Thursday, January 18, 2007

Still Out, For Now

What is it about office supplies that makes everything better?

Last week I began to have a mild flutter about the amount of work that had shown up on my “to do” list. I didn’t actually panic, it was not a full-scale freak-out, I just got that nervous feeling you get right before the hysterical laughter hits you. I usually deal with stress that way. If you ask me if I’m feeling stressed, I’ll say no, but I’ll have trouble controlling nervous giggles and my body quietly runs around in a circle saying “what to do . . . what to do . . . . I can’t think, I can’t think!” [I tried to find the video link for this clip, which is hilarious, but I didn't have time to sort through all the clips on YouTube] Then I usually start feeling ill but can’t figure out why.

If I become conscious of the nervousness, then my instinctive way of dealing with the problem is to pretend that there is no problem, and just keep on going at the same pace as before. That’s why if I figure out that I’m stressed, I force myself to come up with a plan. My plans usually involve a trip to the office supplies store. It works for me.

This time I made a very detailed list of exactly what needed to done and exactly what day I would address each item of my list. It wasn’t just “research the issues coming up in that case,” it was “Monday, address subpart A of Issue X, Tuesday, research and draft a summary of subpart B of Issue X,” etc. And I carefully plotted all of this out on my calendar. That made me feel a little better, because then I could actually see how I had everything under control, I had a plan, it wasn’t going to be overwhelming. And then, and then, I gave myself a little treat by making a list of office supplies that I thought would help me stay on task and allow me to organize the stacks and stacks and stacks of files in my office threatening to become overbearing. I didn’t want to one day look around my office, realize I didn’t know what was where and I that had no place to set my coffee cup, and then start hearing Grieg’s “In The Hall Of The Mountain King while internally screaming like a banshee. Or externally screaming like a banshee.

Of course I got thrown a little off schedule because work was closed yesterday due to inclement weather. Luckily, I had left a little extra space in my schedule for getting behind, so that wasn’t too much of an issue. And staying home gave me the opportunity to finally address the two boxes of filing that I hadn’t addressed since I moved in August. The filing prevented me from going full-on screaming banshee at home, something I’ve been very close to doing pretty much since I moved. Now I can stand to be in my room, so long as I concentrate on my now-organized bookshelves and don’t look at my dresser or my desk.

Anyway, in the afternoon the ice had melted, so I took a trip to Office Depot, and this morning I spent some time organizing. I can now stand to be in my office. I’m not panicking at all. I just keep looking at the pretty project jackets and my new dry erase board on which I wrote out everything I’m working on.

If I’m MIA for longer than I had anticipated, it’s because I’m distracted by the pretty colors, which is understandable, and by my work, which is the way it should be.


jes said...

Mmmmmm. Office Depot.

Though I can't begin to imagine you being messy. Your dresser? I bet only has one flake of dust on it.

Emma Sometimes said...

You have singlehandedly made my day. I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe...oh, did I need that Screaming Banshee card, like no other.

JLR said...

jes: au contraire! I keep my office very tidy, but home is a different matter. I can't stand the mess, though, so I just can't spend time in the room that has the mess. I walk in, and then turn around and walk back out.

emma: glad you laughed! That is one of my favorite e-cards of all time. The first time I saw it, I really did laugh so hard that I cried.

Dapoppins said...

Okay, I loved the screaming banshee. Do they have a screaming banshee has children? Screaming banshee gives birth? Screaming banshee looks for a job? I told Emma, it is so funny, because, THAT'S US!

Anonymous said...

i'm at that screaming banshee place too...emmers shared it with me via you. just moved myself, but i found my the way did you get pens whilst at office depot? one cannot come out of there with no less than 4 different varieties of pens and or mechanical pencils. oh..that isle gives me the chills!

JLR said...

dapoppins: I'm glad you liked it! And I'm glad that we can all laugh about the fact that we relate to the card.

badoozie: I couldn't buy any pens because of my self-imposed pen-buying ban. But that aisle is definitely my favorite. It's like a drug. I'm so sad that I'm not in school anymore and I don't have an excuse to buy more. I keep buying more for work, but I'm going to run out of space, and since I confiscated my coworker's pens for having too many, I can't go down that road myself.

I will NOT ask you what type of your pen is your favorite, because I've already spent too much space talking about pens.

RR said...

Badoozie: JLR is, indeed, on a strict pen-buying ban. This is because her home is overflowing with them. I know because I live with her. Pens are everywhere . Now, I know if you're a pen-a-holic you think you can never have enough pens, and as a pen-o-phile I can sympathize with that, but my desk drawer can barely open and close, it's so stuffed with JLR's pen surplus.

Do you happen to have a similar situation in your home? If so, JLR will be glad to hear she's not the only one.

P.S. I was so excited when they published the "Screaming Banshee says Thank You" card. I didn't want to wear out the bloom from the original Banshee card.