Organization is not my forte, and it is not for any of those in my immediate family. Well, maybe my 13-year-old daughter if you don’t count her room, but my husband, two sons and I were obviously born without that gene in our DNA.
Sure, I can GET organized. I can clean up my computer files, put everything in its place — books on the shelves, artwork in predetermined bins, papers looked at, filed or sent to recycling — but staying organized is another story. Now add that minor character flaw of mine to a season of unexpected illnesses, several doctor’s appointments, the holidays, a full-time job and a growing business for which I do not get paid (and I’m not talking about motherhood), a puppy with a urinary tract infection, a Vitamin D deficiency and a recent diagnosis of Medical Fatigue (Thing 3, not me) and “fuhgeddaboudit.” I’m done.
When I say done, I mean it. My body and brain shut down. My life gets thrust into the abyss of Clutterland and as much as I try, I can’t dig myself out for quite a while, despite my best efforts.
For instance, Exhibit A:
In the fall I spent a day, moving my office upstairs to a smaller spare bedroom and deemed the former office a guest bedroom. I moved away from the chaos, the extraneous muddy work boots, jackets, forgotten socks and spilt pellets that had become the kids and The Grinch’s dumping ground when they entered through our garage.
Things worked out fantastically and I was ever so organized and productive, then my son got sick, I moved my computer to the kitchen counter, work- and school-related papers and household bills co-mingled on the kitchen island, and an array of random items — again with the SOCKS, iPods, long-term assignments, unpacked lunch boxes, etc. — sat beside, on top of and around them. Not to mention the constant pile-up of cups and dishes, wrappers and silverware that accumulated on the end tables in the living room alongside by sick child. And the blankets, and electronics, the trimmings, the trappings, the toys and the noise — Oh the NOISE, NOISE, NOISE, NOISE.
Alright, maybe this blog and this writer have begun channeling a little too much of our “for the sake of the blog” namesakes (For those of you new to this blog or who have just plain forgotten because it’s been so darn long since I posted: We known as, again for the sake of this blog, the Seusses — my husband The Grinch, myself Cindy Lou, the Twins Thing 1 (female 13-year-old) and Thing 3 (male 13-year-old) and since he didn’t want to be named Max after the dog, Thing 3 (11-year-old male).
And thus you see what happens when my brain is cluttered I drift off into random paragraphs of jabbering and lose my place …
Where was I? OK the clutter … the household clutter, which creates visual clutter, which creates mind clutter, which results in cluttered writing, cluttered websites, cluttered files and more physical clutter in the household, which then trickles down to the kids with clutter in their backpacks, homework assignments, bedroom and on it goes.
So this weekend, it was time to regroup and de-clutter. Thing 3′s Medical Fatigue was already causing difficulties with organization and memory, and he did not need his household (or his mom) making things more difficult. So what did I do? After melting down crying, calling up my mom telling her “I needed my mommy” and walking around like a zombie for a few hours, I decided to take three days to regroup. Being the boss of my own website, I decided for the sake of my family and my sanity I would not post or do the calendar, answer e-mails or phones or texts for a couple of days. I caught up on laundry, actually made time to put it away and I sorted through the mail and the chaos on the countertops. I planned dinners, I sent my husband off to a basketball tournament with Thing 2 and I plugged practices and appointments and exercise into my iPhone calendar.
The result — Exhibit D:
… and E
… and F.
Oh wait, I’m not going to show you Exhibit F, because that is my calendar and that would not be wise.
The relief was evident in the air. We all moved a little freer, spoke a little slower and Thing 3 pumped out some major homework assignments in quite the organized fashion. He wrote stories, he worked on lines for his upcoming professional acting debut with Barrington Stage Company and he took some much-needed naps to help his brain and body heal.
I was so organized by the end of my three-day weekend I managed to get a post up on Berkshire Family Focus this morning, book tickets for my yearly solo visit to The Villages in Florida (for last year’s solo visit see here and here and here and here), eat a healthy breakfast, make a couple of phone calls and answer a few e-mails and get this Renaissance Mom post written.
I’m not sure what the rest of the week will bring, but I know our family will be able to tackle it with clearer heads, healthier minds and a near-barren countertop. Now that’s some good stuff.
Have you taken time to regroup lately?