Thursday, June 18, 2015

How Does She Do It

My girlfriends and I were discussing the contents of our purses this week.  They shared the contents of theirs, noting the clutter and disorganization.  One even had a pair of grown up shoes in her bag!  I confessed that one time I found a lose receipt in mine, and how upsetting it was.  Then I begged her to not throw her shoe at me.  They expressed their envy of my clean bag, and asked how I did it.  They felt their purse was a direct reflection of themselves; disheveled.  My organized purse does not make me feel like it is a reflection of myself.  With all of my attempts at control/planning/organizing, one might think I feel as though I have my life together.  I do not feel this way at all.

Organizing is a default setting for me.  Nature or nurture, the desire to plan and have control comes from within.  It is at my very core.  There is a sense of relief and satisfaction that I receive from cleaning and organizing a space.  I explained that my own mother makes my life look like the inside of the messy purse with the pair of shoes in it.  I often feel like a failure because I am comparing my own skills to hers, and mine pale in comparison, like an albino polar bear in a raging snow storm.  This is why I always tell you that you have to figure out what works for you and your life.  Just because what I do doesn't work for you, doesn't mean you're failing.  It just means we need to find something that does work for you.  We don't all have the same instincts, nor do we have the same lifestyle.  I don't have the same lifestyle my mom had.  I have taken her examples and adjusted the concepts until they work for my lifestyle.  And I have to continuously modify my processes based on my husband's work schedule, the kids' extra circular activities, etc.  If I don't reevaluate on a regular basis then the tasks don't get done, and I fall out of the habit of doing them at all.

I am always brought back to wanting to figure out how to fit these undertakings into my life because having order brings me peace.  I am an anxious person, so disorder does not do well for my soul.  Being surrounded by mess does not bring me joy.  It brings me a feeling of unease and discontent.  The only person who can change that is me.  I either have to accept the discontent, or do something about the disorganization.  I choose to do something about it.  If the disorder surrounding you does not bother you, then there is no rule that says you have to change it.  There is no moral code that deems clutter as less than.

If you do want to do something about it, then think about it this way:

There are 168 hours in each week.
56 hours are spent sleeping, less if you don't sleep for 8 hours each night.
40 hours are spent at work.
Give yourself another 12 hours spent commuting/picking up/droping off/general driving.

That leaves 60 hours left over.  It would take less than 5 minutes to clean out your purse each night.  That is less than 35 minutes for the entire week!  Could you dedicate 30 minutes per day, or even 3 hours on a weekend, to setting some kind of order to your life?  If the answer is no, then look at what your priorities are and how you spend your time.  That will tell you what is important to you.  Maybe it's reading.  Maybe it's working out.  Maybe it's playing with your kids.  Maybe it's Netflix!  Once you figure out what it is, you need to decide if you would rather continue doing those activities over creating new structural habits.  After the habits become routine, you will be surprised at how little effort is required to keep them up.  Which will free up so much time for additional activities.  Like Netflix.

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