When I was a little girl, one of my favorite games was playing office. Our first home had a half-second story, one big room tucked under the attic, with a sloping ceiling and one small window that overlooked the sidewalk. There was a wooden desk tucked into that alcove, with an old-fashioned manual typewriter and a vintage adding machine, the kind you operated with a pull down handle. At the age of 3 and 4, you'd find me up there happily pounding away on that old Remington, writing all kinds of "important" letters, and adding long columns of numbers. When I was a bit older, we moved to another home, but my home office went with me. My dad had a big desk in the basement, with lots of drawers - he didn't use it much, but I surely did. My typewriter (by now I'd graduated to a Smith Corona electric) was seated smack in the middle, and I used one of my dad's cast off electric adding machines (I can still hear that funny little whirr it made when you pressed the "=" sign.)
Yes indeed, I loved playing office in those days. Sometimes I pretended to be a lawyer, other times a magazine editor. But whatever make believe career I embarked upon, they all required lots of paperwork, because I loved paper. My fervent wish in those days was to spend my life playing with words on paper.
Well, as they say, be careful what you wish for.
Fast forward several decades to 2009, and I find myself sitting a desk every day, my computer with a large flat screen monitor front and center, calculator at hand, and absolutely surrounded by paper. Stacks upon stacks of paper.
Not only does my daily job require tons of repetitious and seemingly redundant paperwork, the events of the past three months have found me drowning in a good deal of personal paperwork as well - namely, all the paperflow involved in settling my aunt and uncle's estate.
How does one cope when one's dream comes true and then turns into a nightmare?
I'm looking for ways to crawl out from under this mountain of papers...any ideas?