sadly, this is the "after" picture
I came home today and finally got fed up with my desk being such a mess. Really, it was a disaster. You might not believe it, and this is something that I am a little embarrassed to share because in the OR, I am literally someone who could spend an hour lining up my syringes to be at perfect right angles with the tabletop, and bundling up loose cables with paper tape for MAXIMAL ORGANIZATION--yet in my home, I am well on my way to becoming those ladies with 50 years of back newspapers in ceiling-high piles all around the house. Only scratch newspapers, and envision medical journals instead, some still in their original mail wrapping. Anesthesia and Analgesia, I love you, and yet, I have no time to read you. So stay warm for now in your plastic jacket.
The center of this pack-rattery is my desk. It is cluttered with a number of things that, for one reason or another, I cannot easily throw away. Prime among these are mailings which require shredding (so as to avoid IDENTITY THEFT) and so cannot be easily tossed. We do have a shredder, but it is a cheap one that can only shred, like, one piece of tissue paper at a time, and therefore is too annoying to use, especially with envelopes (of the "You have been pre-approved for a Discovery Platinum card!" variety) which I would like to shred whole. Also mixed in are a number of medical forms which have outlived their usefulness (patient preops from many months ago, OR schedules from the turn of the century) and old Christmas cards, invitations and whatnot, which I don't feel right just chucking in the trash, although I really can't think of any rational reason not to.
I got my book contract in the mail today. It came in a big envelope, printed on legal paper. News flash! Legal documents may come printed on actual LEGAL paper. I have always just used legal paper when I wanted to save money on Xeroxing and was trying to squeeze in two pages per sheet. Anyway. So I was trying to find the other contract that I signed this summer with my agent, which was at the bottom of some precarious paper tower on my desk, when I realized how truly out of control my home office situation was becoming. There are many things that I can't for the life of me even begin to locate, and am just praying I will find as we start to pack up for the move. THIS IS NO WAY TO LIVE.
I was trying to get organized, trying at the very least to get all of my book stuff filed away in an actual file cabinet, but damned if I didn't have papers strewn around everywhere like some damn newspaper morgue explosion. So this evening I finally got fed up and did what I should have done a long time ago. I took all my shredder-requiring garbage and put it into a big plastic bag. On Monday (oh wait, Tuesday--one of the few MLKs in my residency career that I am not working) and toss it all into our departmental paper disposal box the contents of which get dumped into some industrial-sized paper shredder and chopped into dust-particles. There. Now my identity won't be stolen, and my desk, while not by any means clean, is at least slightly debulked. Now all I have to do is clean off the handfuls of change, dead batteries, iPod accessories, encampments of old Christmas presents, and bundles of miscellaneous IV catheters and lidocaine ampules that mysteriously hitchhike home from the hospital in my pockets, and then I might actually be able to do some work at this desk.