A while ago, I was fiddling around with my wallet trying to find enough cash to hand to my daughter to buy some dinner. We were at one of our traditional Friday night dinners at Crossroads Mall in Bellevue and there was a crowd of fellow Three Cedars Waldorf School families milling about and organizing tables. My friend Jackie saw me and grabbed my wallet. Holding the tangle of bills, assorted receipts, credit cards and membership cards up before my eyes, she said, “This…this is your life!”
I didn’t particularly like the analogy as it was much too apt as Jackie’s observations tend to be. Organizing has been a battle for me ever since I can remember. My mom was uber-tidy and so she never let stuff sit around for long. If my room got to the point where she couldn’t walk into it, she’d step in and organize everything for me. Not that it’s my mom’s fault for my being disinclined to cleanliness, but the simple matter is I’m still learning how to pick up and stay picked up. My brother Ken, for some reason, has always been a neat freak. His bedrooms were always tidy in between bouts of play and he keeps his current house picked up all the time.
After the wallet in the face incident, I decided to solve my problem by purchasing a new wallet. Tossing money at a solution is maybe not the most efficient or cost effective way of dealing with something, but, in my case, it sometimes works. I found a wallet that would let me put my bills inside it flat rather than having to fold them in half. After all, the reason my other wallet didn’t work wasn’t that I stuck too much into it as much as it didn’t hold things neatly.
So, I switched to the new wallet. A few months go along and I’m looking for some receipts for something, and I realize I’m holding a completely new mess not any better than the one I had with the other wallet. I sigh and sit down with the pile and organize it. It’s been a week, and things are looking pretty good by comparison.