Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Taming of a Nemesis

I have been struggling with my nemesis for decades. This entity creeps into a home or work space ever so subtly. It's body presents itself in stacks and piles that at first seem so innocent, even logical. Initially, the face of this dreaded, foul creature can cause a smile, outpourings of love and sometimes moments of joy. It's voice often creates a source of information or security the first time it is heard.

"What?" you ask.  "How can something that brings such good feelings, and seem so helpful, be thought of as your enemy? Your personal nemesis?"

The creature starts as something small. An invitation or picture. A statement, sales flyer or catalog,  or something one of the kids has created, accomplished or needs. The innocent item would soon find it's host. The desk, table or counter. I am sure the host varies in different environments. After some time it begins to grow. Slowly, day by day. From time to time it is rifled through, but overall it is left to grow? What would I do with the growth?

The Paper Monster. When I could no longer be blind to the pile on my desk or table, my first impulse would be just to slide it all into the trash. That would be too easy. I actually had to deal with this stuff. About once a month, I would plow through it, grudgingly, and get the bills paid. The trash was shredded or recycled. But there was often a surplus of things I needed to keep for future reference or a later action. The surplus would get dealt with about every 3 or 4 months. Papers were filed and slates were cleaned. All was well. I'd made a great accomplishment. The feeling would last for several weeks, until the next time I'd need to use my desk. The angst returned. Moments that would otherwise, I can only imagine, be serene. Carefree. Spent sipping tea on my patio and reading the next book on my reading list. That realization that I now have to encounter said monster and deal with it or not meet my responsibilities. Bit by bit the things in the pile have lost their face and pleasant voice and are connected to the rest of the body that is leaching to the silent, overwhelmed host.
Over the past few years, and especially in the last months, the monster has diminished greatly, but still rears up with all its ugliness when I am ready to work at my desk each week. I have persevered. After many attempts to search for a system to do it better, and experimenting with a few ideas, my mind is still  a bit unfocused. I have some good ideas in play and am still tweaking until I get this working for me. I have mapped out a path to work on different paper "systems" until the monster becomes a pet of sorts. Needing frequent, even daily, maintenance, and yet a necessary part of my life.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A New Year and I'm on a Roll

Yes, I am missing my Washington family, and this picture of the New Year in Seattle is a definite "Wish I Was There" moment! The fireworks in the picture represent the energy I feel as I begin this new year, 2013! My wish to all my readers is that you enjoy good health and find contentment in the days and months to come. Be kind to others, but as importantly, be kind to yourself.

It is a new year, and I am ready to gear up for my yearly home maintenance at Organized Home's New Year Grand Plan Challenge. I am highly motivated thanks to the eighteen weeks of focus offered by House & Holiday Plan based on CEO (Cynthia Townley Ewer)'s book Houseworks. I have used this plan for the past couple of years, and when they say practice makes perfect, I feel that I was much better equipped to keep up this time around and had a very calm and enjoyable holiday season including hosting/co-hosting two large and a few small family or friend get-togethers. I have also spent the last week of 2012 on a challenge to get the house Clean By 2013. With the help of my Twisters (Twitter Sisters) I entered the new year with a clean slate; literally clean floors, drawers and more.

I have been doing some form of the Grand Plan for a couple of decades now. It was originally developed by a fellow SHE, Katie Leckey, on the SHE message boards in the days when computer networking was message boards and list serves. The plan was a sequel to her Holiday Grand Plan. The SHE boards were my life line a few decades back, just as my FLYfriends and Twisters (Twitter sisters) are today. 

So I started reflecting yesterday during a reorganization of my storage closet, where I store tubs of Christmas decor and other seasonal items, as to why I have so much more energy to get things done and follow through with my routines. I didn't make any resolutions this year, nor did I set any new goals. I think that having made neither might be a first for me. Tweeting with my online community is a big part of why I feel motivated. They have really inspired me on good days and shared challenges on bad days. I have also built the habit of focusing on one area to improve on each week and also continue maintaining my routines (well the basic ones anyway), and have done a much better job delegating the things that I just hate doing. I still am responsible for toilets being swished and swiped, as everyone here seems to hate that routine. Of course I now do it without thinking about it. Amazing how a mindset can change over time.

So I am rolling on, and the nice thing about momentum is that it takes a lot to stop me once I start rolling. I just need to make sure that I don't get off the track of what I want in life. My goals that I set for myself in the past are still in full force today. I guess that is a benefit of gaining years of experience in getting and staying organized, attempting to live life to the fullest, and remembering that people are far more important than any things can ever be. Getting control of my home was the first step for me in gaining control of my life, or at least making sure I control what I have the power to do for myself, my family, friends and neighbors. I still have moments, or even days, from time to time when I feel stressed, off-beat or simply in need of a swift kick in the tush. I also have times when I get side-tracked. I did tell you I was a SHE, right? The important thing is that I just look towards living better and being the person that can deal with whatever comes my way.

I challenge you to reevaluate or choose your goals and pick a plan, be it following FLYLady's focus areas or jumping in for The New Year Grand Plan Challenge. Find an online or real-life network of fellow SHE's to share your ups and downs and that will help keep you accountable, inspired and encouraged. If you are not sure where to start, you can do a Twitter search; #FLYLady, or on Facebook "like" FLYLady or Organized Home to begin a search for a network. 

What plan do you use to Get Organized? Where do you get your support and inspiration? Having these as a part of my life has made all the difference in helping me to become more organized.