In Pursuit of an Organized Life

. . . putting life in order

You mean I have to do it every day!!

I had a mini melt down with cleaning on Sunday. Why can’t I do this? None of the steps are that hard. I should be better at this than I am. That frustration fueled a cleaning burst. I vaccumed the floor and used the carpet cleaner. The carpet cleaner worked much better when I fould the little button that sprayed water.

It felt good to have the clutter off the floor and the floors clean rather than less dirty. Today the dishes I didn’t do and the laundry that I didn’t fold are still there. Plus there are extra messes from toys and eating more food. I did a good job yesterday doesn’t that count??? Ah well. I am off to see if the dishes are done, put on a tv show, get some wine, and fold the mountain (like 7 loads). Wish me luck!

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What can I control?

I am starting to realize that the amount of what I can control is very limited. Logically, I’ve known that for a while. There are tons of self help books and inspirational quotes that say “You can’t change other people” and “Accept what is”. I’m starting to realize that more deeply and emotionally.

I have always enjoyed feeling in control and knowing what is going on.  I felt more comfortable in leadership positions than in a “worker bee” position.  I liked knowing what to expect and surprises were kind of a love/hate relationships.  I enjoyed the thrill of what might be coming, but often over analized the “What ifs”

In some ways, it’s kind of sad. To feel like even if I do everything right that things can still go up in smoke or that the plan that I carefully crafted no longer applies to the current situation.

In other ways, there is kind of a peace that comes with accepting it. I don’t feel as much pressure to make the perfect long range plan. I focus more on what decisions need to be made today, this week, and this month. I am getting better at (but not mastered) not thinking about a decision if I am missing critical pieces of information that is out of my hands.

How does this affect my life today?

  • have a loose long range plan
  • spending more time figuring out whether the decision needs to be done now or if it can wait
  • adapting to change of plans rather than clinging to what I wanted to do before the situation changed

The Challenges

  • finding the balance between being flexible and planning
  • not using a flexible schedule for being an excuse for not getting things done
  • finding a balance between saving money, items, and activities for a rainy day  versus never getting around to using or experiencing them
  • not wanting to be caught unprepared versus preparing for problems that might never come
  • being okay with living with uncertainty
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Scheduled Motivation

I wish I could schedule motivation. So often the motivation to complete tasks occur when I can’t complete the task (kid sick, busy, etc). Other times, I will have a surplus of motivation and energetically complete the tasks until the day or my energy is done and then not want to think about it again.   I guess that is where dedication comes in. Doing it when there isn’t that drive or love of the task. Hopefully the motivation fairy will be kind to me this week and to you as well.

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Workout How I’ve Missed You

I have been getting used to a new schedule and work and kids. All managable just new. Tonight I was able to get to the gym and workout. It felt wonderful. Blood pumping, social, distraction, energized. Mix that in with a dash of Friday and I’m good to go.

Working out had been one of the things that had gone to the wayside. It takes work to load the kids in the car or walk away from the soft soft couch. I’ve added some back in thanks to my interval timer. Sneak in 30 seconds of squats or push ups here or there—which is better than nothing, but not the same. There is a reset button that is pressed when I can work out for 30+ minutes and push myself.

I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I did it again. I also miss where my body was at. I’m okay with my weight now, but I know I could do more this winter/spring when I was the most consistent about working out. I knew I could work out longer and harder before and felt that urge to get back there. I had moments of self pity, but I knew that I hadn’t put the time in so it’s to be expected. I am starting to have a competativeness and drive towards exercise that I haven’t had much of my life.

How does this relate to organizing? Well I need to find a way to fit it into my schedule. It’s funny how the activities that are the most important to combat stress (sleep, exercise, social interactions) are often the first to go when my mood is low or I have low energy. I’m not sure how yet, but I need to make it a priority again. Probably a high bred of at home and gym workouts.

Suggestions are welcome!

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Technology and Productivity

I’ve been thinking about the role of technology and productivity. There are so many tasks that require the internet/computer/technology. For my job, I use online report writing software, plan for future sessions, and communicate with co-workers and parents. When my computer is down, I feel lost, but I am able to do tasks that are equally important that get pushed away such as cleaning my office, looking through materials, and filing papers. While it drives me insane when the network is down at work, there is a sense of relief and permission to do other tasks. It reminds me of that Jack Johnson song that I love called “Breakdown” where he fantasizes about the train breaking down and being able to take a moment to relax.

At home, technology has a slightly different role. I use it at times for work tasks at home. I also use it for music, tv shows, facebook, blogging, news, and schedules. It’s amazing how I can look at the clock and see the time that has vanished while I was on the computer.

I thought about having a technology sebatical for one day or for the weekend. At first, I was thinking no computer. Then I started making exceptions. Well I can use the computer for weather and gym schedule. Email is important too. What about Pandora while I clean? I decided a good sebatical would be no Facebook or Blogging for the select amount of time.

Then my tablet arrived in the mail. I knew I didn’t have the will power to not touch my new toy. To have a technology break while playing with a tablet seemed counterproductive. So I will postpone this idea and maybe do it at a later date.

For now, I will try to use my technology for good instead of laziness and use in moderation.

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Welcome October!

September is done.  I survived.  My schedule for school is more or less done.  I’m more used to the new schedules for the family.   Life feels a lot more managable than at the beginning of the month.  Did I meet all of my goals—-no, but I think I did some of those tasks more than if I didn’t set the goals.  I probably made the least amount of progress with hydration.

October is here.  The goals for October are similar to the ones for September.

  • I want to continue to work on hydrating.  I know the benefits, but it’s just finding a way to make it a natural part of my day.
  • I want to go to the gym 12 times (I think I made it 8 times in September)
  • Clean kitchen/family room surfaces  (peninsula, kitchen table, and coffee table) before going to bed
  • Tackle the clutter in my bedroom.

The newest goal is tackling clutter in my bedroom.  We have various boxes of “deal with it later” items and papers.  They look cluttered.  They get in the way.   They are starting to bug me.  Either the items are important and should be stored properly or they are unimportant and should not be in my room.  The same boxes have been in there for longer than I care to admit, but for some reason they started to bug me more lately.

I realize most of these goals are not measurable, but I don’t care.   Step in right direction is all I’m concerned about.  I likely wouldn’t take the time to keep the data anyways.

Enjoy the Fall!

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