August 2, 2012

What Being Unorganized Has Cost Me

I've lived my life in an unorganized and sporadic way. Up until recently, I attributed it to my  "adaptable personality". But some things happened this week that woke me up. I began to understand how my flighty viewpoint affects those around me. I suppose I always knew this but just thought it was seen as the "way I am".

Through some talks with people I love, I found out how my unorganized life had wounded them. Wounded? I hated the thought of that. The very people I care about and want to feel my love had been wounded by me. I'm not naive enough to think we don't all wound each other at times, but with this scenario I'd convinced myself that THIS particular way of relating didn't have consequences. They just understood. But they didn't.

I felt uncomfortable and ashamed. I searched deeper at why I do these things. I found among my answers the fear of expectation. As in, if I start being good at stuff--organized, then people will expect things from me. Why do I fear expectation? I don't want to fail. Why can't I fail? Because they won't love me. What?? I was jolted by my own line of thinking. And the weird thing is I've noticed this line of thinking before. It's so odd because I DO have people who love me, but somewhere along my childhood path I started believing I had to earn it. But in my attempt to keep from having expectations, I ended up doing the very thing I was trying to avoid, hurting the ones I love.

It's embarrassing to write this because I don't like this side of me. But I think it's important to share honestly and putting it down in a post helps me gain perspective. I wrote a list of all the things being unorganized has cost me to help me understand and change. It's cost me: time, money, sanity, happiness, dreams, relationships-- I wrote many things under each category. After reading the list, I felt silenced inside. It hurt. It still hurts.

I don't want to be this way anymore but I know from experience, you can't completely change overnight. So I've decided to start with a couple of things to move to a more organized me. 1. Make a list everyday of what I want/need to get done. 2. Check my calendar every morning and every night so I will know what's supposed to happen (appts and dates). I know that seems simple but I don't do these regularly enough and I think they'll be a good start.

I hope in a few months there will be changes I can tell you about. If you have any simple tips to help in my journey, I'd love to hear them.


  1. This is EXACTLY how I've felt for some time now! I'm slowly getting better (bought a planner and I actually use it) but I've got some work to do. Thank you so much for posting this! :)

  2. Sounds like you're off to a great start Catherine, way to go. I've used a calendar for years to stay organized, it sits on the desk in the kitchen and everything is written on it. At a glance each evening I know what's happening the next day. I use index cards (for things repeated each week) or a small piece of paper (for appointments, lunches, etc) and after reviewing the calendar each night I set the notes on the table so my family can tell what's happening and what they need to do throughout the next day. For example; Emily feed fish (note on table every day)then after my daughter feeds the fish she puts the note back in the desk drawer. This system has kept us organized and the kids chores are completed in a timely manner too.

    1. Oh I love your index card idea! And putting the calendar on the kitchen table totally makes sense.

  3. Im a list person and they do help as does a calender Id be lost without mine

    a very brave post

    If your loved ones are like mine they will forgive you
    ive wounded my family before in the past by coming off my anti depression pills
    My dear daughter gave me a straight talking to just the other day I blogged about it
    Im a super woman on them Im not when i try to get off them

    I pray they will forgive you and you will remember the lessons youve learnt and go from strength to strength

    you are a very special person xxx

  4. Playing catch-up once again! (Darn those addicting Olympics!)
    1. Great post! I know it's not exactly a happy one, but I'm really glad you shared this with us. I've always had trouble remembering what needs to be done, so I've always been a list-maker. I make lists on paper and in my phone sometimes. I know that unless it's written down, there's no guarantee I'll remember it. And I actually just bought a monthly calendar (I've always used a weekly calendar for school and carried that over into the school of life) on which I can write out the reoccurring things I need to do--just simple things like watering the plants and cleaning the house. Anywho! It takes a lot to realize something about yourself that you aren't necessarily proud of, and it takes even more to take the steps to fix it. This is really very great of you : ]

    2. I loved your date nights recaps and pictures. So glad you had some special time together!!

    3. Your cup diy? Genius! I never would have thought to decorate my own. Great idea!

    4. Your thrifting adventure with your sister was so fun. That always makes for a good time. And you guys are just so cute! I love the "goofed" picture of you guys with both of your crinkled noses : ]

    Ok, all caught up!

    1. Beckie, as always, you are so sweet. I absolutely love hearing your thoughts on them all. :)

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  6. wow Catherine
    you are awesome

    beyond the practical things you are implementing I would really encourage you to go deeper into this:
    "As in, if I start being good at stuff--organized, then people will expect things from me. Why do I fear expectation? I don't want to fail. Why can't I fail? Because they won't love me. What?? I was jolted by my own line of thinking."
    for that is where the core of this challenge starts
    you can get as organized as you want, but if you still believe this you will slide back.
    the truth is we all let each other down...we don't mean to, but we do
    but when we love and accept ourselves it is easier to move past that, whether it be us letting others down or others letting us down
    the inner work is important...what I do is journal...ALOT to get those feeling out and look back at them with an objective eye....
    just some thoughts...♥

    thanks for your amazing honesty and open heart
    love that about you!

    love and light

    1. You are so completely right on this. And I've found that to change in other areas, it took an altering of the mind FIRST. I feel like I'm still working through this and have been journaling/praying a lot of these thoughts. Thank you for your every present wisdom and dear heart. Ironically, honesty and openness are also things I love about you. :D

  7. I commend you on your efforts to get organized. It can be a great asset.

    But as a person who is super organized and who also fears expectations, let me just say that it isn't really about organization. Subconsciously, I rely heavily on organization to keep from disappointing people, from disappointing myself. The truth is, no matter what we do, people are going to be disappointed and even "wounded."

    No amount of organization will ever make us fail proof. (Maybe this is a good thing, because it keeps us all dependent on God, the only one who never fails).

    By all means, implement any changes you feel God wants you to make. But don't do it out of shame or a sense of obligation or guilt. God created us all differently, and he wants us to be free to be that person. At the end of the day, his opinion is all that matters.

    And BTW, you're already good at a lot of things.

    1. Thanks for your honesty and encouragement, Bridget. It's interesting to hear the other side of the expectation token.


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