Thursday, January 7, 2010

If It Weren’t For The Last Minute, I'd Never Get Anything Done."

By: Maxine Davis

My wonderful brother gave me a plaque with that quote on it as part of my Christmas! It is so sad, but it’s true! My sister will pack for a trip two weeks in advance. My brother—being a typical man—relies on his wife. Me, the night before: “We’re going where, WHEN?”

I don’t know why, but I’ve always been that way. The blog (PFHT) can make me crazy. I have it on the calendar; I tell myself several times a day not to forget. Then, at the last minute, I get an idea and sit and write. Actually, I sit first and knowing it’s the last minute, an idea hits.

That is how most of my writing goes. Next year, I’m going to work on a minimum number of words a week. We’ll see if I get any sleep on Friday nights, because I will take some weekends off.

This all pretty much tells you how my writing space looks. Felix Unger, I am not. Oscar Madison, on the other hand, hmmm. My computer area, unlike the rest of my house, is a wreck. I had a visit from a colleague who had often groaned about my messy desk at work. When she walked in, she stopped, eyes wide open, and announced, “Your house is neat!” She quickly sputtered and tried to cover it, but there was no mistake, she expected the whole house to be a wreck.

So, ladies, does neatness help you? I’ve really got to try it one day. Actually, for 2010, that IS part of my resolutions. Maybe I’ll post a picture later in the year. On second thought, don’t count on it.

PS: There are plenty of pictures for you in Carol's post just below mine.


Sandy Elzie said...


Funny. I'm a planner, list maker, do the term paper ASAP and then use the time left in the semester to do something else, but I'm lax about my desk at home. It's usually cluttered, BUT don't touch anything on it...I'll never be able to find that slip of paper with an idea on it. (g)

Thanks for sharing. By-the-way...any last minute thoughts that you want to add? (just kidding) If I wait until the last minute I usually forget something. Oh well, life goes on.


Christine said...

I have a split personality. I hate clutter, and I was the gal at the office who always had her desk just so before she left for home. I liked returning to a clear space.

But when I am in full on writing mode? Oh, the piles and mayhem until I get to the stopping point. When I am in the process of writing I have writing goop everywhere.

When I finish, I like to neaten and straighten up my piles cause it gives me a sense of closure.

Marilyn Baron said...

Maybe we were separated at birth. You sound exactly like me. I don't think neatness helps. I can work amid clutter. The rest of my house is neat, but my office is definitely not. You'll read about it in my post later in the month. Although I had my husband take one, I am not brave enough to post a picture of what my desk looks like so I will publish a picture of me at the computer. I never work at my desk anyway.

There is a lot going on in my mind which may account for the state of my office but I know where things are and can find them when I need them. Everything I really need is right on my computer.

Marilyn Baron

Anna Steffl said...

Does neatness help? Only in that if things are neat it doesn't give me yet another excuse not finish whatever I'm writing! Sadly, I always seem to find something...unless I have a deadline. I need a contract :-)

Sally Kilpatrick said...

I'm going to join you on Team Oscar--should we order buttons? I'm going to bravely post pictures of my workspace that features piles and piles. I'm also including the front room/junk room that I'm trying to renovate into my first real writing space. I don't know if it will work though because I'm not sure if I can write without clutter. : )

Debbie Kaufman said...

Even if I can't conquer all of my clutter, I find I work best in a space that is decluttered. Mess in my immediate work area distracts me. If all else fails, I remove junk fom my space to elsewhere so I can focus!

Carol Burnside said...

You're in good company. Clutter doesn't bother me at all when I'm trying to write. I guess that's why my bookshelves are laden down. I can't seem to totally get rid of the paper stacks either. :)

Maxine Davis said...

Thanks all!
Just got back into town. I thought the clutter-fairy would take it away while I was gone. Guess I got the wrong impression. That clutter-fairy just dumped more! Oh, well, the seat is empty so at least I can sit down!

Cyrano said...

Neatness is my middle name.
I'm a crazy neat freak, psychotic almost. Neatness makes me feel good. Organization sooths me. Compulsive vacuming gives me a warm tingly feeling inside.
I even asked for a Dyson for Christmas a few years back. (Side note...I returned the overly expensive yellow monster after I ussed it. The dern thing doesn't suck half as well as it's creepy inventor says it does...Dirt Devil is much better. And it's price leaves over extra cash for shoes)
But I digress, yes I love spotless spaces much to my families chagrin. I suppose my goal for 2010 should be to relax and not sweat the small stuff so much. Chances are, the world won't stop spinning if my pantry isn't alphabetically organized.
Great post Maxine!
Have a lovely afternoon,

Linsey Lanier said...

You're a woman after my own heart. I can't stay neat, no matter how hard I try. For me, unfortunately, it extends beyond my office. Unless company is coming…

Tamara, you can come clean my house anytime you get the urge.

Marilyn sounds like one of us, too. And Sally. Team Oscar. I like that. Maybe we should have called ourselves Neat Freaks and Messies… LOL.


Susan May said...

I thought I was neat until I saw the picture of my office that will be up tomorrow. Neatness is not as important as the work you get done.

Ana Aragón said...

Well said, Susan. I'm with you. If my desk is perfectly ordered, I just sit and stare at it. The messiness helps me focus on what's on the computer screen. That's my take and I'm sticking to it!

Unfortunately, my daughter is phobic about neatness. I think I made her that way. She color coordinates her closet AND has to have only white plastic hangers all facing the same way.

Maxine, if I posted my messy desk, you have to post yours!


Michelle said...

Tamara - I'm with you. My house is generally ready for an imaginary magazine shoot at any moment. It's bad. I've tried letting go to get more writing done, but it's like this horrible itch . . .

Maxine - your post made me laugh - especially the part about your co-worker!

Cinthia Hamer said...

Maxine, I have the opposite problem...while my house looks like something that should be investigated by FEMA, my workspaces are generally quite neat. Mainly b/c OTJ I share workspace with other techs and it's not fair to them to leave a mess. It's also easier/faster to clean up.

Tami Brothers said...

Hi Maxine! I love this. Nothing like honesty…grin… I never thought of you as a procrastinator. You are always right on top of things when we visit and plan our trips to Atlanta. All I can say is keep up the great work!!! I also love that saying. I’m going to send it to my mom. She will get a real kick out of it. It definitely fits her…hehehehe…

Like Tamara and Michelle, I’m a huge neat freak. Everything has to be just so. I’ve gotten a lot better in allowing my son to have his own space. But I can only handle it for so long before I’m mandating that he clean his room before I do it. AND he does NOT want me in there. Things usually start disappearing when I go through it…grin…


Darcy Crowder said...

Maxine, I loved your post. LOL. Too funny about your co-worker. I'm firmly ensconced in the neatness camp. I can't seem to focus on anything unless my house it picked that's not to say that there aren't piles of things to put away or sort through here and there...I just know how to hide them. :)

Maxine Davis said...

Thanks for stopping by everyone! Sorry I was late - was at my sister's above Atl. until I thought I'd get snowed in.

I did have a pic, Ana, but I had put it in Word and that wouldn't work. Probably for the best!

Cyrano said...

I feel your pain babe. That itch is hard to scratch!
Three cheers for you, my fellow compulisive