bunt sign

Tuesday, January 15, 2002

I finished Arizona today. It's satisfying to cross an entire state off my to-do list.

We did one small job in Arizona last year, and we owed sales tax. It actually wasn't on my to-do list, until I remembered it in the middle of the night. (Wonder why I don't sleep?) So today I took care of Arizona, and now I can move on to California (plus a few minor matters in Nevada). And, of course, Washington, D.C., the Big Sponge.

It wasn't easy. I spent most of the day looking for the file I needed to back up the tax payment. There weren't many places I could have put that file, but I looked in all of them at least twice before I had to get creative in my thinking. Upstairs in the loft? No, but I did find some gardening books up there. I could say I thought I lost them, but really, I forgot I had them. And I'll probably forget again before spring gets here and I have some use for them.

Well, at least I didn't search the bathroom. Before I could resort to that indignity, I found the file I was looking for. For some reason, I'd put it in a box in the bedroom, where I'd also dumped all the mail order catalogs (none of which I used) that were delivered in November and December. Right there with Land's End and Harry and David, I found a file marked "Arizona tax," which I took as a sign that my search was over.

But I found some other things I didn't need yet in that same box. That's where I hid the file for workers compensation claims, for one thing. For another, I didn't fill out all the forms the City of Los Angeles sent me last summer. Now if we're going to do business with the city again I'll have to re-register the Company as an official vendor, and provide them with another copy our non-discrimination policy. (And trust me, we don't discriminate on any basis - including ability - which is one reason we have workers comp claims.)

If I had time to be satisfied with myself for finishing Arizona, I would have taken the rest of the day (what was left of it) off. Instead, I moved on to the next assignment. I've outlined my goals for the rest of this week. If I make it, I'll be on schedule to finish everything by the deadline at the end of the month. If I start slacking off (again), I'll still finish by the deadline, but I'll be a miserable shell of a person from the stress.

I'd love to say I think I'll keep on schedule, but it's more likely I'll get distracted and wander off the straight and narrow pathway. I wonder if it wouldn't be better to admit that to myself now, and save all the stress for the last couple of days, instead of beating myself up for missing the interim deadlines. In other words, maybe I should give myself the right to work at whatever pace is comfortable until I absolutely have to get intense with it.

That's either a great way to reduce stress, or the most shameless rationalization I've used on myself so far, in a long career of inventing excuses and adlibbing explanations.

red leaves

Red leaves.

My filing system has always been haphazard, but the things I found today were in the wrong places for a reason. I was having company a few weeks back and I needed to get them off the couch or the dining room chair or the top of the table, or wherever they were that would have been in the way. So I found the closest available flat surface and dropped them there.

I said there was a reason. I didn't say it had to be a good reason.

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