Not too long ago, I posted on my personal Facebook how happy I was that my massive to-do list was *relatively* under control. A friend commented that she loved seeing a professional organizer admit that "relatively under control" was an accomplishment because she hates when people pretend that their lives never get crazy because they're so organized.
My response was, "Relatively under control is absolutely an accomplishment! It's *because* I'm organized, that the crazy in my life doesn't make me crazy with it." After all, as an entrepreneur who is growing her business, my to-do list will NEVER be done. Relatively under control is cause for champagne!
Not that I ever need an excuse for champagne...
Just the day before that I had a conversation with a friend that shared an epiphany with me...many friends of hers are going through illness or other serious troubles. She wants to help but can't because they are significantly disorganized. In trying to wash dishes for one friend, she couldn't 1) find everything she needed to wash said dishes and 2) she couldn't find the space where said dishes live because of the state of the cabinets. For others, she wanted to make meals but knew there wasn't space in the fridge or freezer because neither had been cleaned out in quite a while. Not only was she frustrated because she wanted but couldn't find a meaningful way to help, but she noticed how much the messy conditions were adding to the stress her friends were already feeling in their difficult times. She wished she could help her friends understand that if they let go of some of the excess clutter, they'd free up some space to 1) better deal with their current situations and 2) allow friends to help them when they need it the most.
A few days later she sent me a link to this article. The line that stood out to me most was:
If your daily to-do list is already burning up all the calories you can cobble together from dawn till dusk on a “normal” day, where are you going to get the extra energy to deal with the flood in the basement, the banker banging at the door, all those extra trips to the lab and the X-ray department when the unbearable, or the unexpected, shows up in your life?
The majority of the homes I work in with extensive clutter issues got their starting point due to one (or many) major traumas. (Most often medical or death, followed by divorce or a move...almost always a loss of some sort.) When major stressors come up, the home environment is usually the first to go. Hell, when minor stressors come up, the home is the first to be let go. It happens to me too. However, if you only have a tenuous hold on your home to begin with, the spiraling out can easily become massive.
Unfortunately, this only adds to the stress...which adds to the mess...which adds to the stress...and so on and so forth. Vicious damn cycle.
The best step to allowing crazy to not interfere with our lives *too* much is organization. When you're organized - and I'm not talking perfection...just that everything has a place and your home doesn't make you crazy - you're better equipped to handle what life throws at you.
Crazy WILL happen. There is no preventing it. (BTW - if crazy never happens in your life you're either lying to yourself or not truly living.) Deaths occur. Cars break down. The world will continue to turn and time will move forward with or without you. By getting and staying organized, you're better equipped to handle it because at least you know where things are.
And remember, Sunshines...relatively under control is totally fabulous.
How do you maintain your sanity in the face of crazy?