A cluttered desk and office

One of the few things I appreciate about Facebook, besides tours of my friends’ faraway lives and photos of the babies being born to my former “Baby Js”, is the SAVE feature. It’s also, for me, one of the most dangerous. It’s so easy to tuck something there that catches my interest but that I don’t have time for in the moment. It’s become the digital version of my kitchen junk drawer or that back closet crammed with everything I’ll deal with — later. Then, of course, later becomes even later, more stuff gets crammed in and pretty soon those convenient holding pens become one more thing that needs sorting and culling and cleaning. It also means I can no longer find the very thing I had so wisely saved, so then spend even more time wondering where other things came from and what I had hoped to do with them — someday.

That’s the sinkhole I went down last week in my Facebook SAVE. I was looking for links to a few stories that had been recommended by friends, thinking some might be perfect for Storyboard treatment. Or maybe I could at least mention a few in the newsletter — so you could put them in your SAVE folder.

You know what happens next. The quick hunt for those select stories became a tangle of interest in other things: A painting I liked; a recipe for The Best Weeknight Chili Ever!; knitting instructions for a baby sweater; that friend’s post I meant to respond to; lots of stories about the war in Ukraine; lots of stories I don’t know why I saved but, until I scan them, I’m not ready to hit DELETE.

I tend to be tidy. I don’t like clutter or, as we call it in my house, “things flying around.” I had a messy desk in the newsroom, as most reporters do, until it came time to write: Then I stacked things in neat piles (not that I knew what was in them) and cleared my space in an attempt to clear my mind.

So I was intrigued by the exception I seem to make for my digital junk drawer. I started to count the items in my SAVE folder, but stopped at 200. I have no idea what lurks beyond that. A few treasures, I’m sure, but how many, and where?

Now I have one more space to sort, cull and clean. I’m determined to pull out the gems and include them, week by week, in pass-alongs to you in the newsletter. I hope some will make full Storyboard treatment. But first, I have to clean my kitchen junk drawer.


This essay was first published as part of a Storyboard newsletter on July 8, 2022

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