Sunday, February 21, 2016

10. KNOW YOUR WEAKNESSES (and try to work with them)

I've been lucky to have, generally, a positive outlook on life. I know this is a blessing, because it makes living so much easier and certainly more tasty. I do see very clearly , however, some profound flaws in my personality. I think I know many of my weaknesses, and I do not like them!
Early on, in my adult life, I tried to completely change my personality so that I could get rid of those weaknesses. Those attempts usually lasted something like 3.5 hours, then I was back to my old self. Now I know that I am a complex person and my weaknesses are part of the tart that counter-balances the sweet in the recipe of me. So I'm OK with it in general. I've come to accept my weaknesses and try to work with them, or at least around them.
One of my most annoying weaknesses is my inability to maintain order in my space.  I don’t know why it is I tend to create chaos everywhere I go.  Physical chaos, I mean.  I hope I don’t create chaotic relationships… but maybe I do.  Eeek!
With regards to the untidiness, I generally try to be clean.  I mopped my floor today, and I know how to scrub a bathroom, etc.  It’s clutter that has a hold on me.
So here, in response to my deep weaknesses, are 3 little tricks I pull on myself to make myself functional and at least  somewhat acceptable. You may not need them.  But someone you love might.

1.) Rule Of Three
Let's say there is a random sock lying in the middle of my bedroom floor. Let's say, on my way to the bathroom, I look down at the sock and say to myself, “I should pick that up.” But I'm on my way to the bathroom and that can sometimes be urgent. Later I'm walking through my room again and I notice the sock. Again, I think I should pick it up, but frankly I don't feel like it. The next time I pass the sock on my bedroom floor -- the third time -- I am required to pick it up and put it where it belongs. My reasoning is, if that item has taken up so much brain space that I've thought of it three times, then I need to deal with it and get it out of my head. I recognize that not every thought that comes into my head needs to be acted upon right away. But if it's come to my attention three times, then it needs to be dealt with. That's the Rule of 3.

2.) Rule of 10 
Let's say my bedroom, with the sock on the floor, has more than just a sock on the floor. Let's say the bedroom is a disaster! It's so bad that I'm overwhelmed with trying to deal with all of the things that are in there. I might explain that our bedroom is right off of the family room in our house. We entertain quite a bit, and we don't seem to have a lot of downtime, so everything in the family room, kitchen, dining and living rooms, that need to be quickly cleaned up for company, ends up in our bedroom. When I don't have a full day of emotional or actual time to devote to cleaning up that space I invoke the rule of 10. I simply have to touch 10 items and put them in the place where they belong. That's all. It's quite doable. 

3.) "Everything you do is something done."
When things get really bad and my brain space is even worse, I repeat this little mantra: “Everything you do is something done.” Quite literally I speak it out loud. Then I just let my hand touch one thing and deal with it. When that's done I let it touch something else and deal with that. There's no order or logic to it, but it keeps a scatterbrain moving forward.

There you have it, my tricks of the trade. I wish I was a more organized person, I really do. I wish I could be spontaneous and creative as I naturally seem to be, but still have a good sense of order in my space  and in my time. But alas, it is not to be. So I'm grateful for my simple little tricks to try and keep me and my space at least semi-sane.

If you have the same sort of personality flaw, add this to your personal HOPE CHEST.

For those who would like serious help addressing the disorganized house illness, you should get to know FLYLADY.  There is seriously good stuff to help, taking baby steps, and her suggestions are life changing. CLICK HERE to check out her free website. 

During the season of Lent I make the personal commitment to write every day.  I’ve done this for the past eight years, as a token of devotion and thanks to the Lord for giving me a brain that works (usually). I publish these writings here on my blog, unedited and splattered like wet paint, as a way to share them and to keep them for myself and for my posterity.  This year I have decided to ruminate on thoughts, ideas, habits and miscellaneous personal practices I would like to put in a figurative HOPE CHEST to take with me into the rest of my life and the life beyond. Besides that, there are bits of advice I would like to tuck into the HOPE CHESTS of my kids and grandkids.


  1. I remember when our kids were at home my nemesis would be the kitchen counter. And I came up with the idea that before we went to bed everyone had to put away 10 things each. That's 40 things altogether. And then I could wake up to a clean counter the next morning. It was awesome even though my kids response was not necessarily one of enthusiasm… Wink wink.

  2. Messes are temporary; relationships are eternal. Your priorities are in the right place!!