June 30, 2010


Eleanorroosevelting just wasn't getting it.  I could pick up and file one piece of paper at a time for the rest of my life, with as much impact as my grandchildren's attempts when they were munchkins to pick up every last shell on South Carolina beaches.

New plan: work no more than one hour a day on any given task -- starting with the chores I haven't been able to force myself to do.  Back in the old days -- when I was writing curriculum, when I was writing answers to the UMC's Disciplinary Questions prior to ordination, when I was working on my M. F. A.  manuscript -- I used the same plan, but the goal was ten minues a day. Why?  Because it was easier to expend the time than to make excuses.

Flash forward to my 2009 tax return and my reams of medical paperwork. My revised strategy? Onehouradaying.  Ten minutes isn't enough time; I need to get through this mess so I can shut the hell up about it. I now present my new photography exhibit: Illness: Works on Paper, Spring 2010.

At the bottom of the photo is the file envelope I set up and labeled when we started the medical adventure.  For the first week or two, we were actually capable of filing items.  (While I'm at it, let me point out the lovely tree and peace lily in the background, sent by Michael's parents and Charla Pace Prillaman when my father died.

11:04 a. m.  Before.  On the bottom of the pile of papers is the envelope file I set up in February..

11:38 a. .m. Step One:  Categorizing.  The original file is on the upper left.  Note how flat it appears.

12:21 p. m.  Step Two:  That fat folder at the back contains organized groups of papers. Remaining piles are EOBs from my insurance company, which I'm showing off because I finally took them out of the envelopes (R); activities and information to follow up on, such as exercises to prevent lymphedema and the phone number for the art therapist at Norton Suburban Hospital (Center), and a random pile of leftovers awaiting attention another day.

After.  The bulging yet completely organized file and, behind it, the leftovers.

As to the onehouradaying:  I started at 11:04.  The next to the last photo was taken at 12:21, and I messed with the papers for another half hour or so.  So:  11:04 until 12:51?  One hour and 47 minutes, not counting remembering to take the final photo late last night.

There's more to do, but the feeling of being overwhelmed has passed.  Next step:  opening the statements from the secondary insurance company.

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