It is a funny thing, the things we keep…
I find it very interesting, and sometimes bizarre, although those are the thoughts I keep to myself, the things, the stuff that people hang on to for years. Over the summer months we have organized clients who are moving and going places, hoarders who will never leave their house, and we’ve offered some personal assistant services to several. Every story is different and what is important to one client is not to the next and then, so goes life. No matter who has come into our journey of business, every single one is exceptional in one way or another. Some because they handle 5 children under the age of 5, and others for the energy, time and worry they have for their “stuff”. Any parent that stresses over the house being organized with five or more children, has to be 95% saint or crazy, yet you have called, out of desperation in a time when life was a little overwhelming.
There is a term I use frequently that is “ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT”. As it is, I hear about every reason or excuse why a client has something. Let me give you an example; a sweet little lady that we came across recently, had a small kitchen, but one drawer exemplifies my point. As we were organizing the kitchen, I opened the top drawer and found this.
I have no idea how many rubber bands were in the drawer, but her comment was, “See, you can see how long I’ve been taking the newspaper.” The problem with this is, that most of the bands were not functional any longer, and there was not a need for rubber bands, period. The excess rubber bands took up valuable drawer space, and it really doesn’t matter how long one was subscribed to the local newspaper. If I break all of this down further, the importance of reading the newspaper is to gain knowledge, to educate ourselves, and possibly to use for packing or in a litter box after being read.
Another photo from this house goes something like this:
I can laugh, with my clients, because even the best storage places, tell the truth. We organized this little kitchen, but clearly there was no cooking or baking going on. I don’t blame her, cooking for one is as easy as calling for delivery. Why mess up the pots and pans for food for one? I get it, yet the reality is, we’re not cooking in this house. The oven stores only God (& Consider It Done) knows what. The papers were all old and everything else that the oven held inside were donated. So here is my soapbox…
KEEP ONLY WHAT YOU ARE ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN
Just because you have bookshelves full of gardening books, it doesn’t make you a gardener. Or a pantry full of cookbooks doesn’t make you a chef, or even an average meal maker. I have heard it all, “well I used to cook a lot”, or “I was a teacher thirty years ago” or “I kept those knitting projects, because I thought I would finish it”. So, it is time to get real with yourself, if what you used to do or had good intentions of, or talents that you once had, does NOT make up what you spend your time doing this very day, then it is time to reevaluate why you are still hanging on to the stuff. Letting go of the past frees you. It gives you space to be who you are today. Realize and be honest with who you are, because that YOU, is important, and who your were fulfilled its purpose then. Who you are now, shows maturity, growth and wisdom. You have time and energy that you could share with your husband or children, or community, instead of always tripping over the clutter and stressing that someone might stop by the house and see your disaster. If your children are over fifteen, do not, let me repeat, DO NOT, finish the hand knitted baby sweater you have been hanging on to. The facts are that teachers today use such different things in their classrooms than they did thirty years ago. You cook different than you used to, and your hands and mind can’t paint anymore. There is no shame in any of that, but who are you now, is someone that can share your experiences over a cup of coffee, about when you were a teacher, or you would rather die than let someone in your home? Could you teach me what you used in your art pieces, or are they buried in among-st the clutter? Live the life you have today, not the one you had in the past or in your wildest intentions. Be real about who you are and what you want your life to be. There is only one reason you can’t have that, and that is YOU. Have a goal to have friends over for coffee or dinner in a month, and you will motivate your self to having a place that works for you, not against you.
In my own journey, I want to make your life better,
We just hosted a booth at this year’s Home & Garden Show. We had the opportunity to meet so many people, and friends I hadn’t saw in a very long time. We had the best people working and making the best of spending the weekend in a booth at the show.
As we saw people come and go over three days, we asked hundreds of people, “Are you interested in organization?” The expressions and reactions of people were quite humorous. There were some who would walk by and pretend that we were not there at all, with a tinge of guilt covering their face. Others would ease a little closer, interested in what Consider It Done is all about. Or a spouse that would offer a snicker or laughter and wink, “Well I’m pretty good, but now my husband (or Wife) needs your help”.
