I'm pretty inefficient.
And I’m cool with it.
At university I made attempts to rectify what seemed at the time like an issue. Like any self-improvement attempt, this involved many trips to Officeworks. All I found was that I like to buy folders but not to use them, and that printing in the evening makes me feel like a grown-up.
My first job out of uni was as an administrative assistant for a fancy-ish kind of office where on casual days the women wore polo-shirts and the men wore boat-shoes, as though the whole office was going sailing after work (which to the best of my knowledge they didn’t - unless they just didn’t invite me). I completed my administrative tasks with no small amount of ‘hoo-ha’, and for the six months of my employment genuinely wondered why, as a functioning adult, I couldn’t manage to put the stickers onto folders in a way that was satisfactory.
It wasn’t until I left the job that I realised it why.
Because I don’t care.
Sure, sometimes being efficient would be nice. I’d probably put cds back into their covers and hang towels up straight away. I’d have matching sets of bras and underwear, and an air of superiority that comes with the knowledge that you’re matching under your clothes. But alas, I remain mismatched.
I’d like instead to assume that that area of my brain that others dedicate to folder-stickering and underwear-matching is taken up with lovelier things. Like creativity. Or kindness. Or the ability to make pancakes without a recipe.
Truth be known I am suspicious it is filled with Hanson lyrics.
So I have a plan.
Lists are my game. Lists, lists, lists. My lovely lists are written in a lovely black book filled with lovely paper, which makes writing them quite a lovely experience. Each list includes the ever-encouraging item ‘make list’ at the top, to promote fuzzy feelings of achievement and faux-efficiency - and I am happily fooled.
The friend of my black book is my red diary, which is pocket-sized and satisfyingly weighted and tells me when to do the things that my list remembers for me. And no I don’t use my iPhone for this.
Because I don’t like over-using my phone in public.
And because it is held together by sticky tape.
And thank goodness.
So all this listing and diarising basically means I never have to remember anything ever again. Which is lovely and freeing and gives me time to think about other, more interesting things. Like lyrics to Hanson songs, presumably.
I must say though, it is all becoming increasingly problematic. Because in effect, I have trained myself not to remember anything ever. And this is particularly worrysome because I don’t just restrict the losing of things to my brain. No, no - I like to lose things in real life too; Sunglasses, jewelry, shoes, cardigans, cds... I’ll lose them all!
When I was in high-school I lost my school diary several times a term. And because it had important things in it like ‘Go to Double Helix Club’ and ‘make food pyramid’, you can see how this was all kinds of upsetting. It would usually turn up unannounced and uninvited in my dad’s pigeon-hole (who was an English teacher at my school) for him to return to me. This would have no doubt appeared convenient to my teachers (who presumably couldn’t be bothered tracking me down at lunchtime at in the science rooms during Double Helix Club) but happened so frequently that eventually my dad started refusing to return it to me. (How this complied with Sacred Heart College’s 'Personal Respect and Dignity Policy' I’ll never know).
So what happens if I lose my red and black support team?
Recently I asked my anonymous and wonderfully idealistic friend Anna what she thought the answer to all of this was; searching for the kind of poetic symmetry that would feed my own idealism and ease my growing inefficiency.
She suggested ‘iCloud’.
I was unsatisfied.
Two donkeys I saw on Gertrude Street last Friday while I was walking home from work.