I have a problem, I’m “Organizationally Dysfunctional.” OK, I just made up that term, but this is a little bit deeper than, “I’m not very organized.” I suspect that my disorder is partly inherited. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, if you know what I mean. In saying that, I don’t mean that I’m not responsible for my own problems, I’m just acknowledging that this is deeper than meets the eye. If this problem is going to be overcome, I’m going to need to tackle it head on; so I’m starting here – a confession really.
I usually have a lot of energy. I enjoy a day of hard work and hitting the pillow bone tired. I love working on the house, or putting in a new garden. I even get excited about math. But when I look at a room of clutter, my energy dries up like the sand after the tide goes out. A wave of confusion comes over me. “How did this happen?” I wonder wearily. “What do I do now?” It’s like I don’t know how to be organized.
I know that many of you will very nicely try to excuse me and tell me that after all, I have five children, but I’ve always been this way. I shared a room with my brother until I was about 12. We had a very messy room. It became clear that I was the reason for the chaos after we got our own rooms. Dan’s room was orderly and tidy, mine was worse than ever. He still likes to remind me of the putrid bag of mold he found under the desk, (I had been making potpourri.)
Some other sorry souls had to share a desk with me in school. Books were crammed in, along with everything else imaginable. There were frequent bookslides and strange odours. I think every report card I ever got said, “Rachel needs to improve her organizational skills.” Improve? Rachel needs to get some organizational skills!
I think that my disorder, (Organizationally Dysfunctional) has some common traits, first, a tendency to run around like a chicken with it’s head cut off while not accomplishing anything. I’ve seen this in others, but I didn’t realize until recently that I have this trait too. Let me explain, I can be clearing the table when I notice that the floor is dirty, so I begin sweeping, then I wash the counter… This all sounds pretty normal, except I never finished clearing the table or sweeping the floor.
Another common trait: a perfectionist mentality that sets one up for failure. A dear friend of mine gave me a day planner with very clear directions on how to use it. She told me that I should write a ‘To Do’ list each day and that this would help me to be organized. And it did! I was beginning to get more done each day and had the satisfaction of putting a little tick beside each job done. So what happened? I started putting way more jobs on my list then any mortal could accomplish, got discouraged, gave up.
Here’s another example of that destructive perfectionist mentality at work. If I do a job, I want to do it perfectly. If I don’t have time to do it perfectly then I don’t do it.
I can really relate to the hare in the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. That’s me for sure. I start of running wildly, then I get sidetracked, take a detour, get lost, forget I’m even racing.
Still, I’m hopeful. The old adage comes to mind, “A place for everything and everything in it’s place.” I bought a box and folders to file my papers in. The box sat there all week and I had a sneaking fear that it was merely going to add to the clutter. Today I got it out though and starting labelling folders and putting in bills and the children’s artwork. It’s a small step, but it’s encouraging nonetheless and it leads me to believe that maybe, just maybe, there’s hope for me.
(If the filing box is still in the kitchen 6 months from now, I may need some professional help )