It seems like everyone knows someone that needs a little organization. The truth is, we all can use some organization at one time or another. I have never heard anyone say, “I want to be disorganized when I grow up”. Life just happens to be overwhelming at times, and we fail to keep priorities in check, we get lost and cannot find our way back. What I have learned in our own journey in helping organize others, is that first, one must recognize that there is a problem, that life is not functioning very well. I have met with many family members who want help for their parents, and yet the parents do not, will not and will refuse any help from their own kids, much less myself. Change is scary, especially if they have the understanding that their things are going to be thrown away, or that they are losing control in some manner. Which I want to make clear, if you have had these internal thoughts, we do not want to throw away or get rid of anything that you are not really using or that you place high value on. For an example, what may look like to me, as a broken toolbox, might just be the great granddad’s box that he made for a son generations ago, that has been handed down with stories told about the furniture that was made with it. Trust me to know that those stories are important, and they need to be retold!
Secondly, if your spouse or parent is upset that you mentioned the thought of anyone else coming into their office, or house, then they probably are not ready for us organizers to come for a visit, even though it might the best thing ever for them. Sometimes, unfortunately, our best life lessons are learned by going through difficult times. As a family member, you can “own” what is yours and your responsibilities, and allow your spouse or parents, etc. to own what is theirs. Encourage and support what you can, and know even in adult parent and child relationships, tough love is sometimes needed.
Lastly, just get over yourself! I cannot tell you how many times I have heard, “I would be so embarrassed for you to see….”. I have seen extreme hoarders, and have heard every excuse in the book as to why a place looks like it does! No one lives at “their best” when there is clutter in your life, whether it’s emotional, mental or physical. When you realize that you no longer have control over all the clutter, then admit it and know that there are professionals to help you, so that you can move on with your life in peace and get past all the things, issues or thoughts that are standing in your way.
When you know in your heart that it’s time, and calling Consider It Done, is not as scary as you thought it would be. Call us, and we will help you back to peace, one step at a time.
It is a peculiar phenomenon that happens with CHAOS!
I recently visited a potential client home where there was nothing in the right place! It seems like the chaos was contagious, and manifest itself in every place and corner of the house. I heard many excuses from this stay at home dad, and truthfully there are stages of life that are constant interruptions, where success of a goal seems impossible. And yet it was almost impossible for him to get a grip on the day to day routine of his own house.
After flipping through page after page of notes that he and his wife and kids had scribbled and written, he found his list of “problem areas” which included the cycle of laundry, too many bins and baskets, pantry & the loathed Tupperware, garage, and his work/study area. So, we then took a tour of the house, and I saw his point.
The master bedroom contains more than it should to begin with, as the function of the master bedroom or closet is not to do laundry, or store toys. This picture of the playpen in the master bedroom, that is now what he calls the “laundry basket out of necessity”. What really is needed; is a few hangers and about thirty minutes! Yet the problem then multiplies. The clothes were not in the closet because the closet was full of toys, old diaper boxes (that was full of more stuff) The play pen could not be used to contain a two -year-old toddler so dad or mom could get some things accomplished. The baby now, is free to drag out every diaper or anything he can get his hands on and on and on it goes.
This family is storing some his dad’s belongings, and the garage holds everything and anything, except the two vehicles sitting outdoors. Items that someone was going to pick up or intended to be handed down to someone else. The pantry was the same chaos, just different items of chaos. There are corners of disaster in every room. I do not tell this story to embarrass anyone, rather this is more typical that you might know, and it is fixable and with a few changes this can be a house that is functional and enjoyable to be in. If you are storing things that are to be given away or are someone else’s, first, you are more patient than I am, and you are renting your space for free. Set some time boundaries on friends or family that are waiting to come get the furniture; if they don’t get it by the end of the month, donate it to your favorite charity. Potential clients often have too many bins and baskets, which were purchased in attempting to get organized, yet more often than that, the bins or baskets become yet another place to dump more stuff. They desperately want organization and functionality, but end up more frustrated and overwhelmed. Buying more is not the cure, time management is a better remedy.
Our well-meaning in-laws and parents are not helpful, by giving (or dumping) unwanted household items on their children. Be professional as a parent even with your own kids as you offer your unwanted Tupperware or dishes (or anything else for that matter) to them, knowing that they may not want your own clutter. Family emotions and feelings about their stuff is more evident, than with friends or co-workers. Kids don’t want to tell parents “no” and then they tell me about, “all the stuff that his or her mom dumped on us”. Just ask! Ask, would this [item] be helpful to you? Do you need extra blankets? Before unloading your chaos on your kids.
