Sep 2, 2017


I chuckle when people accuse me of being Organized and Efficient. If they only knew-! I also get comments on always being on time; that, I understand. I’m basically shy, and I’d skip a lunch date with my favorite celebrity before I’d mosey in anything.

But the efficient part? I often feel like the Wizard of Oz, one step ahead of being found out, distracting attention over there, away from the curtain. Whatever you do, don’t look behind the curtain!

Credit, if anything, bright little pieces of paper. They’re everywhere, and they help me keep up the illusion of being on top of things.

My mind races like mice on a hamster wheel (why isn’t that a mouse wheel? Everybody knows mice are more active than hamsters; see, there it goes again), juggling a dozen topics at a constant breakneck pace. If I fail to write them down, they skitter away.

 I keep a blank paper in my car, on my desk, in the kitchen, by the calendar, in the bathrooms, in every jacket pocket, in my journal, on the counter by the mugs, the note catcher over my computer, beside my bed...well, just about any place I go in a day, I’m mere inches from paper.

I write down thoughts, appointments, reminders, inspirational snippets, clever phrases I may use in an upcoming book, interesting turns of dialogue I overheard, news I mean to tell somebody, a brilliant idea for a birthday gift, a reminder to check that website for discount tickets.

 I keep an ongoing grocery list, too, a hastily scrawled, sometimes illegible reminder of what I need to buy next time I’m at the store. A recent one read:

6 oz umbrella
bald guy
graham crackers
chicken (on sale)

 I didn’t say they made sense.

I see order when I glance at these little papers, and I appreciate not having to strain my brain to recall what Julie said to tell Jenn, or what that shade of paint for the bedroom is called. Efficiency.

Husband, a few years ago, decided to Do Something Nice for me, and in his mind, that looked like detailing my car. He had it washed and waxed and buffed, and threw away all those scraps of paper inside and vacuumed and it looked so good, he decided to clean the kitchen, too, at least get rid of those pervasive little notes on the cupboard door.  

Besides not feeling as appreciative as he expected, I was dead in the water for about two weeks. I missed a doctor visit (and a dentist), I was lost at the grocery store without my list; plus, I had no idea what was on sale that week, I forgot a birthday, I neglected to send that box my daughter asked me to get for her, I didn’t pick up the prescriptions or photos I had ordered, a friend was annoyed because I forgot a lunch date, the deadline to mail those forms in came and went ....It was a long two weeks.

I find writing an idea down in the moment captures it while it’s fresh, and I can flesh it out later if needed. I admit not all of the little papers make sense; I’m still not sure what “lemon Volkswagens” or “call caramel cookies” means, but until I find out, you can bet I’m going to be keeping them at hand!

Efficient? No, just held together by little bits of colored paper. 


  1. I would be lost without my smart phone with the calendar and alarms. Lots and lots of alarms. Little pieces of paper probably work for anyone less scatterbrained than I am. Which means it probably would work for most people. :-)


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