I work best under pressure. At least that is what I tell myself. For those staunch believers that life is infinitely more satisfying when you plan and prep ahead of time, please do not burst my bubble. It works for me. I played my best tennis when I was down the first set and losing the second. To write a paper my freshman year I needed to wait until Friday evening, hours before our midnight deadline. to unleash the words previously held captive in the recesses of my brain. Little changed over the next four years, or later in graduate school. I know I am exaggerating, at least slightly, but it felt as if 84% of our wedding planning was executed those last 12 hours. You will never ever come to our house for dinner and not spend at least half the time with me in the kitchen finishing it. You might not even get dinner until nine, let alone a clean bathroom, if we really consider you near and dear. Are we ready for baby? Not. Yet.
There is the matter of installing the car seat…and a bassinet…and cloth diapers to fit an itty-bitty newborn rump. Perhaps I should finish packing the bag for the hospital. We still have four more birthing classes. There is also the matter of the hospital tour. And I mustn’t forget to mention that we are just now starting to interview doulas after months of wavering. But these are the least of my baby prep concerns.
First I need to organize our photos. I finally caved and received my first digital camera the summer of 2008. We now have almost 10,000 photos in iPhoto. Only our Rwanda photos have escaped to the pages of an actual album. The rest are waiting not so patiently, quite aware that their days are numbered. Once the chaos of first child photos starts inundating the library all is lost. All of the images so meticulously collected during our six weeks in Iran or two weeks in Uganda or month in Tanzania, let alone the poor random daily shots, will be relegated to a CD with little hope of print.
My plan was aggressive – four albums in four weeks. Our Rwanda book took four months alone. Of course, that was because I started well before the Christmas deadline. Mistake. I only had 31 days to execute this task in order to make the 30% off incentive and beat the baby to the punch. First on the agenda was to sort through over a thousand images of our wedding, edit them and organize them into an album for my parents. It took half the month, but the result was beautiful and it meant I could free up all that space in our library. Before I deleted them for good, I double-checked the location of our DVD with all of the images. I could not find it.
Now our home is not a pristine epitome of minimalism. However, in this journey towards simplicity every crevice of it has been gutted and is organized in some manner. Granted this is a constant process. There is certainly room for aesthetic improvement, the photos on our computer may be a hidden mess, but every physical photo specimen has a place. And this was nowhere to be found there. I grasped for a couple other locations desperate to be wrong that there was only one place I designated for photo discs. Nothing.
I can see misplacing some mail. To lose a spice or condiment or two in the ranks is to be expected. Perhaps even a baby item might be displaced in the midst of the shift from shower to dining room table to nursery. But I thought I was past this. Apparently my organization is an illusion. I thought there was nowhere to hide. I was wrong. It must have found a better home with the woven coasters and the socks. Lesson learned. I burned two copies – one to keep here, one to stay with my parents. What happens after this is just fate.