We all think differently and what works and seems easy for you to think through and process will be difficult for someone else. Yet to make positive changes, we must have an open mind and realize that for now, the current system just is NOT working. Be open to a new way of thinking and to change. Consulting some clients in organization is to help them realize what is the function of this space, and how that space can work for you. It is about self-discipline, and managing time, and people around you.
When you have difficulties with that, call us, we will consult, organize or assist you to a chaos free environment.
WHAT IS CLUTTER ANYHOW?
Some of you have asked me “Am I a hoarder? Or how do you know I am a hoarder?’ It goes back to if you have to ask, well, yes your probably are. But before we get to the hoarding stage, lets break this down. What is Clutter? The formal definition is:
verb: clutter; 3rd person present: clutters; past tense: cluttered; past participle: cluttered; present participle: cluttering
1. A collection of things lying about in an untidy mass.
"the attic is full of clutter"
An untidy state. "the room was in a clutter of smelly untidiness"
We all have it from time to time…. There is no doubt we do. Even the best of you, have a bad day and don’t put things where they need to go. I don’t think we’ve have gone into a house that doesn’t have a “junk drawer”, some worse than others, but we all have them. Most junk drawers contain… clutter. Untidiness, and small parts of our lives. Box tops, screwdrivers, kiddie scissors, and loose change. What becomes clutter is not intended to be just clutter. Think about it, for the loose change or even the dollars we have found in the most random places, could buy a nice dinner out for my extended family and yours, but it is not clutter. If it were in your bank account adding interest to your account you would not consider it clutter, but a loose dollar and some change littering the dresser or kitchen drawer is then clutter.
I once went to a client’s home, to decorate for Christmas, yet the client proceeded to tell me all about the other rooms that were “cluttered”. She opened a door, as far as it would barely open to what she called the office, and the envelopes and papers were a 6 ft tall mountain of clutter. It was the myth of a paperless world exemplified! There was outdated mail, checks and important papers in there, but until they were all where they needed to be, it was all just clutter. She wasn’t a hoarder of mail, who collected and couldn’t part with it. She just filled a room, littered a room in a disorderly manner. The reason clutter happens, is more than anything time management or lack thereof. The young mom with three children in school who is working, and managing a home, throws a few things in the junk drawer, saying “I’ll put that up when I have time” yet finally, when the drawer cannot close without her saying a string of curse words, dumps the whole thing in a bag. “It’s just clutter”, she says, “I can replace all this”, and tosses the bag in the garbage. Or the man who’s shop full of tools and small machines, cannot find the rolls of electrical tape, runs back over to his local home repair shop and buys yet another. Why? Because of the clutter in his shop. Yep, the fishing gear, the extra bike parts, and all the owner manuals to some of the tools that still has and some to those that finally burned out hid the little round spool of tape that he knew he had. So, those procrastinators, and those with too much going on in your life, think for a minute of your biggest disorganized space…. It looks like that, because you, your cohorts, or family have the mentality, that I will get to it later. In a procrastinators world, he’s got it all figured! He can eat when hungry, sleep when tired, and don’t do anything to difficult, then your pretty successful! But living with our satisfaction only coming from instant gratification, is that we don’t have purpose! We wander and feel worse and worse about ourselves when we don’t meet deadlines, or fail.
A great cure for clutter is quite simple. Be a rational decision maker! Think long -term, do things that make sense and quite thinking like a child. Divide your junk drawer so that all the loose change collects into a bin until you have enough to take to the bank and cash it in. A bin to hold all the pens and pencils, stamps and paperclips. Slow down and intentionally put mail where it goes, and money where it belongs and priorities where they should be. IF, you can do this on the littlest of projects, you can do it in all your life. Be Intentional, Genuine and meaningful about your actions, because then you will have fulfilled your dreams, and desires and cut away all the clutter.
If there ever was a time to take a leap of faith...
