Thursday, December 22, 2011

binders: a life series

For our wedding I packed a 2" navy blue binder with schedules, samples, selections, and scripts. When I whipped (okay, rather, lugged) that out of my bag people knew I was serious (or nuts). My poor fiancé just rolled his eyes when he saw me coming with it. I just can't resist.

Interview time? No problem. Greatest strength? I have never met a position I couldn't organize...or at least leave with a "how-to" binder. True story: my first boss had to have open-heart surgery and I was left "in charge" of the office. It was during our slowest part of the year so she had little to worry about. Or so she thought. Too much down time puts my mind in a tizzy and something is going to get organized somewhere. When she returned, God bless her, she couldn't find any of her files on the computer because I'd completely re-categorized them and put them in folders. She was patient and only now do I appreciate just how patient she was. I left her with a binder of "how-to's" for the position which, she told me a couple years later, she still had my replacement refer to.

"How do I do this?"
"I don't know. Check Rebecca's binder."

After both those binders were accomplished I moved in with my new husband to a new city without a job. Remember what I said about having too much down time? It wasn't long before Hubby had his clothes arranged by color and sleeve length in our new closets. I am even more thankful for the patient man in my life who puts up with having to re-learn where things are every couple years.

I left my job to venture into the terrifying world of SAHM (no worries, I left them a binder, too). It's been 9-months and yesterday, for no reason I can think of, I decided it was time to go through old files. I believe I was trying to make room for writing ideas and figured a purge might sweep away some real and metaphoric cobwebs. In any case, before I could get to the filing cabinet, I had to clean off the top of it. And what a treat that was. We had receipts from 2007, an old MP3 player (you know, the kind that's as big as a playing card - how ancient!), a phone book from my previous job, a floppy disc (!) of wedding files (again with the organization - I'm not kidding about this), and two....wait for it...binders.

Binders of what you might ask? Apparently in the weeks leading up to Little E's arrival, I had taken it upon myself to organize my professional life previous and what I thought might be my professional life future. I had a black binder of old notes from teaching Contemporary International Conflict and International Peace and Conflict Management for three years - it had syllabi, notes, reading material, etc. It was unlikely I'd be using these pages any time soon, but my last purge (getting rid of graduate school notes and books) taught me a valuable lesson: never say never. Shortly after that purge I was offered to design the aforementioned courses on international conflict to teach at the local university, and I had to start from scratch. Lesson learned. So, I have a binder of those notes and efforts in case, years from now, I find myself teaching this stuff again.

The second binder - a beautiful cornflower blue - contained writing odds and ends. Ideas, scribbles, favorite quotes (hope to have a blog post on those soon), notes from conferences, downloaded reading materials, and all sorts of wonderful goodies. Remnants of my previous self reaching out to my future self and encouraging my present self.

And my binder for being a SAHM? Well, that's empty. Who has time? I'll get around to it when the wisdom of time and the wonder of years passed overcomes the muddled brain and droopy eyes of the present. It'll be a nice addition to my series.

No comments:

Post a Comment