It’s not that I am not capable of organizing. For fifteen years, I was involved in organizing events for other people. But my own life…..well, not so organized.
I’ve tried calendars and planners and online time management systems. I’ve tried notebooks and file systems and reminder apps. I’ve tried lists and post-its and memory association tricks. But my brain always ends up a bit more scattered than aligned.
Somehow no matter what system I use, I end up with piles of paperwork that end up in boxes when I get overwhelmed by the sight of them. I end up with unfinished lists and uncompleted reminders and unused calendars. I lose things, misplace things, and forget things on an almost daily basis.
Today, I ran out of saline solution for my contacts. And yes, it was on a list somewhere that I needed to buy more. So I battled the people of Walmart just to grab one bottle of saline solution on the way to pick up Dr. Smooth. I actually found a short checkout line and was out in record time. But then I got almost all the way to the high school and realized I didn’t grab the bag before leaving the store.
I went into Walmart for one freakin’ item and left it behind.
Over the holidays, we went out to a movie and then to dinner. When I reached in my purse to pay for dinner, no wallet was found. The last place I had seen it was the movie theater. Luckily, someone had turned it in, and after a detour back to the theater to retrieve it, we made our way home.
And yes, that could happen to anyone. But that is the THIRD time I have left a wallet or purse at that same theater. One time it happened at a midnight movie the night before we were to set sail on a cruise….which requires photo ID. Imagine getting security to open a theater at 4am to search for a purse under a seat. Fun, fun.
I have lost my keys so many times that I have threatened for years to have a bolt installed into my hip bone with a retractable key ring attached to it. That way as soon as I let go of my keys, they pop right back to my hip and stay there until I need them again. (I haven’t gone through with that procedure because I am a little nervous about the pain involved and I’m not sure what kind of fashion statement I’d be making with a bolt protruding through whatever I’m wearing.)
Then there was the time we drove to Georgia to see our friends get married. We went up a day ahead of time and got a hotel room so we wouldn’t risk getting caught in traffic and being late. We slept in, had brunch, shopped a bit, and napped. Then we leisurely got dressed and showed up for the 5:30 ceremony. Only to find that everyone was standing around taking pictures because the ceremony was over….it had started at 5:00pm. Which was clearly stated on the invitation I brought with me on the trip.
I don’t get it. I’m not stupid. I’m not a complete ditz. I’m not careless. I’m actually fairly intelligent and very analytical. But on any given day, I juggle quite a bit of information, issues, duties, and thoughts. I think that my brain just gets so full and so crowded that it ceases to focus. So I’m going through life a bit blurry, I suppose.
I wish I knew how to slow down. To breathe more and stress less. To remain calm and focused and in control of my day. I’ve tried yoga and meditation, but I usually spend the entire time I’m doing that thinking about what I have to get done next.
A dear friend that I love and respect told me once that I would be more organized if I had a purse. Well, I’ve bought big purses and little purses and purses with pockets and all sorts of wallets. Didn’t do the trick.
I don’t think it’s the purse. Or the calendar. Or the app. Or the filing system. I think it may be just be my brain. And the amount of life I cram into each day.
I know I’m not the only one that struggles with this. I’m not the only one that washes the same load of clothes more than once because I forgot to put it in the dryer. I’m not the only one that throws away fresh produce because I didn’t get around to making the recipe I bought it for. I’m not the only one that has to dig through piles of papers to find the form that has to be signed for school today or the doctor bill that was supposed to be paid last week.
So to those of you who have it all together and always know where you left it, I applaud you. I admire you. I respect you. I’m not like you.
To those of you who are like me, cramming it in, swimming in a sea of papers and lists, and occasionally forgetting your own name, I’m sending you a big shout-out. I hear you my sisters. I feel you. I know where you’re coming from. (And I know that somewhere at home there’s a list of what you were supposed to bring and where you’re supposed to be.)
Here’s to living blurry. Here’s to firmly attached heads. And here’s to a life brimming over. Maybe this is the year that we will simplify and declutter and have it all run smoothly.
Yeah. Probably not. Happy New Year anyway. (Oh wait…New Year’s was two weeks ago. Oh well.)