Fun with Housework and Cluttered Desks

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

If a cluttered desk
is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of a clean desk?
 ~Dr. Laurence J. Peter
A writer needs a
little clutter going in her head. Got to pull those stories from somewhere. But
I did finally almost get my desk cleaned off today. (I didn’t show the
corner that still has a pile of stuff to do something with.) 
I should have taken
a before picture so you could have seen what weeks of dumping everything on the
desk for later looked like. While I was working toward my deadline on the new
book, I didn’t have time to deal with some of the things coming across my desk.
Well, that’s a bit misleading. Those things didn’t go “across” my
desk. They landed on my desk and stuck to it like the bottom side of whatever
it was had glue. 

A place for everything and everything in its place. That’s great advice –
except for a writer like me who hates throwing away anything related to that
writing. The letter my editor sent me three books ago. The scraps of paper with
inspiring quotes on them. The catalogs with my books listed in them. I can’t
throw those away! The Valentine card my husband gave me – three years ago. A
granddaughter’s Kindergarten graduation program. Various and sundry bulletins
from church. A 2012 calendar. Oops, now I’m wondering if the stuff on my desk
has only been building for weeks. Maybe it was months. 

Come to think of
it, I’m sure it has been months. It’s been more than months that I’ve been
taking turns sitting with Mom. That’s been three years now. As someone told me
once, it’s like having two full time jobs. Sitting with Mom and writing. That
doesn’t leave a lot of time for decluttering my desk or my bookshelves. Things
get postponed. Those things pile up. But eventually the piles get too tall.
Eventually I finish the last book and look forward to a new book. I seem to
need the desk cleared off to get that fresh start on the new idea. My sister is
already asking me if I’ve started on the new book. I don’t think she wants to
hear me whining about a deadline racing my way if I delay the writing too
Perhaps my problem
is that housework is not my favorite thing. My husband once told me – while I
was not too happily cleaning up the stove after cooking his breakfast – that a
lot of women loved cleaning. Guess he’s not married to one of those
“lot of women.” 
I’m more in Erma
Bombeck’s camp. My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a
Or I have to
confess to being right there with Phyllis Diller about ironing. I’m eighteen
years behind in my ironing. There’s no use doing it now, it doesn’t fit anybody
I know
My husband’s shirts get dusty waiting for me to iron
them and then they have to be washed again and the whole cycle starts over.
Like Phyllis says, he’s probably outgrown them by now anyway. 
And isn’t this the
truth? Housekeeping is like being caught in a revolving door. —Marcelene
But I did find this
quote from A.A. Milne to be too true today as I cleaned off my desk. One
of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting
I don’t know that
the discoveries were exciting, but I did find something I had searched high and
low for, but not in the right pile of stuff. I knew it had to be there somewhere.
I’m hoping I put it in a place where I will find it when I look for it
But tonight I’m
going to let Ruby Lou Barnhill have the last word. A bright person
can always think of something better to do than housework
Well, almost the
last word. What household chore do you hate the most? I’ve always hated
dusting. Not a hard job, just one that seems so futile. And go ahead, you
“lot of women” and tell me how much you love cleaning and the
household chores you like. LOL!

P.S. If you’re
reading this, Tarasa, look close at the calendar. It’s on the right day!!!