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.