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Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year, New Outlook - Not Wrong, Just Different

I can't help it, I'm one of those people. It's New Years Day and my mind rushes with plans, ideas, and goals.  It's a party in my head.  I frenzy of organizational activities, new behaviors, new starts, new beginnings. I want to break out a new beautiful journal with matching perfect pens that write with a smooth wonderful glide.  And after I clean the closets, groom the dog, and write our family mission statement, I will sit in front of my fire and be calm while I read a stack of the classics.

Ahhhhh, just the idea of some of that happening makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. 

Not everyone in my family shares this same blissfill 'ohmmmm' calm that I do over these thoughts.  Thankfully this one does ......

(note: this picture was not taken for this post. This was just "her" a few months ago)

Her and I together border on OCD.

Then there are the men in our house.  Well, one man, one "man in training". They don't really share the same thoughts, feelings or understanding of this need for order and matching Sharpies. Not only do they not share it, they think we're a little off kilter in our thinking!

The men in the house like stacks of books, games and toys.  Visible stacks that give their minds ideas and possibilities.  They like to "just chill" to quote our man of the house.

For years I saw this view of the world as a character flaw.  How could one not like, enjoy and crave this order and peace that the girl and I crave?  Wasn't that "Cleanliness is next to Godliness" really in the Bible?  Like a law or something?  Don't you need to show a pic of your perfectly organized closet to get into heaven?  I thought for sure my role in life was to bring the men in my house to the right side of the world so I could get them into heaven.

A year or so ago I spent the afternoon helping the boy organize his room.  All the Legos put into little plastic drawers organized into catagories. Video games stacked neatly with titles all facing the same way for easy access, books put in sections much like the library.  After this fun filled mother son bonding moment I lay on his bed and with a deep sigh said, "Dude, isn't this awesome?"

Calmly and carefully he said this.

No, mom, I really only do for this for you.  I know you like it this way.  When you put it all away I can't see the possibilities.  When I have to look for certain Lego pieces in the drawer I can't create the good stuff.  When all of the pieces are laying out, I can see all kinds of possibilities and creative ideas for building the good stuff. 

I sat in a stupor. Shocked. Changed. Completely impacted by this brilliant little boy.  This one that could articulate so clearly that he wasn't wrong, just different. 

I had been trying for nearly 10 years to bring his father over to the good side, the right side, my side.  And here was his offspring finally getting through to me.  (gulp)  They're not wrong, just different.

The man of the house is recovering from surgery.  I took all of his post surgery instructions and medications and created this system.  Complete with instructions written on the box and a place to check off the days when he has taken the pills. 

Last night he MOVED THE STUFF AROUND! I was completely frustrated.  I voiced my frustration. He said, "Really, that's what is going to send you off?  Come on. That's a little extreme don't you think?"  Well actually, no, I don't think so.  Because I'm not wrong, I'm just different. The organization isn't wrong, the idea that everyone should see it the same way is a little whack.

Let's be clear.  I still get heart palpitations when there is clutter around me.  I'm not changing what I love, which is order and organization.I'm going to start this year trying to find the balance between order and the creative outlet of chaos. Wish me luck.