Staring uncomprehendingly at the piles of papers on my livingroom floor, I can feel the anxiety, nausea, and sense of dread rising inside me. I’m a paper person in a digital world, and before my accident, that was fine – now it is entirely overwhelming. The stress of knowing that there are things I’ve missed in there terrifies me to immobility. I’m dizzy just looking at it all… no… really… I’m dizzy.
It’s far different than laying out my mother’s canceled checks in neat rows and piles according to the number so that she could balance her checkbook – for all you youngins – it’s an old person thing. There is no rhyme or reason to it all. Some of it is mine – some are my husbands, some are for my kids, some are for my pets, some is just random junk mail that ended up getting “filed” in a pile instead of in the trash. There’s a traffic jam in my brain and I feel trapped.
I know there is work to be done. I know there are pressing matters that need to be addressed in those piles I am timidly half-glancing at as they stare back reproachfully, boring holes in the side of my head I’m peeking from. I suppose I should be grateful that it’s just paperwork, but I have a nagging suspicion that it isn’t.
It’s not just paperwork. There are other things in my life I have put in “Later” piles, bags or boxes and I’m wondering when I will have the time to dust those off and sort them out. The fog of paperwork is oppressive. Every page needs to be scanned, sorted, and filed appropriately – three steps for each page. I feel my throat doing that choking crying thing already.
But… it’s more than paperwork.
The other areas I’ve put off may even be more significant than the boxes, bags, and piles on the floor in my living room. Some – I just don’t want to think about. Some – I just need the mental space for. Some – I just don’t know where to start.
I guess that’s it – just start. It has taken me weeks to get to this point. I’ve cleaned and organized each space hiding the papers – chucking visible intruders into the garbage as I encountered them, and now I have all the unfiled documents in one place. I will sit on the floor and start. I will sit on the floor, so I don’t fall over while my head spins. I will sit on the floor and go through each page until it is done because sometimes, you just need to do it.
Then maybe I can look to the other places – the ones that are not paperwork – sit on the floor, so I don’t fall over- and sort that out too.
Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.