Life on the Information SuperhighwayWritten by Shannon Szyperski | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A few nights ago, I was just about to drift off into a much-needed sleep when something caught on the tip of my brain. All of a sudden I was Miss Clavel in the “Madeline” book bolting upright and thinking, “Something is not right!” I started thumbing through my mental catalog of the endless plethora of recently acquired mail, school papers and other miscellaneous printed information in search of the item so desperately in need of my immediate attention.
I flashed back to a few days earlier when I had first realized that the Information Superhighway running through our house was once again winding out of control. I, of course, had taken my usual approach of pile making. Yes, I’m a pile maker. When I get to a point where I just don’t know how to dig myself out from under a massive pile of whatever, I start to make more piles.
There was a day when I knew where each and every paper, pen and paper clip was. I know I have it in me to maintain order in my life. Unfortunately, I also have a Nickelodeon/MTV-induced attention deficit in me that quickly and easily leads me astray. Oh, and I also have three other people living in my house who don’t quite share my organizational aspirations; I am stuck with my pile making. The pile making is good in theory. I sort the massive, unwieldy pile into smaller, categorized piles while weeding out anything that can enter the recycling bin without repercussion. This is the point at which my labor-intensive children and my attention deficit come into play.
Let’s just say I don’t always complete my pile process in a timely manner. Due to this fact, one of two things usually finishes off my piles before I do. Option No. 1 is that my playful children or my playful cats lovingly attempt to help by sweeping all papers back into one uncategorized pile. Option No. 2 is that my husband realizes that the pile making has gone too far and gone on for too long (usually after we end up having a family dinner-time screening of “Cash Cab” due to lack of table space) and takes matters into his own hands.
My husband is a pile collector/treasure burier. He likes to collect my incomplete piles and hide them away in a laundry basket or unmarked plastic storage container. His best organizational foot forward is out of sight, out of mind. Although I do appreciate out of sight, out of mind only causes me to eventually have an 11 p.m. Miss Clavel moment.
And so I sit, sifting through paper after paper in a dimly lit hallway during a frolicking or, rather, frantic late-night, find-the-important-paper treasure hunt. This last time my instinct to forego sleep to play my little game was not for naught. The item in question was due the very next day; X marks the spot!
With such a seemingly serendipitous event, I began to wonder if my timing was not an accident at all and that there are indeed guardian angels guiding us through life. Did one arouse my curiosity about that all-important paper just in the knick of time? Are guardian angels really in such abundance that they have time to aid in even the most insignificant of personal events? And where were these angels the morning my sister forgot Muffins with Mom or the Election Day when my mom was so busy campaigning for a school levy that she forgot to vote?
Suddenly, during that late night paper sifting and spirituality session, the answers to all of my questions hit me in a flash: I definitely need more sleep.
Shannon Szyperski and her husband Michael are raising two children in Sylvania.