This would be it. We as a nation are in a place of transition and depending on your opinion, we are in for wild & exciting, or a very bumpy ride. We can look back and complain about the past, and live on hope for the future. Or the other option is to look ahead, look up and know that there is a future waiting for us… and how are we going to handle it, & prepare for it? If we cared at all, about our future; we voted and made our belief known, and at least we then have the right to voice an opinion one way or the other.
If we look a little closer to home, in our personal lives we might have as much need for trust. We could be in for a wild and exciting or a very bumpy ride! I am a firm advocate in being pro-active and doing as much possible to get ready for an event. For an example, recently we have helped several families pack and move to a new home. It seems senseless not to throw away or donate the unwanted items from one house, before we pack, move, and unpack something a client didn’t want in the first place, or not to organize all the Christmas décor while we are putting it away. The bumpy ride happens when you didn’t sleep well last night, because there is so much on your mind, then you woke up late and realize you’ve waited till the last minute to throw all our belongings in a box, because the movers are now waiting to load your house on a truck, you’re still trying to feed the kids a piece of toast, and you got to be out of this house by 3:00 p.m.! The dog is going crazy with all the extra people in the house, and the guys are here to take down your Christmas lights, and by the way, your mother in law is here to help! This is not a moment to have faith, it is your reality check that you need to get your crap together. This isn’t the wild and exciting part of life, that I refer to. Life happens, it gets hectic from time to time, and that is the simple fact.
The life that I see for clients, at times is this rough, uncomfortable part; when life gets overwhelming and out of control. But I think anything is fixable! Whatever this is for a client, can always be repaired. It may take time and money but anything is possible. Consider it Done is my calling, to give hope, to give a vision to clients that we offer a service that helps you prepare and look up to a better tomorrow. I have told clients before, “I have scheduled you a day at the spa, and we will handle the movers, the unpacking and settling you in…. seriously, we got this!” We can look back and complain about the past, and live on hope for the future. Or the other option is to look ahead, look up and know that there is a future waiting for us… and how are we going to handle it, & prepare for it? We become paralyzed in emotions and stages of life. It is difficult to move past, because we are not sure about our future or we still have ties to the past. I look back on the clients that we have had this past year, and the stories that people shared. If I have heard it once said, I have heard it a thousand times, “I used to have it all together, I don’t know what happened” What happened was somewhere you quit managing your time well, your overbooked your days, and your mind. You became overwhelmed, and you didn’t prepare and aren’t handling it all very well!
I heard your frustration, and listened to your stories. I have been on this journey that is called Consider It Done for over fifteen years now, and as much as we have helped you, I also have learned a lot about people. Almost all of us thrive on peace. We function better on it, and there is no stress to deal with. My goal for you as clients to give you peace, to make life easier for you. We love decorating for Christmas and get the details perfect, so you can truly enjoy the holidays and have some peace in your life. We wrapped so many Christmas gifts that we wrapped gifts in our sleep. But we loved doing it, because it made life easier for you. It is this service we offer that makes me happy. Take a leap of faith, have complete confidence in us, to bring you peace from all your chaos. We will help you manage your projects, help decorate for you and get you moved, organized and settled in your new house.
In Two thousand-seventeen, I wish you peace.
I have thought about change recently, and it seems that has been a common topic for me recently, yet I keep having reminders, from everyday life and the people around me. Change is inevitable and it is an understood part of life.
I have recently met a girl, who is about to move away, and the better I know her, the more I understand how graceful some people can handle life. She is going to have some major changes in her life soon. I listen to her phone calls as she explains time and time again that she will soon be leaving the company and moving to another city. She explains how this move will be so good for her family and yet she herself is in a bit of mourning. Her work is selfless to make this transition easy on her boss, and her family. She makes trips every weekend just to be with her family, and works night and day to make sure loose ends are tightened up before she leaves. No doubt her work schedule keeps her busy and her mind occupied, yet change is coming like a run-away train.
As we gear up for the holiday season there is some advice that I’ll offer, yet keep in mind that change will happen. You will run out of time during the Christmas holidays if you don’t plan now. It is not too early to make photo Christmas cards and address them, or buy some Christmas gifts. Schedule the ski trip that you will take, or make sure you are on the calendar for the company that puts your lights up or decorates your house. Most of you already know the favorite foods that you will make for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner so go ahead and plan the meal, make your shopping list, and you will have half the work done already in October. There will be things that come up over the next few months, that are unexpected, but you can handle it, because you are working now to prepare for the changes that come. It takes a few minutes here or there to make changes and transitions not only happen but happen smoothly.
