Friday, December 26, 2008
The Organized Way to Happiness
One thing I promised myself I'd do during my holiday vacation was get caught up on paperwork. I'm one of those people that thrives in an organized environment. Everything has a place, by design, in my world. I once had someone make note of the fact that my junk drawer is organized, that the labels of my canned goods all face forward and that the handles of my coffee mugs all face the same direction in the cupboard. Okay, I can be know to go overboard at times. I am okay with clutter under certain circumstances, but for the most part, unless there's a work-in-progress, I'm much happier with the dishes in the dishwasher, the clothes folded and put away, the coats hung up in the coat closet, and the counters clear of clutter. Actually I had always loved organizing, and if I could manage a decent living, I'd love to organize for other people. Truly, I love organizing every room of the house, computer files, file cabinets, glove boxes, you name it. However, for a while there, I was receiving a lot of very unpleasant mail (going through a divorce sort of thing) and thus I avoided opening mail, and eventually doing all paperwork. I learned how to setup bill payment online automatically. But the rest of it, well, it just didn't get done. So now I find myself with perpetual piles of paperwork needing to be filed most of the time. Every once in a while (once a quarter perhaps), I get up enough gumption to file everything but it quickly piles back up. Every time I walk past one of those piles, I feel bad. No, I feel horrible. Since I'm on the eve of a new year that I've dubbed: 2009 The Year of Happiness, I realized that those piles of unfiled paperwork are a huge happiness drain for me, and one that is entirely within my realm of control to change. So I emptied the piles onto the kitchen table, and began opening every envelope. Some went in the trash, some in this file, others in that file, some got translated into contacts on my iPhone, some got translated to To Do list items via a Jott recording, but nothing got left in a pile unless it was a form needing to be completed, etc. I cannot express the relief I felt 4 (yes, four) hours later when I was completed with my quest. Since then, I've been very good about opening mail when received, filing billing statements and receipts, and the other tasks necessary to eliminate the creation of a new ugly monster (paperwork pile). For 2009, I promise myself that I will treat myself well, and promote my own happiness by eliminating the happiness drains that I create for myself. No more piles of undone laundry, no more piles of unfiled bills, no more sinks full of dirty dishes, no more cluttered countertops. This one's for me.