that was me just over 24 hours ago. surrounded by the most horrific display of laziness i have witnessed in quite some time and trying not to lose my mind while undoing 2 years worth of utter slack.
Thursday night, we came home to find our mailbox stuffed with a nearly $900 bill for a doctor’s appointment that happened over a year ago. what is the deal with doctors and billing, right? not the first time it has taken months and months to get a bill for something — it always shows up just when you think your insurance must have covered everything and you put it out of your mind. how on earth do doctors run a business that way?
anyway, the whole thing totally set Spy off. obvs, no one is happy about having to pay the bill, but the fact that we aren’t organized enough to find any other paperwork about the appointment or a prior bill or anything tapped into one of deepest sources of self loathing. try as he may, he is just not very organized. he’s the guy constantly looking for his keys, wallet and reading glasses. and it drives him crazy. especially when nearly a thousand bucks is at stake.
i’m the organized one in the family. generally, with not too much effort, i can put my hands on pretty much any piece of paper or email we might need to dredge up long after it’s been forgotten. that silver bin in front of me in the picture above is where i throw bills after i’ve paid them, correspondence i’ll get around to filing one day and pretty much everything else i know i should save, but don’t want to make a decision about what to do with it in the moment. i typically give it a good sorting through every 6 months or so. but apparently, at this point, i hadn’t touched it for over 2 years. ugh.
so yesterday, i set about the monumental task of getting things organized. but first things first. turns out at least part of Spy’s problem with filing his own paperwork, other than somehow not understanding my super-simple filing system (eye roll) is that all the different colored files distract him. he is completely ADD and very visual, and i can kind of see how theoretically it would be too much stimulation and kind of overwhelming.
so a couple hours in, i took a break to go see Bad Moms (which was freaking awesome) and swing by the office store for supplies. neutral supplies. y’all, i am a complete office supply nerd. getting new matchy school supplies each September was always one of my favorite times of the entire year. new notebooks and folders with untattered edges were the ultimate clean slate. yesterday was no different. this lovely oyster grey spoke to me. it was just the match for my grey filing cabinets. i was stoked.
but instead of getting back to work when i got home, some neighbors dropped by. the four girls had a ball running off their last-weekend-before-school-starts energy and the grown-ups gabbed and had a few cocktails. before i knew it, it was bedtime for Miss Girl. i promptly put spy on that, cranked up my Lloyd Cole Pandora channel and got back to work. i finally got through that entire silver bin, sorting through registration documents for cars we haven’t owned in 3 years . . . CVS receipts i probably never submitted to my FSA . . . and a few really nice notes from co-workers that served as a pleasant reminder i have more of a positive impact on other people’s lives than i realize. these kinds of exercises always take at least ⅓ longer than they should because they are such a walk down memory lane. by 12:30, it was looking something like this and i called it a night.
this morning was all about the sorting, grouping, purging and making labels. it was like doing a navigation and taxonomy exercise for work. does our home security service folder belong in the Utilities main folder or Home Services? do i really need to create a Banking folder to store Spy’s bank statements? who still gets these things? and where the fuck is our 2010 tax return? it’s like the year that never happened . . . not. one. scrap. about it.
the awesome printable tabs turned out to not be so awesome. they wouldn’t run through my printer without taking 2 other pieces of copy paper with them, so after 2 tries, i decided just to hand write everything. i was really getting into the perfection of it all and this kinda messed with my vision, but at this point, i was 24 hours into this project and just needed it to be done. ain’t nobody got time for perfection now.
i finally finished up around 2:30 this afternoon, complete with our recently-received birth and marriage certificates filed away. i ordered those recently to submit my DAR paperwork when i realized the ones i know are in the envelope with our marriage license application (if i could just find that damn envelope) were nowhere to be found. never saw ’em today, either. i also never found the insurance form from last summer that would have cleared up the giant doctor’s bill that started this whole mess (but the insurance company did send me a duplicate to submit tomorrow). and i never found the title to my car, which i was so careful to put in a safe place when i so happily paid it off a couple months ago. but if those are the worst things we’re missing, i think i can live with it.
so not a beauty shot, the final product is soothingly neutral. as another very visual person, i don’t get the memory cues i need from this to be able to find anything quickly. (there are 3 drawers just like this one, by the way.) but if the husband will use it, it will be worth every single one of the 16 torturous, mind-scrambling hours it took to do it (and more). and i’m feeling a little of that back-to-school, new year, clean slate feeling with this all wrapped up and in place. and just maybe this is the beginning of a shiny, new organized existence . . . bwahahahahahahaha there aren’t enough soothing oyster grey office supplies in the world to guarantee that, buddy. but a girl can dream . . .