Month: January 2016

The Promised Land of Paperclips

In my last post, I mentioned a new job; I recently began working as a sales rep for Capitol Christian Music Group. And though it has been a tremendous adjustment, I have loved every second of it. In fact, after Nashville received some very unusual snow last week, I sat squirming on the couch, watching the clock tick towards Monday when the snow would be gone and the roads would be clear and I could go back to work.

(A good sign, I think.)

Though each day has had it’s own special thrills, I have to tell y’all about yesterday. On day one, my boss showed me around the building, pointing at this and that, introducing me to everyone who crossed our paths.  But there was one place in particular in which I desperately wanted to spend more time—the office supply center.

Or as I like to call it, The Place Where Dreams Come True.

(Before I go any further, let me issue a warning. There is a real possibility that, after you learn this part of my personality, your belief in my elevated level of cool may be damaged. You may find yourself thinking how disillusioned you are. Just note, you have been cautioned.)

Of course, in the days to follow, I thought of reasons I’d need to go back downstairs. I needed post-its and paperclips, drawer sorters and pushpins. It was like shopping in Office Depot without having to pay for anything.

And let me tell you, it is embarrassing to admit how much I loved it.

Yesterday, after swallowing a panic attack at the messy pile of papers in one of my filing cabinets, I marched right back down there to that land flowing with stationary and staplers in search of something that would bring order to my mess.

I was borderline giddy when I walked out with my spoils. So great had been my quest, I could almost hear Gandalf saying,

“One pile of protectors to rule the papers, one packet of monthly tabs to find them,

One binder to bring them all and in the darkness of my desk drawer bind them.”

(My apologies, Mr. Tolkien.)

As I walked through the hallway, smiling to myself thinking of how much fun I would have stuffing all my pages into their individual protectors and placing them behind the January tab, it hit me.

I am super weird.

I get a thrill when I walk down an office supply aisle. I love starting a new list on a brand new notepad. I enjoy color-coding a spreadsheet. In fact, I can’t look at a simple, black and white Excel document without feeling as if the walls are closing in. And I’m afraid I came by it honestly. I had a whole conversation with my mother last night about the many merits of her newest discovery in the world of pens. And I’ll be going out soon to purchase my own set of The World’s Greatest Erasable Pen.

Hi, my name is Elizabeth, and I’m an organizational, borderline OCD, office supply addict.

*collectively respond, “Hi, Elizabeth.”

I know I’ve surely fallen to an eight or nine on the ten-point scale of cool. But I guess you had to find out sometime. And I had to tell you. Because how was I supposed to keep the glorious reality of The Place Where Dreams Come True to myself?

Big (But Probably Old) News

 

Every time I get in my car, my phone lights up and tells me how far I am from home. I first noticed this little trick several months ago after I downloaded the new update for my device. Of course, like any iPhone owner after a new update, I experienced several emotional reactions to this interesting habit my phone had developed.

First, I was amused—delighted, even—to discover how smart my phone had become overnight.

Way to go, phone, for knowing how long it takes to get somewhere and for telling me this information entirely unsolicited.

Then, I noticed that it only pulled this little stunt when I got inside my car. I was unnerved by the fact that somehow, this device knew my location and often guessed where I was going based on the time of day. Immediately following my discomfort at being so well known by a cell phone, I became infuriated when it would light up with an “8 minutes to home” message. It developed into a challenge, which is no real surprise considering my uncanny ability to make everything into a competition.

Eight minutes, huh? I’ll be home in five. Just you wait, you stupid electronic. I’ll prove you wrong. YOU’LL SEE!

Now, however, there is a new emotion that catches in my throat every time I see that little screen light up with my geographical location. “One hundred and thirty minutes to home,” it tells me. Every time, I blink back a few tears, and I wonder when the system will adjust—when I will adjust. When it will notice that I’m not going home anymore. Part of me hopes it never catches on.

If you didn’t know already, I have moved to a new city to start a new job and live in a new house. All kinds of new.

As I was telling folks about my big move, I heard so many precious and kind words of affirmation.

“You’re going to do great!”

“That’s so exciting!”

“We’ll miss you around here!”

“I’m so proud for you!”

“Things won’t be the same when you’re gone.”

All those things were nice, and I soaked every bit of it right up. But, I have to say there was one phrase I heard that really, really touched me. It came from my precious friend Madeline. As I was lamenting about the limited Sunday afternoons we had left to spend at Ricebox or Bluecoast, she said to me, in the kindest and sweetest of tones, “Oh please, Elizabeth! Don’t be dramatic!” Doesn’t that just tear your heart out? So precious. The eye roll that followed really sent this sentiment out of the park.

But she was right. There’s no real need to be dramatic.

(Though, I have certainly been about twelve different shades of it throughout this whole process.)

After all, I’m only one hundred and thirty minutes from home. And it doesn’t matter much if my phone updates the geographical location of my living arrangements. Because the truth is, wherever I am, Florence, Alabama will always be home for me.