I have been falling down internet rabbit holes on organising recently. I'm reading about Project Organize me Entire Life, reading reviews of ring bound vs disk bound day planners and gazing at endless filing systems on Pinterest. I spent about three hours in Officeworks last week. This obsession is sucking my time and I recognise it as something with more complex motivation than just wanting a new way to get paperwork in order. As I was wandering around the house looking for the plastic-y stand-up sticky notes that I remember seeing somewhere (If you must know I needed a temporary way to label my folders before I commit to catagories using permanent marker) I had a sudden epiphany - there are things in my life that I can't just organise away, much as I wish I could. As Sanjay and I are splitting up, and I'm currently waiting on paperwork from him, I don't know when I am going to move out of this house, I don't know how much money I will have available to rent or buy an apartment, I don't know where the kids will go to high school, I don't know whether I will pass uni (it's likely - I haven't failed a subject yet!) and graduate at the beginning of next year, I don't know if I will get a new grad nursing position, hell, I don't even know if I'll be able to do a new grad program considering I will have 50% custody of my kids.

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.
- Donald Rumsfeld
Writing it down makes it obvious. Organising is channeling the anxiety related to the vast quantity of really major unknowns in my future (including the 'unknown unknowns' - worrying about them came free with my anxiety!). It is also serving to focus me on something I can do, although it distracts me from more useful pursuits (I'm an expert procrastinator but this is ridiculous. I have heaps of uni work!) and it's a weird form of escapism, just like looking at IKEA catalogs where we imagine perfect lives for ourselves filled with light and swept floors.

So now I will try to get some uni work done without being quite as distracted by the various online rabbit holes. I will be a bit kinder to myself, now I know it's not just laziness that is pulling my attention away from what I need to do, acknowledge what the distraction is giving me and make time as I drift off to sleep to imagine a world where paperwork doesn't rule my life.

At least one thing is for sure, I now know I want an A5 sized planner with a whole heap of fancy custom inserts from Etsy.

UPDATE: Tuesday morning
I realised at ten past one this morning that I had just spent 5 hours looking at folders, after countless hours over the weekend. I peeled my eyes away from the computer and went to bed, only to lie there awake and bug-eyed for another hour or so. Either the anxiety is out of control, I have a very special procrastination superpower, it's a weird ADD symptom or I'm having the most boring manic episode in history. Not sure whether to ask for dexies, benzos, mood stabilisers or just give myself a swift smack around the chops for being lazy. I will ask kind Dr S when I see him.

No comments: