Today I got a phone call from Florida, from a sobbing Nugget who missed her Gramma terribly. Poor little thing. There have been many times that I haven't seen her for a week at a time, and it never bothered either her or me, but I guess being in a strange place, being obviously far away, in obviously different surroundings, makes a difference.
When she's upset about something, she often wants to see Gramma. I offhandedly mentioned to Daughter that I want to be a "safe haven" to Nugget. Naturally, Daughter was offended by that. It's not like I want to replace Daughter as Nugget's main haven, but that I want to be a safe place she can go where there's no pressure, no schedules, where she can relax completely and maybe even think things over in her own way. I can be more indulgent than her parents. Grammas are allowed. There are no expectations.
So I think she's just a little overwhelmed right now, and wants to "hit pause". Gramma has the pause button.
I have acquired (via Craig's List) a large, wide, blond wood-finish 3-drawer file cabinet. I can maybe now dig my way out of the paper piles.
All my life I've had a problem with paper. At the country house we had four wide drawers, but still there were piles of paper everywhere. The main problem was that I'd pay bills, or open mail, and then I didn't file stuff right away, because it took so long, and the reason it took so long was that there was a separate folder for everything. An electric company folder. One for phone stuff, one for each of the cars, separate ones for each of the insurance policies, separate ones for each bank account, for each stock, ... and so on, spread out over four drawers with three rows of hanging folders in each drawer, arranged alphabetically. So filing was a royal pain. Up, down, back, forth, over the drawers, for each piece of paper. The greatest system in the world is literally useless if you don't use it.
Now that the only person I have to answer to is myself, I have simplified.
There's one folder for everything I pay every month. It's labelled "Utilities", but it also includes credit card bills.
One folder for all insurance policies, of any kind.
One folder for all bank statements.
One folder for everything having to do with investments.
One folder for all taxes.
One folder for all auto purchase and service records.
And so on.
It's kind of arranged by "when processed" grouping. Monthly stuff, quarterly stuff, random stuff. That way, when I pay the monthly bills, I can just gather up everything and put it in one place. No sorting. The bank statements usually arrive at about the same time. Within the folders, nothing is sorted. It's just a jumble. If I ever have to pull together a history, it will be easy enough to just go through the jumble in the proper folder and pull out the pieces I need.
I'm starting to feel better. Not just because I'm getting a handle on the mess, but now I might be able to actually find stuff.