In my last post, Turning a Negative into a Positive, I was inspired by Jen Singer, who has a blog called Momma Said, when she tweeted “Blogging is like breastfeeding: The more you write, the more you produce.” This tweet, albeit comical and a little awkward for a man to read perhaps, lead me to write about how negative venting can snowball and actually make you feel worse and potentially wind up in a hole that’s difficult to climb out of. Jen commented on my blog entry about how after losing her Aunt Nancy to cancer, she found solice in organizing her home…that having control over something made her feel normal.
Stress levels can definitely be equated to whether or not we have control over such things as our surroundings, our finances, our relationships. Now, some of that we cannot control, of course. For example, the winter weather that creates a mountain of snow that’s difficult to shovel out of (albeit temporarily); or the economy, which we could have invested heavily in real estate and come to find out that it’s not worth what we had hoped; or in our relationships, we certainly can only control ourselves.
But let’s take the paperwork or the checking account that we could gain some level of control over, which will make us feel a little more at ease, despite everything else that’s crazy, or out of control to an extent, in our lives. Or the kitchen counter that becomes cluttered with the day’s mail (or the week’s mail, for that matter). We could set a routine to sort and file that paperwork and balance the checking account. These are routine tasks that help reduce stress and anxiety levels because you know where to find what you need, if you need it, and where you stand financially.
Question: Do you know where your birth certificate is?
If you answered, yes, how does that feel? If no, are you now in a bit of a panic knowing that you might need it and have no idea where to find it.
Point being, doing what we can to “control” (a word that has negative connotations for many) our immediate situation and surroundings. To know what you have in your checking and savings account or where the passports and birth certificates live. These sound like little things, but they’re actually big things when it comes to feeling in control.
Many years ago, I came across a list of items to keep in order that would help you to feel secure in everyday life. At some point, the list must have become less important to me and made it’s way to the shredder. Darn! I’ve started searching for it online because it was truly a good one! The essence of the list was to have some of the following items organized:
There were many more points on the list, but I’m sure you get the idea that when our self and home are in order, anxiety is lessened…and, hey, we’re freed up to take part in the activities we enjoy!Read More
I used to think that venting was a good idea. That getting something off your chest was better than proverbially holding it in and making your vessel a toxic space. Well, I’ve changed my mind. Call it a woman’s right, being a Gemini, or what you will, but I’m keeping more and more to myself these days (the negative stuff, anyway).
So, why don’t I think venting is a good idea? It’s sort of like pushing a car with no breaks downhill. The car gets started and picks up speed and more speed and more speed until it eventually crashes and burns into whatever it hits. I do believe that venting has the same potential: The issue becomes bigger than it started just by giving life to it.
Over the years, I’ve read tons and tons of self-help books, books on spirituality and karma, books about recovering from this or that…and the only thing that seems to work for me lately is to know that if an issue is negative, to squish the emotion, focus on the facts, get the problem solved and move on! Otherwise, one can wind up not only sitting in the negative, but actually creating a negative space that can become very difficult to climb out of.
Now, if it’s something positive that needs a life and a space for growth, I’m all for it! It’s probably why I’ve made a career out of spouting the importance of being organized. Organizing is such a positive issue for me that it was necessary to give life to it. And, not only do I focus on the facts, but I focus a lot of energy on the emotion surrounding the positive effects of being organized.
I’m reading a book called “Excuse Me Your Life is Waiting: The Astonishing Power of Feelings.” It’s a NY Times bestseller that a friend and business associate of mine sent me. It’s not at all what I had expected, really. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to read that it’s about vibrating positive emotions. Some people may immediately say, oh that’s silly or too new agey, but I want to remind you of the phrase “you are what you eat.” I remember hearing that phrase many years ago and kind of poo pooing it, but if you think about it, it’s true: If you stuff yourself full of crappy, fatty food, you generally feel pretty tired and full. If you eat something healthy and nutritious, likely you’ll feel energized. It’s the same with feelings.
Jen Singer who writes the Momma Said blog, posted a thought on Facebook earlier today that, to me, goes along with the idea that if you focus enough energy, that’s what you get—good or bad, positive or negative. The thought was: “Blogging is like breastfeeding, the more you write, the more you produce.” Think about it!Read More
Baby’s first birthday is more often than not about Mom and Dad celebrating the milestone. It’s an opportunit y to celebrate with family and friends and perhaps a few of baby’s new friends too. It’s fun to think that the baby really cares about the event. The truth is, though, that she’s too young to understand why a bunch of people are standing around expecting her to blow out a fireball that’s sitting on top of what appears to be some sort of fluffy pillow. Have fun planning and enjoy the day! The photos will surely show your child that you were excited about their birthday!
If you want to use a theme, choose something that your baby shows interest in: A favorite toy or character will lead you in the right direction. However, you can also opt for a simple color scheme instead, accented by streamers or balloons. At age one, inviting a clown to the party could be a disaster. Remember, baby is little and adults are huge to them. Consider something more on baby’s level. An at-home party is an acceptable venue for a first birthday. Plan a barbecue or picnic for warmer weather or a buffet lunch and cake if you’re housebound in the winter months. Limit the number of guests so that it isn’t overwhelming for you or baby. Serve simple food. If you’re expecting toddlers, consider a kid-friendly entrée and dessert.
[This is an excerpt from The Organized Mom. Read more about "Organizing Baby's First Birthday Party" in The Organized Mom: Simplify Life for You and Baby One Step at a Time.]
Thank you to projectnursery.com for providing the photo used in this blog post.
We all know that organizing has become a popular topic for most major women’s magazines, with Good Housekeeping, Real Simple and Women’s Day regularly featuring clutter solutions and speed-cleaning tips and tricks. This month, Good Housekeeping features Jamie Lee Curtis as “The Most Organized Person in the World” where the author and actress shares her tips and tricks to keep closets, freezers, and cabinets clutter-free. Here’s a brief video (part of the interview that appeared on Good Housekeeping ) where Jamie Lee talks, a little intently, I might add, about her efforts to become organized.
I admire her efforts, but was not happy to read that she doesn’t ask her family to contribute to the upkeep. Personally, I think this is a missed opportunity where one can teach their children life skills that they will eventually need when they run their own homes. Perhaps I’m the one who is intense, wanting to make sure I have my children fully prepared for life.
The fact is, everyone wants to be more organized! A study conducted by NAPO indicated that 96 percent surveyed said they would save more time in their homes if they were organized. Tis true, actually. In one of the beginning chapters of The Organized Mom, I mention the idea of assessing your real estate. What exactly do I mean? Well, ask youself: How much real estate am I giving to unorganized spaces…or how about the storage facility your paying a monthly fee for and you have no idea what’s in it. Okay, maybe you have a bit of an idea, but…
Well, take a read of the full interview with Jamie Lee Curtis. She succinctly defines what I’ve always believed:
“I’ve created a system that allows me the brain time to disengage from what I call the custodial part of mothering and being a wife, and focus on the intimate side [of my life]. But to learn intimacy of any sort, I have to be receptive and quiet and able to take it in. And I can’t do it if I’m trying to do backflips to get everything in order. That’s why I keep things in order.” -Jamie Lee Curtiss
Smead has been providing filing/organizing solutions for more than 100 years now! Since 1955, the company has been a woman-owned business. “Like” Smead Organomics on Facebook to receive bite-sized tips for organizing your files and read my recent review of the company’s Stadium Filing System.Read More