POSTED ON Jul 30th 2013 BY LESLIE LOFTIS UNDER Housekeeping, Housewifery, Life Admin, Motherhood, Social Media, Writing
I wasn’t always organized. I grew up showing signs of organizational talent, but the Pinterest free days of the 70’s and 80’s did not give me enough inspiration and practice in the necessary skills. By college, I had given up. My roommate used to joke about having to find me under a heap of clothes on my bed.
Then, I got my first real job. I waited tables on a cruise ship. (I was a history major. Waiting tables was my main option, so I tweaked it to make it seem cooler. It was actually just harder, much harder.) Our bunks were tiny and subject to inspection by the First Officer. Luckily, I met Nancy*, another natural organizer. The first time I had the morning shift with her, she started teaching me how to do everything faster, better. Like a city herd dog getting a first shot at a field of cattle, I took off.
After six months working with her, my organized woman status was set. A few years later my husband and brother would share war stories about properly filling the fridge or hiding electronics’ wires.
But eventually we had four children…in five years. It took time for me to learn to relax organization standards. Just relaxing, not letting everything go, that’s the trick. Giving up brings chaos, or at the very least, turns your house into repository of brightly colored broken plastic. But practical necessity in a household of 6+ requires you to simply cope with the refrigerator full to bursting or the mixed up art supplies.
So it has gone for the last five years. But that changed as soon as we got home. I had viewed our family trip as the hump of my summer, the last difficult young motherhood event before the transition to full elementary school mom. (My youngest start Kindergarten in the fall.) When the trip was over, my organizational alter-ego**seized her chance
Our house is a disaster right now because I am rearranging everything. I had thought that the writing bug would hit me first as I have so many snippets of posts to turn into something as well as a book idea I’ve had for years that keeps banging around my head, trying to get out. I expect I will write when school starts. Until then, I have about four weeks for my organizational alter ego to have her way with my house. She is wasting no time.
*The lady was Nancy Brown from South Carolina. I’ve searched for her on social media, but got too many Nancy Brown hits to find her. Nancy, if you happen to read this, please contact me. I miss you. And I owe you many thanks.
**I should name her. Martha Stewart or Monica Geller first come to mind, but my alter ego is not quite the craftsman as Martha nor the party wet blanket as Monica. Suggestions from anyone but my brother are welcome.