Slice of Life

I’d rather (not) be filing

Getting organized is an essential task — that I'll get around to just as soon as I'm done with these other oh-so-important tasks ...

ktanner@thetribunenews.comOctober 31, 2012 

High on the list of things I’d really rather not do — right up there with root canals, weeding, Black Friday shopping and washing out the garbage can — is doing my filing.

My natural inclination is to toss paperwork loosely into boxes, to be unearthed later by archeological dig.

Let’s see, third box down, about mid-stack, that should be November 2011. Hey, I was close!
However, my non-filing system doesn’t help me find the receipt for that gadget I bought a while back, a gizmo which now doesn’t work and should be returned — with the receipt.

So, yes, SOME filing is a necessary evil. Fun? Not even. It’s certifiably mind-numbing trying to create a semblance of order out of innate chaos, scrabbling through a box filled with papers, magazines, CCSD agenda packets, flyers and topics for my own game of Trivial Pursuit: The InBox.

I’m also digging through huge stacks of personal papers, pictures and documents. We keep trying to weed them out and condense them down, but they multiply at night, like wire hangers and dirty dishes.

The paper sorting is laborious work, and often dusty, musty, moldy and sneezy, to boot. What can brighten up the pure boredom are the occasional flashbacks.
Such as: “Look at your hair! An Afro?”

Or, “Weren’t you cute in your uniform?” (Giggle, giggle.)

Or, “Who’s that standing with my mom and grandma? Why didn’t somebody write down her name while they still knew what it was?”

But even with familial fun, any filing is tedious, time-and-space consuming and often backbreaking.

It’s filled with decisions I hate to make — the dull, repetitive kind that seem so meaningless and can be so life changing — if you throw away the wrong piece of paper.

So, as my fingers shuffle through the paperwork, and my sacroiliac issues increasingly insistent pain bulletins, my mind wanders off by itself, taking short, sanity-saving trips in other directions.

Trip 1: Stop-and-start traffic notwithstanding, hasn’t the Scarecrow Festival been grand? I don’t remember ever seeing so many people traipsing around Cambria, even in mid-town. If the aim was to get people here and out of their cars, walking around town, it certainly succeeded.

Trip 2: How did they get here? Have you spotted all the pricey, tricked-out rides stalking their way through Cambria recently? For instance, we saw a glorious Aston Martin parked behind Heart’s Ease on Friday, Oct. 26. No James Bond, though. More’s the pity.

Trip 3: Nothing makes a house smell better than a freshly baked, homemade pumpkin or apple pie. Preferably both. Maybe that’s why we love Thanksgiving so much.

Trip 4: Confusion reigns when friends switch cars. As we pass each other on the street or the highway, they’ll be waving merrily away at me (really, at my vehicle), and I’ll be thinking, “I don’t know that car. Who is that strange person?” Then later, they’ll say, “We waved at you and you didn’t wave back. What’s the matter? You mad at me or something?”

Trip 5: Do you eat a candy corn all in one bite, or do you chew off the colors, one at a time? It’s the Halloween version of eating a waffle.

Trip 6: Of course, I endorse using recycled shopping bags. But I need a way to keep all those disparate bags organized in the car without filling up the space for the groceries or purchases I would have put in the bags — if I had remembered to take them into the store in the first place. It’s getting more automatic at the grocery store or farmers market, but at Target? The hardware store or pharmacy? Not so much.

Trip 7: I so hope there’s a record turnout of voters for the Nov. 6 election, whether those voters are on the red, blue, green or polka-dotted side of the political fence.

We not only have the hard-fought right to cast those ballots, we have the responsibility and the duty.

Voting’s a must-do honor, no matter what else is going on that Tuesday.

Remember, if you don’t vote, then you’ve really got no right to bitch about what happens later.

After all, casting a ballot is way better than doing my filing.

Kathe Tanner is a reporter for The Cambrian and The Tribune. Her Slice of Life column appears biweekly. Follow her on Twitter: @CambriaReporter.

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