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Blank space and Big Paper

May 19th, 2005 · No Comments

One of the activities that has occupied me in the past week since I last posted has been re-organizing my files. Usually I move one year’s worth of account papers into storage whenever we receive our tax return. Weeks have passed though this year and I was frustrated that I couldn’t find the time to tidy my files. My desk drawers were too full to use, and my desk itself became covered with piles of papers and books. Watching the flow of materials, I realized that I needed to change my system. This morning when the kids woke me early, in search of a misplaced pillow, I decided to stay awake and organize my misplaced papers. Some files I had not altered since 2000, the year we moved here. Flipping through the papers, I took a trip in time.

Most of the cards and letters I received, I noticed in my files, dated back to 2001 or 2002. I could think of a few reasons why my correspondence declined then. By 2002 I was a mom of three young kids. Also some of my long distance relationships started to feel the tug of time. Most of all though I think that many of my communications with friends and family have transferred to the electronic. So I am putting the cards and letters in storage. I’ll wait and watch how much paper correspondence I receive, before setting up another file system for them.

Besides the fact that it has taken me time to organize my papers, I also haven’t been able to blog because of the mental clutter I get from a messy desk. I don’t know how it is for anyone else, but I can have a hard time concentrating on a task when the space I am using is filled with leaning towers of Pisa of papers and books. Sometimes my desk barely has space for the mouse to move.

Another aspect of my life that has changed in the past five years is our family. We now have three times as many kids as we did when we moved here. Since 2000, three kids have learned to use the potty and two kids have learned to read. A few months ago it became clear Michaela was ready for more intense instruction so our home school afternoon study program now has two pupils when it once was a naptime for everyone. My desk, located in the kitchen, becomes our family’s educational center, as well as a financial center, miniature art gallery, hardware store, temporary post office, library and technology station.

Somehow too this piece of polished fir fit with a laptop and chair is supposed to be a place where I can come and have time for myself. I’ve been distracted and disturbed by the clutter. The physical transfers into the emotional. So I had to take the time and make the space for myself. Suddenly my desk seems larger. And so does my mind.

Speaking of helping the mind through clutter, I liked Big Paper as Scheherazade described it

Big Paper is a way we figure things out. It’s how we identify blocks and sort out our options and begin to see what we want to do about something. We did Big Paper yesterday and it was, as usual, surprising and helpful and powerful.

Stay of Execution is filled with Scheherazade’s practical wisdom. After reading her posts, I find myself wishing for bits of her life, whether it is a dog or a boat or a breakfast. This time I wish for Big Paper.

Tags: journal

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