Organization or Obsession?

I am a self-described organized person but some of that as I define as organized can feel obsessive. I drive myself crazy with rules that I create for myself about how to live my life and disguise those as “organization”. Don’t get me wrong organization is key to a successful life. Everything has to have its place and time and that which is in its place and has its time must have importance and intention. The point at which it feels obsessive is when its rigidity feels like failure or false success because the rule was followed regardless of the importance or intention.

I am and forever will be obsessed with my health, which is actually my weight but I call it health because it sounds better and it is. You ask, “Do you actually organize your health?”…well yes of course because it satisfies the definition of being important and intended. I schedule every single hour of my day to include what time I am going to wake-up and go to bed so that I am sure to get 8-hours of sleep. I schedule my workouts, what time I will leave for work, what time I will leave for home, eat dinner, read…well you get the idea…obsessed or organized? Regardless of the answer it is my health; physical and mental and it matters so I do it.

I am a a strong-believer that if you don’t schedule it, it won’t get done. But what this scheduling replaces is the reality that life will get in the way and worse, doing what feels right regardless of the “schedule”. If you wake and don’t feel like working out, do you do it anyway? And when you have to deviate from that schedule is it a “fail”? Another example of this that also pertains to “health” is logging my diet. I have been logging my foods for a billion years. While this is considered a healthy practice and meal-planning is key to health; at what point do I eat because I already weighed out a 4-oz portion and logged it versus eating until I feel satisfied? In these cases I find myself listening to my organization more than myself. Organized or obsessed? or discipline? (oh wait…that is an entirely different blog 🙂

I might go as far as to say that I am obsessed with organization. I like everything to be just “so” at work and at home. My husband reminds me that we do not live in a museum. I understand that but nonetheless I like a tidy home and I like everything to be of use and have a home. I Spring Clean my home numerous times a year because I like to purge what is not being used to allow more space; not to be mistaken as room for something else, just space. At work you would be hard-pressed to find my office as I have not one picture nor object that would identify it as mine. I need a clean, minimalist space to do my best work; free from clutter like my mind.

I am a planner and spend the first weekend of every month, setting my intentions for the month and following up on those from the previous month to see what I accomplished. This is where success and failure are abound. Instead of patting myself on the back for all of the things I did accomplish I focus on those that I did not, and then set a new plan to accomplish those the next month. There is a little Stephen Covey discipline in there about moving things forward that don’t get done to keep the “To Do” list current but…taking time to celebrate the successes needs to be part of “the list”.

When I think back to when all of this started I remember always making my bed from the time I could recall having my own bed. I would clean the house without my mother ever asking and even recall offering to mop the floors around the age of 8 if she would buy me one of those new fancy roller mops. Growing up in school, I always kept a running list for my homework and found great pride in my neat papers; no dogeared corners, no spiral rip-offs dangling and God forbid if you could see when something had been erased, I would rewrite the entire paper. Definitely obsessed and organized to a fault!

Regardless of what you call it, I am obsessed with being organized and I own it. I make myself crazy admittedly and while I will swear off logging the same damn foods I log everyday and being wildly surprised when it still calculates to the same total…I know that in a moment of weakness on the scale I will find “MyFitnessPal” once again! Living my life obsessed, organized and owning it – L.

Back to me…

I had a great conversation with my Aunt this week, I asked her what she thought of the last few blogs that were born out of my reactions to the books I am currently reading and she said “I didn’t love them”. I wasn’t surprised because quite frankly, neither did I. Her point was that people are following my blog because of me. My life experiences, my stories, life as I see it. Her fear is that I will lose my audience if my writing is centered around other people’s experiences as everyone has the same access and if they wanted to follow those people they would. Additionally it’s not so much about their work as much as it is about my reaction to their work and that is where I was finding the difficulty in my writing. As I found myself so illuminated by these writers I am compelled to share however instead of owning it and its transformation in my mind I was sharing so literally that my writings were mired with quotes and annotations that took me away from my true thoughts. It’s with this sentiment that I start again and bring it back to me.

One of my core values in life is Owning It and Never Giving Your Power Away. So for today I would like to explore these two concepts from my perspective, because in this blog that is what it’s about…me! 🙂

In reflecting on how to stay focused on what and how I want to write I remember that Owning It means that I own the thoughts that are provoked at the experiences as I have lived them and as they show themselves. Even when reading provokes thoughts and emotion, they are mine to own, mine to share. We know that three people can read the same thing and come out with three very different perspectives and therefore there is great value in citing that perspective from my point of view without citing so literally. This is the easy part of owning it; it gets much harder in life when we own who we are without apology and what we want to do without permission. These are the times when owning it becomes an active verb, one that requires you to “stand in it”, not waiver and do “it” anyway.

Never Give Your Power Away. Not in the good times, not in the bad, not ever…it is simply not necessary. Not in your writing and not in any of your efforts; not for good and not for guilt. Don’t make someone else the “reason” for your thoughts or actions. This is the fine line where owning it and giving your power away meet. You are doing whatever you are doing for YOU. I always cringe when I hear people say “I am doing this for ___________”. It comes across as a way to justify the excess of the moment rather than owning that maybe they are really enjoying that moment, opportunity or advantage. More often than not we see people give their power away when they don’t speak up for themselves or how they feel. When they compromise to a point that they are paying a higher price than who they are compromising with. I am reminded of this when dealing with people that do not bring out the best in me; as I am handing over my power in that moment that they are evoking the worst of me. Why would I do that? Why is that person so important that I would compromise who I am, what I stand for or my person for them? They aren’t, trust me when I say no one is!

My life as i have come to know it is different then everyone around me, and theirs are different than mine, we truly all have a story and how we tell it or if we tell it can make the difference. Owning that story can create power. There were many moments in this life that I tried to keep my story under wraps, because I didn’t want to own it, however as I got older I came to realize that my story, every moment, shaped who I had become. There was no shame in that and instead I found myself so grateful for MY journey as I am certain that my life today would be different had I not had the experiences that have defined me. In owning it I have also learned to retain the power of my story where it serves me and to only give away that which I was carrying that was never mine to own. THIS IS THE POWERFUL STUFF…handing power away NOT giving it away but putting things back where they belong when they were never yours to begin with…this is where the power play is won. But that is an entirely different story for another day…to be continued. L.