Be­ing or­ga­nized doesn’t mean per­fect

The Buffalo News - - OPINION - Lynn M. Lom­bard, of Akron, is re­cov­er­ing from a home re­cy­cling mishap. is a first-per­son col­umn open to all Western New York­ers. If your ar­ti­cle is se­lected for pub­li­ca­tion, a photo of you is re­quired. Email sub­mis­sions to ed­it­[email protected]

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.


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