Being organized doesn’t mean perfect
I like to think of myself as being extremely organized. If a bill is coming due, it’s kept in a handy-dandy folder marked as such. Once it’s paid, the date and method of payment is written on it and then filed away.
If you asked me how much we spend on groceries annually, that number can easily be calculated in my up-to-date budget. If someone needs to know when my daughters were at the doctor last, there’s a folder for that, too.
There is a place for everything in my life because if there wasn’t, things would get lost, deadlines could be missed, and I would most definitely go crazy. And crazy Lynn is no fun at all.
Somewhere along the line, though, I began believing that being organized meant I had to be perfect, too. I put this gigantic this weekend.”
“I’ll do it after down.”
But I yearned to have my space back. So, during the month of January, I spent evenings and weekends camped out on the office floor. I dumped papers upon papers into the recycling bin. With each pile I poured in, the freer I felt.
On Feb. 1, I was able to sit at my desk again. I swung my chair around and looked at the spotless floor. I admired the bookshelves that once more held only books. Everything had its own place again. I let out a sigh of relief.
But then a few weeks later, I was searching high and low for gift cards my daughter received for Christmas that had been on that once-messy desk. After a few hours of retracing my steps over and over again, I had no other option but to admit that in the midst of getting reorganized, I may have, gulp, recycled them. As Ms. Organized Queen Bee was getting back her groove, failure was looming in the background.
This is when my inner voice reared her ugly, not-so-understanding head.
“How can you throw away gift cards? ... What is wrong with you? ... I thought you were getting your act together!”
I continued to berate myself all evening.
Until my amazing husband reminded me of how far I had come and that I was the most organized person he knew. Until my forgiving daughter said, “Mommy, it’s OK. Gift cards aren’t that important.” Until I decided to give myself some grace.
Because even we organized people make mistakes. And I’m learning to be perfectly OK with not being perfect.
Somewhere along the line, though, I began believing that being organized meant I had to be perfect, too.