I read recently “Humans can only truly cherish a limited number of things at one time.” We all are at one time or another lazy and forgetful and we don’t take proper care of everything that needs to be done, or even the things that we have, or the people in our lives. But I want for you to appreciate those that you love, and cherish the time you have with them. I hope that your holiday memories are sweet and full of the ones that you love. So I tell you, to organize now your list, your trips, your gifts to buy, and all the things you expect to accomplish through the holidays. Why? Because organizing it all is NOT the purpose of life. I, myself enjoy organizing; I’m passionate about keeping us organized and decorated. But for most of you, it is far more important to pour your time into what brings you the most joy, your own mission in life. Being organized helps you to find the mission in your own life, that which speaks to your own heart.
So as changes are coming for my friend, and you find your own self looking ahead at transitions of life, the best advice I can give, is plan for what you see ahead of you as best you can, leave where you are better than how you found it. Without one doubt of regret or hesitation, know that what you are leaving behind is only the beginning of something new. A new stage of life with kids or marriage or empty nest, creates anxiety for most, but saying goodbye to those things or places is a wonderful gift. You have had the best of times with the beginning of this school year, or with babies that are now teenagers, or an old house that you made sweet memories in. At the end of this gift of getting to be where you are now, or who you are with, or who you are working for, realize that you can let go because now you know it wasn’t yours to hold onto anyhow, it was a gift.
“Change starts with accountability within”
A recent post had that sentence included within and I have carried it with me since…. I think about how we raise our children and how we organize our clients, & management of our time. The teaching of the generations to do better, feel better and know better than when we were their age, comes from teaching accountability. If I expect better I have to hold someone accountable. It may be that I have to hold myself to a higher accountability or our children or our city leaders, but it is by those standards that we grow and become a better nation. Since when is there no accountability for shooting another, in violence? Since when are children not accountable for learning responsibility for small things so they can handle bigger things when they are older? Or for the chaos that some people create and live in, pretending that this is their “norm”. The governor of Louisiana recently said. “We Have to do better! An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. There simply is NO place for any more violence.” And yet I walk into a home that a wife is frustrated and mad at her husband, and it spills over to how she talks to her kids. I hear the news about one of our local men killing his two small children, and then himself, and see our sons protecting us, by volunteering to fight a fire, or stay up all night waiting for a quick response call, because of times like these.
We have become a city that deserves better, and show accountability for better. For when we make excuses for our children playing in the street and crucify the driver that honks at our “baby” who claims they were scared, displays no responsibility or respect for law. If we deserve better, then we expect better first from ourselves, and then from our leaders. Two quotes that come from this weekend’s news that stuck out to me were from Baton Rouge Sherriff Sid Gautreaux who said, “To me this is not so much about gun control as it is about what’s in men’s hearts. And until we come together as a nation, as a people to heal as people, if we don’t do this and this madness continues, we will surely perish as a people.” Dallas Police Chief David Brown also was quoted to say “Become a part of the solution. Serve your community, don’t become a part of the problem, we’re hiring, get out that protest line and put an application in and we will put you in your neighborhood and we will help you resolve some of the problems that you are protesting about” He is talking about accountability.
We want good relations with police, our neighbor, our spouse, or our children, we then take some time and walk in their shoes. Be patient with your children when explaining why they can’t skateboard in the street. Find compassion to an officer that is on his feet for almost 48 hours on the street to make certain that your house on your street is safe. Be accountable for your walk in life as a spouse, a business leader, a mother or a father. Find what goodness is in your heart and make it better for when we do, we make our lives better, we make our neighborhood, our community and our world a safer and more secure place to be.
The disarray of anything from our home or office, to Dallas shootings or Baton Rouge is in part of us holding everyone else to impossible standards, while we ourselves want mercy for our simple good intentions. If it is in our power to make life easier for our spouse, our children, our parents, or our community, it is the responsibility that we step up and physically do, because in that we find satisfaction, and peace and wisdom, knowing that today I did my part in making this a better place to live, not barely to survive, but to live!
