Balance vs. Chaos


I have just finished reading  Amanda Sullivan’s book entitled “Organized Enough“.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I am passionate about de–junking/de-cluttering/streamlining…whatever you want to call it, I love to ORGANIZE!  

Somehow, though, over the last year and a half, I have lost structure and routine and the peace that it brings to my soul.  Oh heck, I retired a year and a half ago and that’s when it started.  Do you know what I mean?  

My scheduled little life blew up in my face when that Monday – Friday,
12 -5pm routine was just GONE.  

You start saying yes to all kinds of stuff because you’re like “Yes, I have all kinds of time now.  Bring it on!” 

You lose the focus and planning that got you through your busy–but orderly–days.  

Your cleaning routine…LOL…what routine? I am lucky to get the laundry done in 2 days instead of on Tuesday when it’s scheduled.  Where did all those dirty clothes come from? We’re Empty Nesters!

Cleaning is hit-and-miss.  

You DO get to travel more, though! We’re driving all over the place–doing the good, better and the best.

But here is the sweet stuff:  visiting family and going to the beach more often because you don’t have to find someone to fill in for you at work. You can finally serve others because you have the time to do it right when it is needed.

Don’t get me wrong.  Retirement is a good thing and there are lots of great things you can do with your new-found freedom, but you do need to balance everything and put things in their proper perspective.  

For the first time in my life, I find myself running around like the proverbial “chicken with her head cut off.”  You know you’ve been there, too.  I saw you the last time I was there.  

You are working on one thing, like getting through the layers of TO DO/TO FILE/TO PAY piled on your desk, and you think of something you need in the next room.

You go to that room and see something that needs to be taken care of, and BAM!  About 20 minutes later you remember you were supposed to be organizing your desk for the umpteenth flippin’ time.

This book is a great resource for you if you crave balance in your life and you are tired of just doing a balancing ACT, which  leads me to something I highlighted on p. 196, in the chapter on cultivating the habit of consistency:

“A solid routine fosters a well-worn groove for one’s mental energies and helps stave off the tyranny of moods (Ann Rice)…”

Consistency and routine free up your brain for more important tasks…Scientists have shown that we experience a mental drain when we switch back and forth from one task to another and…when we have to think too much about our next move.  Consistency, whether it’s about what we wear to work or the time of day we open our mail, eliminates the back-and-forth deliberation and the decision making, so we don’t have to think about it.  We just do it.

So I am re-learning something that I realized years ago: you have got to get the ‘housekeeping’ done in your life.  

A good routine can take care of all those things that just have to be done every week, and leave you with the physical and mental energy you need to do the things that give you peace and make your heart smile.

I hope all of that made sense to you.  Comment below and let me know what you think…


A personal note:  Today is my sweet  Mom’s birthday.  She passed away from Alzheimer’s almost 2 years ago.  What a sweet, quiet spirit she had. 


Putting Things Away

Confession time:  I’m not a naturally tidy person.  I have a hard time putting things away in their proper place.

Don’t get me wrong–I love a neat and tidy house.  I’m just not good at it.

I also confess that I’ve let my house go a bit.  Especially during 2017, which was a particularly stressful year for me.  My priorities were all out of whack, my stress level was through the roof, and I felt ineffectual at home.

But lately I have felt a strong pull towards putting in the extra physical and mental effort (yes, it does take mental effort too) to keep things more orderly.  I have been setting my house in order, which is no small task when you’ve let your house go a bit…for a long time!  I’ve been dejunking, organizing, cleaning.  The effort has been, well, a lot of effort!  But the results have been so liberating.  It reminds me of this scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 93:43:

And now a commandment I give unto you—if you will be delivered you shall set in order your own house, for there are many things that are not right in your house.


Yes, I felt delivered when I finally cleaned out my laundry room and threw away/donated the items that had been stuffed on shelves or tucked into corners.  Delivered when I finally tackled my gross cleaning closet filled with unused or empty cleaning bottles.  Delivered when I let go of items in my closet, kitchen, craft room, and pantry that hadn’t been used in years and are now either in the garbage or on their way to a donation site to bless someone else.

putting things away in my cleaning closet

My cleaning closet now….man, I wish I had taken a before pic because it was MESSY!!

And while that scripture certainly hits the nail on the head for the physical order in my home, there’s another kind of order that I had not considered.

As I sorted, straightened, and cleaned my cleaning closet (ironic that it was one of the worst-cleaned areas in the house…the cleaning closet!) my mind began to wonder.  How did I let it get this bad?  Isn’t it so much nicer to have fewer things to keep track of? I can’t believe how relieved and happy this is making me–just putting things away in their proper place.

Putting things away in their proper place.  

I’m not quite sure how my thoughts then progressed (probably the Spirit, right?) but I began to think of other things that need to be put away.

Grudges.  Offenses.  Stress.  Judgments.

….and so on.

And where is the proper place for these?  If I put these “away” would I feel the same kind of relief, peace, and deliverance?


The only place I can think of to put these is with the Lord.  What’s the saying–let go and let God?  Let go of those wasteful, dust-collecting, soul-draining, energy-sucking thoughts and feelings and let Him worry about it.  The weight of those mental loads is really a lot heavier than we realize.  And once that weight is lifted, we can enjoy that sweet feeling of deliverance.

It will have to be a matter of prayer, I think.

Please help me to see him/her as You see him/her.

Please help me to see myself as You do.

Please help me to forgive as I hope You will forgive me.

Please help me to handle this challenge with the Spirit.

If prayer is a form of work, then maybe the best time to pray for these things is when I’m actually working on cleaning my home.  While I’m in the middle of sorting, cleaning, organizing, and dejunking, why not reach out to the Lord and ask for his help in tidying up my mind and heart? 

Because honestly, I’m ready for that kind of deliverance too.



Finding Peace

“Angels, shepherds, and Wise Men sought and found peace from their faith in Jesus Christ. So will you. The Savior’s birth is the gift that makes it possible for the Father to give us ‘peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.'”
—President Henry B. Eyring, First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional

A friend recently sent to me a copy of a talk entitled “Peace in this Life”, by Henry B. Eyring.  What a timely message this is.  Our world is in turmoil; oftentimes our personal lives are extremely challenging for many reasons, both within our control and not so much.  But amidst whatever trials, challenges, another’s choice that affects our lives, or influences that can impact us on a global level, we can find peace.  That one word means so much.  Where can we turn for peace?  We turn to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate this month.  The following quote from this talk was very meaningful to me, as I had just prayed that improving my relationship with my Savior would strengthen me on those days that are especially trying.  I hope it helps you and gives you some direction during a difficult time.

“It is only through following the Savior that any of us can find peace and serenity in the trials that will come to all of us.”

And it just now occurred to me that we should remember that our relationship with Jesus Christ, as well as our Heavenly Father, can make the good days even sweeter.  They aren’t just there for us on the rough days.

Image from