it's amazing what a new pen can do

While making plans with my husband to go buy office supplies Not At WalMart (if we were philosophically opposed to WalMart in our town before they opened, we’re now fully opposed given the chaos they are wreaking on traffic patterns) for his new office this evening, I told him I’d already bought new office supplies for myself, and I realized that I have a very particular coping tactic for chaos:  I prepare to fix it.  I don’t actually fix it, mind you, but I prepare for it.

About an hour ago I left my office to drop a set of files off at another campus office, and then I walked over to the bookstore and bought some expanding file folders and document organizers, and new pens.  In part this is because I like fancy office supplies and so buy my own, rather than making the secretary jump through hoops to provide just the right mattress for the princess.  But in part it’s because (due to staff changes) I’m taking on extra collection development responsiblities this fall, and I’m going to need to reorganize and expand the way that i do and manage book selection.  I don’t have the time to get into the nuts and bolts of that reorganization today, even though it’s weighing heavily on my mind; I need to finish a few more pressing projects once I’m done with my ‘lunch’ hour.  (Lunch hours usually involve eating.  My lunch hour involves checking in with the intarwebs and eating Skittles and doing a bunch of home-related tasks.) So instead, I acquired the tools which will allow me to organize the nuts and bolts work.  Somehow, this makes me feel better.  I don’t know if it’s that I now have a plan for how to tackle the Big Mess, or if it’s that I have the tools to tackle the Big Mess, or if I just need to feel like I’ve done something to start tackling the Big Mess.  Whatever the reason, it works for me.

One step of preparation, without any action, and I feel more in control.  And that can only be a good thing…

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