Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bookshelves and Media Storage; Musings on Organization and Time Management

Bookshelves and Media Storage

My roommate insulted me today by pointing at all my ... er, STUFF, shall we say, that lies in a neat pile in the living room and saying, "When, Edie???  WHEN????"  In other words, get yer crap outta the living room, girl!!!  Or at least organize it neatly so it's not an eyesore.  I'm reconciling myself to the fact that my roommate is a more visually-oriented person than me, so when things look nice and orderly, it pleases her no end, and when they don't ... she doesn't say anything unless asked, but today she said something, because (dummy me) I brought it up by pointing out all the nice Billy bookcases in the new IKEA catalogue.

Neatness, organization and creating a pleasant home environment have always been a challenge for me.  I like the IDEA (rhymes with IKEA!) of being organized, neat and having a pleasing home, but I falter in the execution.  Strangely, since becoming more organized with my finances, I've become more organized in other ways (no more dirty dishes lying in wait overnight in the sink, the bed gets made most days; showering and dressing, that's another story), but as my roommate's statement proves, I have a long way to go.  I have a lot of stuff, and I could stand to get rid of a lot of my paper (my sister suggested I get a Kindle and get rid of my books, but after the shock wore off, I had to tell her I was not ready to do that), but I also need to store the things I have in a much better way.

Also, I need to spend a lot less time cruising the Internet and more time actually reading the books and magazines I have.  I suspect a lot of people living in the modern world have this problem.  Before I got the computer, I read 50 books a year, plus any periodicals that crossed my path.  Last year, my first year with a computer since 2009,  I was down to a paltry 15 books, and this year I'm clocking in at a scant three (according to my LibraryThing)!

For a geek like myself, this is unacceptable.  Despite being retired, I have a lot to do, and a lot I want to do, so I decided I needed to improve my time-management skills.  Now I use my iCal on my iMac to create a daily schedule, a weekly schedule, a monthly schedule, and input any appointments that I have coming up in future months.  I have to recognize that my energy level and health fluctuate (I get sick days like everybody else) from day to day, so I acknowledge that some days I'm going to be able to accomplish more and some days less.

Rest is important, too.  Some people can keep going and going, like the Energizer Bunny, but I'm not one of those types.  I need time to relax and refresh myself after a period of being busy.  The Day of Beauty that I mentioned some time back is important in this respect.  This is important for everyone ... just to take some time to relax and recharge.  Otherwise you're running on empty, and that's no good for you or anyone who is depending on you.  This seems to be a really difficult lesson for women, and also for parents.  There are so many competing demands for today's families, whether you're a parent or guardian, or an adult son or daughter.  It's a constant challenge to balance one's own needs with the needs of people around you, whether they are family, friends or coworkers.

My unsolicited advice is to make sure you take some time for yourself.  Get somebody to watch the kids, don't overbook yourself and schedule in some quiet time with yourself, and spend it taking care of yourself, whether that means a Day of Beauty or pampering, or journaling, meditating, listening to music, dancing alone, taking a walk or a going for a run.  Everyone needs time to get in touch with their center.  Without that, life becomes a meaningless exercise, a round of obligations through which one suffers, without real enjoyment.  The point of it all, the purpose of your life, the divine spark, gets lost.

So, if you, like me, are on an organizing binge, in anticipation of the start of the school and work year, remember to schedule some "me" time in your agenda.  Try to stick to it, too.

Peace out and be well!