I’ve been editing forever. Seriously. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t editing. So when I finally sent the last of Hiro II off to the marvelous Erin Zarro for copyediting? It was time for a celebration. It was time for some fun, and time to accomplish some of the stuff I’ve been putting off while editing forever.
So I did some dishes. Enforced the taking down of the Christmas tree. Took a friend to lunch.
Rearranged my files.
I’ve been meaning to do it for YEARS. Why Sunday was finally the day? I couldn’t tell you. But I did it. I already had five different colors of file folders. I also had the same five colors of hanging files, coincidentally enough! So I dove in.
Stuff that’s personal to me, I filed in blue folders. “Certificates.” “School Stuff.” “TDP.” For my daughter (who creates a TON of paperwork with every step, holy smokes) red. Labels include “Health,” “School,” and “Trouble.” Things owned like the car, the house, appliance manuals, receipts–those are in yellow. Pet paperwork, general family stuff, that’s orange. Then the financial stuff, naturally, is in green. Taxes, pay stubs, aaaallll that stuff that comes up…
At the very front of the top drawer, in easy reach from my desk, I have six files labeled for the months. January/July, February/August, and so on. Those are my “I don’t know what to do with this, do I need to do anything with it?” files. So instead of letting stuff pile up on my desk (hopefully) if I’m unsure I’ll toss it in there. If I need it, I can find it. If I don’t need it, when I come back around to that folder in six months, I’ll know I can toss it.
That task was a walk down memory lane, let me tell you. I’m a filer. When my daughter was in kindergarten, her teacher emailed me EVERY SINGLE DAY. I have those emails, printed out.
August 25, 2004
Today she escaped the line when my aide was distracted and was found in the courtyard howling like a wolf. She said it was the full moon.
September 7, 2004
I sent her to time-out in another classroom. She walked into the room, told the teacher the toilet in our bathroom was broken, and used their restroom. Then she went outside to play on the playground until the principal caught her.
November 18, 2004
Quick question…were her legs broken when she was a baby? She said her dad dropped her and broke her legs. She’s been complaining of her legs hurting her whenever she has to sit “crisscross applesauce” on the rug.
December 10, 2004
In the morning instead of baking cookies, she chose to go outside and make squawking noises. So if she comes home with some gingerbread cookies it means that another child gave them to her, and she talked my TA into letting her decorate them while I was out of the room.
January 13, 2005
Today she didn’t want to participate in our MLK Day art project and was so angered by prompting that she crawled under the table, put a blanket over her head and shouted “I hate black people!” repeatedly. I don’t know what you are teaching her at home but it needs to stay there.
That one had me nearly in tears, I’ll tell you. The kid and I had a talk during which she explained that all the black people she knew (my coworkers, who adored her!) were not black, they were brown. She didn’t know any black people but she didn’t mean it anyway–she just didn’t want to color the picture.
I have her report cards. I have my report cards. I have a great big file of all my attempts to change my life. I have nearly everything I’ve ever written, including a thinly-disguised Hardy Boys self-insert fanfic I remember working on when I was 17 or so.
Some of that stuff in there…it probably should have stayed lost. But then there’s the picture of her in the 3rd grade, after she gave herself a haircut, that her teacher sent home. I’ll use that one to great effect one day, I promise. Now that I know where it is again…