Sometimes my best ideas occur in the middle of the night. Sometimes answers to my toughest problems occur then, too.
And sometimes my dream self just says, “You know, it’s a good thing you didn’t want to be an engineer.”
This past week dream self sparkled and tinkled her way into my bedroom and waved her magic “Let’s Get Serious” wand. “Why, in all the years that you’ve had that cute little pocket bulletin board have you been hanging it upside down? I mean, wake up, that’s why stuff falls out! The bottom is really the top. Are the pockets of your pants open at the bottom? Compute. Compute.”
Sadly this is not the first time I’ve had the same problem, so I guess it won’t be the last. The first time? My artificial Christmas Tree. Every year for years I carefully placed the branches into the bottom of each slot on the trunk, which I didn’t realize I had turned upside down. Sometimes they stayed there, and sometimes they didn’t. (Apparently I missed the gravity lecture in elementary school.) Years later when I finally thought about it and turned everything right side up, the branches stayed put. Not as interesting, true, but a lot easier on our Christmas ornaments.
How often in our lives do we just keep doing things the hard way instead of taking a closer look and finding easier ways? How often is your own life upside down?
I’ve always been a clutter-is-fun kind of gal. Have you read Marie Kondo’s book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up? In a simple sentence the book says–or so I’ve been told–that if an item you own doesn’t spark joy, thank it for its time in your life and chuck it.
If required to follow the Marie Kondo school of organization I would probably start by opening a bottle of wine and then, if I’m trying hard, chucking the cork. Or possibly not, since I’ve been saving corks for years to make a bulletin board (yes, another bulletin board) and although I bought everything I need to make said bulletin board, I’ve never quite gotten around to the glueing and arranging, although I’ve been great about accumulating corks. Some are more interesting than others, you know. Or didn’t you?
Then a few weeks ago I saw a how-to on making a bath mat from wine corks.
Will I ever chuck a cork again? There could be an entire cork rug in my future. A whole floor! I have friends who like wine. They will save them for me. We might go into business.
Having just said all that recently, without Kondo’s help, I’ve discovered myself doing the inconceivable. Putting slippers in a special niche in my closet so I can find them. Throwing out clothing I haven’t worn in years. Choosing specific dresser drawers for specific items of clothing. Clearing and cleaning my study. I even bought a giant 2017 erasable calendar so I can make note of all the weeks I’ll have clear to write this year.
I may actually, without giving it too much thought, be changing my life from upside down to right side up. Because I’m discovering that the more organized I am, the more time I have to enjoy myself.
How will this strange thinking affect my books? Well, I’m considering new ways to turn my schedule right side up. I need to work fewer hours, but work smarter. I need more time to plan and think, less to stare at a computer screen. I need more long walks where ideas can bombard me. I need to worry less and write more.
I need to stop reading political posts on social media.
Of course that’s easier said than done, isn’t it? Once we get used to upside down, right side up seems almost impossible. But I did turn my bulletin board in the right direction and wow, did it look great. Too bad that in my mad quest for order I’ve since moved it into the kitchen pantry for recipes. At least I won’t find Fifty Ways to Make Yogurt in your Instant Pot on the floor every morning.
So what’s upside down in your own life? Will fixing it be as easy as simple turning things right side up? Let me know if you make any changes. In the meantime, I’ll be clearing and cleaning. And turning things over. You just never know what could happen.