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Filing as therapy?

Filing as therapy?

The plan today was to tell you what I’ve learned about Morse Code… Then this morning, I woke up to a clutch of worrying texts from my family back in the States. What was meant to be a routine operation on my father has gone wrong with some truly horrific, unforeseen consequences.

After various phone calls, including a very long one trying to reinstate airmiles with United to try to make an emergency trip home slightly more affordable, by mid-afternoon I had a reservation on a standby flight to Alabama leaving tomorrow morning….

And then I started nervously waiting for news, unable to concentrate on anything. As a result, the only thing I have truly learned today – I’m still mystified by the medical revelations and their meaning – is that, for me, the best way to deal with feeling nervous and powerless is to file.

So that’s what I’ve been doing this afternoon – wading through papers and receipts that have been piling up for months, sorting, labeling, binding and filing, filing, filing. My small, ridiculously insignificant way to create an appearance of order from chaos, to feel like I’ve regained a smidgen of power.

What would have been much more useful, of course, would have been to sort out my groaning email inboxes and folders, or reorganised my Dropbox folder. But even looking at my email – or Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn – just made me feel more overwhelmed and helpless. No, for me, physical documents, a big fat marker pen, a hole punch and a stack of A4 folders was all my scattered mind could cope with today.

By the time I’d finished filing every scrap of paper I could find, though, the call from home still hadn’t come. So now on to the packing. I’ve already got my passport at hand – it was filed away.

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