Greetings and Dear Cynthia,
I very much enjoyed perusing all of your April projects, and I hope you feel proud of yourself for getting so much completed! My favorite was the toddler sweater you designed!
Things here are going well, though I don't have much new to show for my knitting -- I've been working on both the sweater and the Branching Out scarf, and hope to have a picture to show you tomorrow of the scarf blocking...
The comments regarding my chemistry test we so kind, and also funny. I scored a 90% on the test, so the professor is allowing me to register for the second semester course in fall - Thank you Harper for pointing out that I now get to study "new chemistry" :-) I'm not sure why I "enjoy" putting this kind of pressure on myself, though last week I was contemplating that a lot of being a stay at home mom (well, probably any mom, for that matter) is handling complaints... Why didn't you do my laundry today?... How come I can't have three desserts at supper?... You forgot to make my lunch!... Anyway, I felt so pumped when I learned my test score, and I think it is because it is so tangible, complete, and something I feel I've achieved -- very different from the less tangible things I accomplish in the day to day flurry of trying to keep things here running smoothly.
I've taken some of your solutions, coupled with some things I've seen in homes of friends, and I present you with my new "incoming mail" strategy/process. I'll be refining it as I go, but this is going to be my starting point.
First, to minimize the amount of stuff I must process, when I bring the mail into the house, I'm going to walk by our recycling bin and put all of the junk mail directly into it before proceeding to the official mail dumping ground in the kitchen, which now looks like this:The two magazine bins are labelled, one for recipes (which otherwise seem to just accumulate in the mail pile), and one for items which must be filed in other locations in the house, such as in the mortgage info box in the basement, or the photo album area, or the investment file in my work room, etc. (Obviously, I now must actually do the filing, because the "to file" bin is over capacity, but you get the idea.) I also have a small crate on the left, which has file folders in it, such as "summer programs", "coupons", "School info", class schedules for the health club, etc..... These file folders contain the papers I access frequently. Then, there is a pencil holder, a mug with pens in it, and a basket into which dh puts all of his change and his phone recharging cord at the end of the day. On the wall behind is a bulletin board which has things like my hairdresser's business card, our menu for the week, etc. As I said, it's all still a bit rough, but I'm going to work on refining it in the coming weeks, and I continue to be open to hearing about what works for others. I think the trick for me is going to be ongoing maintenance / discipline to put all of the papers in their designated places instead of in a pile. As I refine this, I'll report my progress and hopefully be able to show you a photo which is less "busy" than the one above.... It all just takes TIME -- something in short supply for everybody these days it seems.....
And finally, with my test done and my mail pile whipping into shape, I'm also pleased to announce that my Bleeding Heart plant, which looked so very sad and dare I say "dead" during the cold snap we had a few weeks ago, is now in bloom and lifting my spirits. Truly, hope does spring eternal!