Bear with me, because I’d like to brag a bit.
Whenever I have a work-related expense – say, new paper for my computer printer – I take my receipt immediately home and open up a dedicated file on my computer. I note the time, cost, and reason for the expense, and then I walk over and physically file the receipt in one of my color-coded…. um, in my room-sized filing cabinet… er, sorry.. I mean in my sleek little day planner….
It’s no good. I’d like to pretend I’m organized. I recently read The Happiness Project (have any of you?) and one of the things that makes author Gretchin Rubin happier is, well, being organized (it’s true – she has charts to prove it!). And yet the thought of it exhausts and overwhelms me and makes me want a cookie. Or a glass of wine. Preferably both. It’s all I can do to cram my receipts into a shoe box and hope that come tax time, I can make some sense of my scribbled notes and crumpled Visa bills.
I know people say that being organized saves you time in the end, but I’m highly suspicious. Or maybe just defensive, because I think I’m missing that gene. I’m incapable of putting away my shoes and tend to leave six or seven pairs around the front door, splayed on their backs and sides in perfect tripping positions (my husband loves this about me). But in my defense, I’d like to point out that I can’t put the shoes away neatly in their boxes as recommended by Martha Stewart, because the boxes have the critical purpose of containing my receipts. See? I can’t win.
I think I come by this trait honestly, though. I remember as a kid trying to tiptoe around my father during tax time. He’d sit at the dining room table, a pile of crumple receipts and an old calculator before him, cursing mightily. I learned some great new words during that time (my friends on the playground were impressed) and also inherited the healthy fear of taxes.
IRS, if you’re reading this, I’ve got one request: Please don’t audit me. And if you do, don’t hold it against me if you come into my house and trip over shoes. I swear it’s not personal.