We have recently been working on an estate sale for a little lady that I have yet to meet. She comes by the times when we are gone, and we work while she is away. There are items in that house that are eighty – five years plus inside. Everything from love letters to vintage clothes; priceless in and of themselves. Name -brands that are classics and still remain popular in our culture in 2016. There are clothes that represent decades, with gloves and shoes to match.
The girls that work with me, who I might mention, are a tad bit younger than I are amazed at the simplest things. Items like slide disk’s that hold family memories but only can be seen with a screen and protector, or a babies christening gown that is as long as I am tall and holds hand work from someone who cared enough to make it and memories of a precious little one whose parents adored and cherished. Cat-eye glasses & scarves that she wore some years back. Boxes and boxes of newspaper clippings or magazine pages of ideas she liked once upon a time or a recipe she wanted to try. There are sets and sets of dishes, and I think while we are processing all of these pieces of china about the dinners that were served on them. These are dishes that held food prepared by someone who loved enough to make dinner special. I imagine a table set with dishes and glasses, silver and table covers.
Interesting is how preparing for an estate sale, you witness so many stages of one’s life. I’ve thrown garbage bag after bag after bag away that is full and heavy with greeting cards that someone sent to her for Christmas, for birthday, and Mother’s day, or a letter to say, “I’m thinking of you” Letters that a son apologized to his mother and tried to help her understand, or class reunion photos, and “where are they now” letters. I have read list of what she bought someone for Christmas and ledgers of every penny that was spent for those gifts. The clothes she wore represent the years she has lived. The photos prove the love for a dog and for the travels they made. The dog as a puppy, the dog with the kids, and the dog sleeping, and getting older.
As we have come back to the house for a day or two , I find notes that she has been there. She writes “VHS Sell” or “Papers – shred” , “This is TRASH”. The emotions she must feel, must be hard, or embarrassing. She left a note on an opened drawer that contained Christmas and greeting cards, that just said “trash” She kept them for all these years to call them “trash” Someone thought enough of her to send a Christmas card or photo and she kept them until they are trash. We have trashed a LOT. We have sorted a ton. And yet with all of that she continues to come back and leave “instructions” for us. She has made this transition to a retirement village, from a home of forty plus years at the age of eighty -two ; she still has control, even if that is coming back to get purse that she still thinks she will use or by granting the permission to sell, trash or shred. She has the courage and strength of a woman I want to be. She is in control and respected by her son and daughter in law, yet she still tells them whose house this really is and what can and can’t happen.
This is a new stage of life for this family. A son tells me, “we didn’t realize how bad the house is, when we visit we mainly stay in the living and kitchen rooms and didn’t see the back rooms” She was and still is an elegant lady yet is losing grasp of everyday things. She has packed trash bags of things that is difficult to say if it is going with her or going to the trash. This transition is emotional and scary for her. It is hard for her kids to see her decline, yet still she handles it with grace. She is dealing with her reality and so is her family.
Life lessons for us all come out of everyday situations like this. It’s not good to be oblivious and only look at the surface and think everything is ok. Check in on your parents or grandparents and see how things really are, get the stories that come along with some of the things they have and write down a quote or two that they say. You won’t regret it. It is never good to lose hope in each other or ourselves. And even if our reality is a time of transition as we are getting older, and our health isn’t as good as it used to be, we still can be graceful and kind.
I watch a limb from a bush beaten with the rain, bowing with the weather. Dipping in the wind, yet it comes back to its right position. There is bird crap on one leaf and there looks like a leaf has some rust, or decrease on another. Yet I listen, to just the rain… as it hits the leaves, soft and strong all at the same time, watching, all the time this dance of the earth.
This alone reminds me of business, dipping in the wind, yet resilient. Business is slow, or it is so fast that we try to keep up, and yet life, continues to move forward. There are weeds that are so stubborn, you can spray them with roundup and somehow, in some craziness, they spring up on the other side of the concrete as if to say, “In your face, I will survive.” I see unwanted “greenery”, in business, those who say yeah I need your services, yet ever never really make the call to you. People who would rather trash your business, or your reputation, than give you credit for your years of service, experience, or business, than admit they have little or no experience at all. Or just people who can’t stand your success. Crazy as it sounds; there are people who internally cannot embrace that you are surviving without them. Those people are weeds! Spray them, pull them, hoe them, but at all means, get them out of your mind! Without them you will be a better man, a better business owner a better spouse, parent or entrepreneur! We can’t eliminate everyone that crosses us, but we can limit and set boundaries to those who are continually negative and hateful to us our relationships, & businesses.
