2005 is the year I get organized. Yep. Finances, the future, the whole shebang. Gonna get my life on track. No more spending hours looking for my keys.
No more losing important contact numbers or vital documents.
No more missed appointments or bounced cheques. I mean it.
Tony Robbins says it all starts with a decision. Make one life-changing decision right now, he says. Then act on it. I might as well try it his way, since mine has me dodging phone calls from a lady named June who's tracked me down from Montreal to remind me of bills I forgot to pay in 1997. Sure, she sounds nice, but what kind of person works for a collection agency?
Taking Tony's advice, I order copies of my credit history so I can get that cleared up, and copies of my student records from Concordia that I'll need to get into U of T to finish my degree, because that's what organized people do. They finish things. Hey! I took philosophy!
Those are baby steps. Nothing to it. There is still a massive hurdle in the way of moving toward my organized future, and that is my office, the paper vortex where everything goes missing. If a cluttered desk signifies a cluttered mind, then my mind must be a black hole, which might explain where the 90s went.
I haven't cleaned my drawers and boxes in years, since long before I moved them to Toronto three years ago - without removing the contents. It's a daunting project. Anything could be in there.
The only way is to tackle it head on. So I crack open a bottle of wine and dump the contents of every single box, drawer and milk crate onto the floor. Then I stand knee deep in what feels like a lifetime's worth of papers, junk and debris and promptly burst into tears.
Sniffling, I begin sorting through old notebooks full of ideas for projects I never saw through, book and film ideas, remnants of a time when so much more seemed possible. And pages and pages of really bad writing. What was I thinking?
There are Barbie heads and batteries, bank cards I'd reported lost and bills for the cable that got cut off. Broken jewel cases and scratched CDs. T4 slips never filed. Agendas bought but never filled in. Rejection letters from publishers that ultimately cowed me into shelving my novel.
And so many phone numbers, letters, cards and photographs. Pictures of people's kids, postcards from halfway around the world, invitations to parties and weddings. Christmas and birthday wishes, declarations of friendship.
Here is evidence of all the wonderful people who have reached out to me over the years, and relationships I've let fall by the wayside. I realize how lucky I am that there's so much love in my life and that many have stayed loyal despite the intermittence of our communication. Others gave up, and who could blame them?
Mine is a life half-lived, and here is the other half being carefully filed away or chucked into garbage bags. Irresponsibility takes so much from us that we can never get back.
It takes 12 hours to sort through this massive collection of shirked responsibilities, abandoned plans, dashed hopes and miscellaneous weird shit, and I vow never to let this happen again.
The next day it's time to tackle that credit history.
Unfortunately, the papers have, um, disappeared.