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Gary Smith

    I note arrival date, date read, date replied and date mailed on the incoming pieces of mail — except when I forget which happen more often than I’d like. I carry 10-15 pieces of the oldest mail with me in a writing case and pull the oldest letter out of this when it’s time to write another piece of mail — except when I’ve just written to that particular pen pal. When that happens I shuffle their letter back 4-5 places so I will hit it again in a week or so. As to incoming mail I neatly stack all mail face down on my desk so when I need to replenish the letters in my writing case I can flip it over and pull a good selection off of the bottom of the pile which “theoretically” stays in chronological order. I say “theoretically” as the pile tumbles off the desk multiple times a year into an unorganized pile which just gets tossed back onto the desk with minimal resorting.

    Is anyone else sensing a pattern here? A pattern where I attempt to do things logically but everything ends up in a huge mess at some point? That’s my system in a nutshell. Well, except for postcards which I periodically pull out of the pile and save back for trips we take. Sending out a postcard from home doesn’t seem right to me so they sometimes pile up to a staggering degree before it warms up enough for us to start traveling each year.

    I have no links to organizational ideas because I’m apparently super unorganized and plan to remain that way if past actions are any indication. I know for certain that I lost one letter that arrived in late December or early January of this year. I have no idea where it went (I personally blame the ‘stelepoucke which are mischievous Little People of Creek Mythology) but I did remember starting to read the letter before getting distracted by more pressing matters so once I was sure it was gone I wrote to the pen pal in question and admitted what had happened. Hopefully they’ll understand and blame fairies or whatever mischievous creatures they have in her country’s folklore.