all she could think was:  You think YOUR back hurts?  I'm eight months pregnant here, buddy!

I want to retire to the cave-like clutter of my attic eves.  My husband and son can come with me, and we can unearth treasures like children in a junkyard of discarded toys.  I want to leave my office abandoned, let the spiders weave their webs between binders on my bookshelf, and my paperwork  pile up to the ceiling, sniffling in sudden neglect.

I want to come home.  I want to prepare my nest.

1 comment:

  1. I can so relate! I've love to be home right now cleaning out the coat closet. Very weird, especially for a non-cleaner, but I figure there is nothing to do but accept it.