Lists are a good thing. They encourage organization. They help me remember to do something that I might ordinarily forget — especially something I don’t want to do, something that’s hard or unpleasant. I often plan to make a list, but then….don’t.
I think of activities that are easy for me. I’m “on automatic” when I respond to those situations. Like the mail. When it arrives, I attack it like a drill sergeant. I grab the stack of paper, ads and magazines and sort it by recipient.
Sometimes Maury gets the bulk of the delivery that day, but it’s not what I’d call exciting. I have no positive relationship with United Health Care, but he does, so he’s cheerful when he gets those envelopes. The waste of postage is appalling. I wonder how much they could reduce their fees, if they fed the information to the receivers electronically – or at least put more than one statement in an envelope. But I digress.
Gone are the days when I received letters. Do you even remember what such correspondence is? A conversation starter, written in ink on paper, perhaps on a pretty note card. Personal. Kind. Expressing interest in me and what I’m doing in my life. Sharing news. I don’t remember the last time I received a real letter.
I used to get them frequently from Carol, my much loved mother-in-law. She could give lessons on how to be the perfect mother-in-law. An English major, her letters were exquisitely written. She inspired me. And there never was a criticism. We shared a mutual admiration society.
My challenge today is to throw away as much as I can. I rip open the gas bill, the invoice from CL&P and toss the envelopes and filler into a heap. All other unwanted mail, opened or not, goes in that same pile and I then pitch all of it into the recycle bin. I slide the invoices into the bright yellow folder in my desk drawer while magazines get placed on the coffee table or by my bed. It’s all done in thirty seconds. I have a routine, a habit on how I handle mail. I feel satisfied and virtuous. If only every task was as easy, I’d be a wiz.