The crap you never saw coming on your way in business is someone comments posted about how rude you were to your customers, or how you took business more serious than you do family. Yet, your reputation as the officer at the helm, the father of this family or the woman at the hub of their lives doesn’t depend on that heat that you hear. I cannot imagine the comments that you hear i.e., the crap on the leaf. You know as well as I do, the rain will eventually wash it off, but for now, it is ugly and we don’t want to touch it!
I had one weekend a few years ago that I had three, complaints from clients, not to mention the “firing” that was coming down the pikes, which I never enjoy. The short story was, “there is crap on your leaf” The long story was, I had an employee that could not spell to save her life, so when she labeled anything, it was misspelled. She unorganized more than she organized, and frankly told me if “you don’t like it; put your big girls panties on and fire me.” She labeled some containers wrong, and was too proud to admit it, which is undesirable, but as it is, we have every available technological resource at our fingertip, the mistake was so very fixable that before a client had to say anything, it should have been repaired. Without a moment's delay of when I became aware of the situation, it was repaired, up and issues were addressed. But that doesn’t mean crap doesn’t happen.
As I listen to this rain beating and tormenting the limbs, I know that this alone brings strength. How is it that a plant takes a beating from a hail & rain storm, and grows out of it stronger than before… where does that make sense? Yet I see how the resistance makes it come back up, again and again, to say, “This storm will not keep me down and I will not be broken.” Then it reaches for the sun, this one little limb; that seems such a tiny little part of this big plant, reaches new heights stronger than ever. It takes strength, to not be broken. It takes patience to make your spirit wait. To survive the storms in business and wait through the difficulties, takes strength.
For many of you, your business is your baby. You thought of the idea, you helped it grow and have made it more by the grace of God than you ever could have imagined on the first thought. To leave “this baby” to chance that someone gives it a bad recommendation or word of mouth is like spitting in your face. In short you’re not having it! Be patient, & be calm and know that being emotional and retaliating only will compound the problem. Give it time and think through the problem. Admit and apologize when you are wrong, publicly if you must, but do so to move on, and let go of the bitterness that will otherwise set in.
The wind and rain comes, but know it builds a deeper root in our business and our character. Look past the storm that you are in right now, and learn something from it, I am certain it has purpose.
One Quarter Gone
A quarter of the year gone, we have three-quarters to look forward to. We will stumble on the things we don’t know, and plan for what we do know. I have clients who are planning a new house to raise their young family in and some planning a new house to grow old together in. I have clients that have already purchased potential Christmas gifts and some people that never delivered Christmas gifts for 2014. As I listen to life around me, all I hear is about “TIME”. I said about my Grandmother, “I didn’t have enough time with her” and heard a young mother say, “I have no time”. The neighbor across the street mentions, “The early bird gets the worm” and, “how do we fit all that into the calendar?” Through a recent move a client said “I want this to be done as soon as possible”, and “Honey, sorry I’m late.
So here we are in April 2016. If there was a month that makes us realize how important time is, maybe it is April. If you can’t keep up with the calendar, I almost can guarantee your tax accountant has readily given you a reminder. On a good day we make good on the time we have, we make every moment count, no matter what we have on our agenda.
Listening to the voices around me is certain to educate. I have clients that really would like to have a better grip on household matters, or run their office better, yet cannot seem to find a way to accomplish they want to. We meet the deadlines for what is pressing or pay a penalty, and when life is difficult the priorities of what once was “important” loses power over us, and we manage what we can get by with.
One of the main key to organization is time management, which can be our strength or one of our greatest weaknesses. For all the technology that we have at our fingertips, we still cannot get done what we refuse to do. It is not an “app” on our phone that gets the windows washed, or even reading about it, but making the call for someone to or getting out there and washing the window yourself makes it happen. The best managers of time are great at what they do; they know their strengths and weaknesses. Deadlines are met and all the appointments on the calendar are met. It seems the heavier the schedule the better they work, the more they produce. What is it that they have that you don’t?
