I grew up in a small, four room house in the country. In that tiny house there were five of us, my mom, dad, two sisters and myself. As you can imagine there wasn't a lot of room for excess. Everything had its place and my mother had some tough rules about what would happen if you left toys laying on the floor.
Mama would warn us that if we didn't pick up our toys we would lose them. By losing them she meant she would place them in a cardboard box that would then be lifted to the top of a cabinet where it would remain until....well until she decided she would grant us mercy and let us have them again.
Whenever she took that box down from the cabinet it was like Christmas morning. We would eagerly search its contents to find dolls, toy cars, and games that looked brand new. Part of the time we would discover treasure we didn't even remember owning. For a few short days we basked in our new found wealth until our unlearned lesson condemned our stuff once again to reside in that cardboard box.
I really don't know how long that back and forth went with our toys, but I do know I finally learned to not leave my things lying in harm's way. As I sit here looking at my desk I cringe at the thought that my hard learned lessons are slipping into chaos. There are piles of books, magazines, a camera, paperclips, etc. surrounding me like failure.
Every time I walk into my office I say to myself I will straighten things up, but more often than not I recite the procrastinator's pledge, "I will do it later." I feel like that little girl promising to pick up her toys only to find mama coming toward me with that dreaded cardboard box.