I am the least organized person I know.
I like things to be neat and organized and tidy and simple, but when I try to make them that way myself … chaos ensues.
(Curiously enough, when I was department manager at the hardware store, I did NOT have that problem. I ran one dept and assisted with two others, and kept all of them in STUNNINGLY organized condition, better than almost any of the others in the entire store. Which is odd. And the only time/place in my life where that has happened.)
Yesterday was my birthday, and my husband cleaned the kitchen for me after dinner. Except he didn’t just clean, he tidied and organized and threw things away and rearranged other things and picked up items that had been on the counters for so long I’d stopped even seeing them, and at the end of the night, I stood there thinking, “huh. I could have done any of this at any time, but it never even occurred to me. Why not?”
Part of my problem is that I’m scatter-brained. Just ask anyone who knows me. My parents used to joke that they always knew how I’d spent my day by following the trail of shoes, books, and teacups through the house. I just never even noticed I was leaving them behind! It’s even worse when I’m cleaning – I hop from one thing to another to another without ever finishing any task, ending the day by feeling exhausted and accomplishing nothing. I am really bad at time-management – I have a beautifully written schedule pinned on my fridge, and I never, ever manage to follow it. (In my defense, we haven’t had one week since October where all four of us have been healthy. It’s been a sick, sick winter, which makes it nearly impossible to stick to any kind of a schedule.) I always have marvelous, and even reasonable goals, and then I get derailed almost immediately.
Part of the problem is that there’s just SO MUCH that I want/need to be doing. Keep the house clean and running smoothly. Raise the kids. Teach the kids. Write. Self-publish. Sew. Cook all the meals (from scratch). Skate. Learn to draw so I can teach the kids. Study. Along with raising and teaching the kids, train them to become independent adults. LAUNDRY. And oh yeah, have a relationship with my husband and try to make time for friends as well. Not to mention make sure I get that bit of alone time each week so necessary for my introverted soul.
I know a lot of people manage to juggle all those things effortlessly. I’m still figuring it out, and dropping almost ALL the balls constantly in the process. I think I spend more time picking the balls off the ground than I do tossing them through the air!
Add to all that the very deep desire to NOT live a mundane life, to do more than just muddle along. One of my deepest fears is that when I die, what’s going on my tombstone is “Well, at least she tried.” This life is so short, so precious, I don’t want to spend it flustered and frustrated and frittering it away! I want to really live, to taste every moment. No, I’m not buying into the lie that says “you have to enjoy every minute of while your kids are small/while you are young/while whatever it is the speaker currently wants you to feel guilty about not savoring.” I’ve fallen down that pit before, and I won’t go back.
But neither do I want to, as I mentioned before, spend my life just muddling along, half-heartedly attempting many things without really enjoying or living anything.
So, any advice for this scatter-brained, introverted, disorganized, mummy-wife-and-mother-and-writer on how to stop wasting my time, and start making the most of my days?
Have at it in the comments!