Hanging-files, annoying beeps, and other stuff!

Iimages made the mistake this morning of thinking that I was going to spend this very frigid January day getting some good, quality writing done (something I haven’t been very successful at these past weeks), and the bigger mistake was that I opened the drawer to the hanging-file cabinet that sits to the left of my desk.

I was merely planning on putting away a receipt into its proper folder, and as is usually par for the course, I had to thumb through the crowded, not-very-well-organized files which rest in various hanging-file folders with nifty tabs and labels. Mind you, I created all of these hanging-file folders with the nifty tabs and labels shortly after we moved in here in December of 2007. And though my intentions were good—that I’d be able to maintain some semblance of order and organization therein—it became, more or less, a mishmash of unorganized chaos! A compendium of confusion, if you can imagine that.

To be honest, I have known for quite some time that the thing needed a good weeding out and tidying up, followed by a marathon shredding session. And since I don’t really make formal New Year’s resolutions and make a big to-do about them, I hadn’t a date set aside to tackle the weeding and tidying and shredding—just that it needed to be done “down the road.”

After finally locating the folder I was looking for, I made the fatal mistake of reaching for, and opening, another folder containing something or other: Old teaching evaluations? Medical and prescription information? Grad school transcripts? Oh, so many things I had forgotten about and had saved for whatever reason, probably because I figured they should be saved in case I ever needed them!

This was all of the prompting I needed to begin the process of cleaning things out. Before I knew it, I had gone through most of the files and created an Everest of old and forgotten forms, letters, retirement benefits statements, etc., etc. Soon, I fired up the shredder and fed it generously for the next hour before breaking for a nice winter’s breakfast where I fed myself generously of eggs, bacon, English muffin, and good hot coffee.

Re-fueled and content, I returned to the scene of the weeding and tidying and shredding. I didn’t spend too much more time on this process since I’d succeeded in making the large file drawer a neater, better-organized, happier place. Plus, I did want to get some kind of writing done, albeit the blog rather than back to work on the elusive novel of mine—Sandbar’s Secret. (There’s also a couple of short stories I’ve begun…) Thus, I finished cleaning up the remaining remnants of my day’s adventure and smiled at my laptop awaiting patiently on my writing desk.

OK, with quite a bit of the afternoon freed up, I could tune in my favorite All Mellow Jazz station on the Internet Radio through iTunes and lose myself in my writing. It wasn’t long, though, before that magic was broken by a short beep, followed by another of the same a moment later, and another, and another…images-1

Yep, the smoke/carbon monoxide alarm battery was apparently low and was begging for help. It was one of those occasions when I hoped against hope that it was just a fluke and that it would go away, righting itself without any further beeping. That’s what I hoped, and, of course, that was far from the reality of the situation. It kept at it, taunting me and daring me to ignore it any longer!

So much for getting into the writing moment. Reluctantly, I pushed away from my MacBook Pro, pulled the ear buds out, and headed out to get the ladder from the frigid garage and to see if there was a battery in the container in the closet off the laundry room. As I’ve found, it’s not a difficult task to change the battery, and luckily there was a fresh replacement 9-volt Duracell right where it was supposed to be. A few minutes later, a fresh battery installed, the Kidde Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarm/Detector was back in its state of silent vigilance.

Cardstock - Nov 2010 002Now, I finally could get to that writing, but I was informed that I had to take the garbage can out to the street and go fill the wife’s car up with gas so it would be ready for work tomorrow. Out came the ear buds once more, and I backed up my Scrivener project with intentions of getting back to it before the day completely dwindled away.  As darkness began to settle in, I was on my way to the curb with the garbage can and then to the gas station. I wonder if thinking about writing counts as writing?

Oh, well, so it goes…

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4 thoughts on “Hanging-files, annoying beeps, and other stuff!

  1. Happy New Year, Mark! You’re lucky your smoke alarm began the annoying beep during the day. I’m not joking when I say that every time one of our detectors needs a new battery, it notifies us around 2:00 or 3:00 a.m.
    You’ll get back into the groove…you’re just in an adjustment period. Stay warm! We’re going down to 12 degree tonight with below zero wind chills and we’re in Charlotte! I’m not enjoying winter so far. 🙂

    1. And a very happy winter morning to you, Jill! I have had those “battery is low” beeps in the wee hours, too, and I know what you mean. Here in northern Illinois, our high today might reach above 0°. As I write this, it’s a pleasant -8°! I’m up and at ’em and have most of my house “duties” finished and have the Absolutely Mellow Jazz tuned in, my signal that a writing session is in order. No “weeding and tidying and shredding” today! Take care down there in Charlotte, and we’ll all make it through this winter. 🙂

    1. Hi, Carrie! You are so right about feeling good about having that much of the cleaning out finished–especially this morning when I don’t have to do it! Today’s plan is for getting to the writing. It’s below frigid outside, it’s warm in here, the music is good in my ear buds, and Scrivener is primed and rarin’ to go! Stay warm… 🙂

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