Here’s to a less messy new year!

I don’t bother with New Year resolutions, mine never last more than 48 hours before they’re broken and tossed on the heap of other dashed hopes, dreams and wishful thoughts.  It’s all very well standing at the starting line of a new year filled with determination and lofty ideals that deep down you know are ridiculously out of reach. You know what I mean, those new year resolutions that top the lists of hopefuls across the world. To stop smoking, to find a balance between work and family, to shed those extra festive kilos and embark on a healthy eating and exercise programme, to save more – yeah right!

I have, however, given myself a stern talking to and will attempt this year to set more manageable and realistic goals. Like keeping my desk tidy … I hear snorts or disbelief from my reporters and the long-suffering cleaning lady who can often be found standing at the entrance to my office with a very real look of terror on her face. My excuse and defence has always been … Well take a look at photos of Albert Einsteins desk, and people called him genius! And I’m sure, like me, Einstein knew exactly where to find those bits of paper that have an all important scribble on it … in my case, not some mathematical formula, but usually a name and telephone number, or a reminder to do something incredibly important! Shake your heads in disbelief, but I generally know exactly what the piece of paper looks like and where I last saw it.

I’ve always had messy desk syndrome. I can remember my Grade 1 teacher making me stay in at break to tidy my desk and those little bags we used to have attached to the side of the desk where we kept our stationery. At Primary School I found a kindred spirit in my English teacher who conspiratorially whispered to me that a messy desk was a sign of a creative mind. I loved her for that.

So it was with some amusement that I watched the new Grade 1 pupils, in perfectly ironed uniforms and shiny new school shoes settle into their classrooms this week in neat rows and even neater desks.  Encouraged to take out their crayons and give free rein to their artistic expression I watched as they carefully chose their favourite colour crayon and put it to the paper on the desk in front of them. Except one. He overturned his box of new crayons which were colour coded in neat rows, onto his desk and scratched through the pile until he found the colour he was looking for. The young lass sharing the desk gave a gasp of horror and with a scowl told him in no uncertain terms that he was “making a mess”, to which the young genius replied, “so?”

So? indeed … I couldn’t help but smile in secret admiration as he calmly continued with his task. There’s always one that will stand out from the crowd!

Wanda Daly

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