Monday, 2 December 2013

Sorting Hat needed, not to mention reincarnation

Restoring order from chaos must be daunting and unpleasant, unless there are people you can get to help you. This is seldom the case. The time has come to get my tax done, and therefore I have had to sort out lots of paperwork. Alas, age does not mean you get better at this sort of task. Piles of documents abound, multiply, and then mysteriously vanish. Precious time is consumed sorting out the chaos.

Thus has been my day. It would be wonderful to be a perfectly organised person, knowing exactly where you put what, and never having to sort through miscellaneous piles of this and that. I tend to be quite good at creating miscellaneous piles, but sooner, rather that later, they catch up with me, and demand that lots of time be spent of sorting and reorganising. And I can always think of something else to do which is much more fun and infinitely less frustrating.

I got into bad habits when I was young and newly married. My first husband was no better at this sort of thing than I was. ( I wonder what he is like now?) And there was no family training in being organised. Whatever happened in my parents home never became shared knowledge. My father had to pay provisional tax, so it was a very different system. And he had a clerk. And my mother, with husband and seven children, did not do any paid work. So doing one's tax return came as a rude shock to me, but then it was considered the man's responsibility - eventually.

Years passed, and it got done, but it is never something to be enjoyed, nor did it give any sense of accomplishment. Eventually I resorted to my brother in law, which took a lot of the pain out of the process. But of course I have to keep track of all the documentation, get it all sorted out, and send it all off,  get it done and then try to do better next year, and make fervent intentions to be better organised in future.

The system of having various piles around the house is my usual modus operandi. Eventually these have to be sorted and organised. Today was the day. The knitting group is coming here for lunch on Friday, and I need clear benches, and a tidy house. So having sorted and reorganised, and being on a rather lethargic sort of roll, with, alas, nothing better to do (except crochet intermittently) I thought, Well I must get organised with the tax. My tax agent sent me a reminder email, and as I will be in Melbourne for a few days, it behoves me to get it all organised and to take it all down with me.

The pharmacist has promised to give me a printout of deductible expenses. Except he has only recently taken over the business and is still grappling with the computer system. Tomorrow, he promises.

I think it will all be sufficiently organised to get it done while I am in Melbourne. It does seem that I am on some sort of a roll, as, inspired by the book and CD fair at my local Town Hall, I am going through the books as well. Having  made several visits to the sale, and having come away with even more books, I have been going through the books on the shelves with something approaching decision and resolution, and have succeeded in weeding quite a few from the shelves. Quite a few were Dr P's books, but more are mine. I decided I will never have the fortitude to read any Patrick White, or various other authors such as Bernard Shaw and HG Wells, so some of those are on their way to better homes.

Weeding books is not a rapid process. One must dip into them, taste, browse, and ponder. Then one must balance the recent purchases (mostly second-hand, I add defensively) with the old. Then the contents of the shelves must be moved around and reorganised. It all takes time.

I am reading much more, and much more quickly than I used to. There are few interruptions. I am having a very good time, getting at least partly along the way of reading the many many books  keep picking up at the markets. My appetite exceeds my capacity and available time, and I keep thinking that I must get more of these books read before I cark it.

Similarly with the CD collection. So much to do, so little time.

I do have about five smallish boxes of books to be given to better homes. Thus the world turns.


Elephant's Child said...

Not only do I need to order my tax, I have also (somehow) acquired responsibilty for my partners. Sigh. And should do it. Soon.
I do however have more than a dozen boxes of books I have packed up. And will only be able to relinquish them if I don't look into the boxes again.

Jayview said...

I was thrilled to discover that the Britherhood of St Lawrence have aim online secondhand bookshop and will collect donations or take them at stores. Might even motivate me to do a cull this summer. Some bookshelves are stacked two deep. Jean

Pam said...

I know what you mean about books. I want to, and sometimes do, reread books. But I'm now realising that I haven't got enough years left to reread all my lovely books and also to read the new ones that people keep inconveniently writing. On the other hand, I might live to 95 with good eyesight and not much else in my life so... it's hard to part with books that I would enjoy reading again. But then I would prefer my children to have less clearing up to do once I'm gone... .