It is important to know our own strengths and weaknesses. Know ourselves better than those we serve, so we don’t set ourselves up for failure. Know that you can handle the extra jobs and time that is required by your boss, before you say yes. Realize that you want to spend time with 10 extra kids twice a week before you say yes to be the coach or agree to be the leader for the girl scouts. If that is not really what you are good at, do not say yes. Our ego gets in the way many times, and don’t want to disappoint the boss, or we don’t want to “look like” we aren’t doing our part. Be real with yourself and you will do a better job for your boss or your family. Meeting your needs will meet the needs of those around us. It will achieve the harmony that we crave. When we are at peace, there is nothing we can’t accomplish.
Organization and time walk hand in hand. If you’ve spent time looking for your keys, you will understand the previous sentence. If the keys always were put on the hook by the back door, you wouldn’t have spent a second looking for them. You wouldn’t have been stressed out. You wouldn’t have been late to work, and wouldn’t have got a speeding ticket…… shall I continue? The point made is that when we waste time running all over to obtain a basic item we have not managed time well. When we give the needed time to family, work, our relationships, or even the task such as yard work or errands, we don’t have the cluster that procrastination delivers. While our minds whirl about all the things we should be doing we could have had it done. We could have had that talk, and moved on to a bigger project.
Determine what is Important. When life is sweet and things are good in our relationships, there never is enough time; it slips away like smoke in the wind. Yet when life is gloomy and difficult time is like molasses, painfully slow and dark. There is good and bad in all our lives, it takes both. The bad days make us grow, helps us to appreciate the good. A recent channel on Pandora produced a song with the lyrics “just for a moment, let’s be still”. Stop for a minute and see what you have. Respect the time that we have been given and make the most of it, because respect it the ultimate currency. When we have respected our self and what is important, our own careers, our families, our homes, our relationships, and most importantly our spirit, will show and be better for it.
Living my journey
I walked by a car the other day that shocked me, yes even me! I have seen some messes in my day, from hoarders to simply laziness that over time creates the biggest disaster called “CHAOS” you have ever seen! There are people that really do live in mayhem!
I talk about how we keep our homes and our offices a lot but if those areas are in disarray, so are our vehicles, our bodies and our lifestyle. It is a lot to manage it all, but it is doable, trust me. It just means you have to change a few habits!
Does this picture represent anything in your life? Not only is the trash a tell tell sign it is also representative of what one eats and puts in their body! I see a rug, so I assume this car owner was wiping their feet once they get into the car? What part of this car makes sense to you? If your sympathetic or can relate to this at any point in your life, think through why you were or are in this place and you just don’t care. What is going on that you don’t have the energy to bag some of this trash. This trash is just a sign of what is going on deeper and internally. This trash is not the only sign, as it also efffects your body and your spirit; messy car almost always equals messy house, messy life.
Although it disgusts me to mention there are vehicles that have had maggots inside…. One car with maggots inside it also held a 18-karat rock! When the owner was asked about it, she said, “yeah I lost that about 4 months ago”. Really? A $20,000 rock isn’t worth looking for? What brings a person to just not care? I have heard of pet hamsters, and lizards being lost in the car. They are not lost if they live in a car full of food and paper…. They just think they have a new home!
So this month, make a change for the better in your vehicle! If you have kids, you get a pass for crushed Cheerios, lost chicken fingers and a spilled juice box which comes with the territory of having kids, yet at some point, clean and detail your ride & you will not want to mess it back up! A few ideas that will help you to prevent this are, first of all, don’t eat in your car. We live in a hurry up world, but taking thirty minutes to sit at a table, eat, plan the afternoon, is much easier on the stomach and your wardrobe than stuffing your face in ten minutes or less trying to make sure ketchup at least falls on your dark pants, instead of your white button down. Not to mention driving while eating is just as bad as texting a driving. Slow down, take a few minutes to breathe and give back to you. Take a moment to think through what you are blessed with, what your grateful for and clear your mind, it will affect the rest of your day.
Second, what are you eating? This car evidence is not the picture of health! I don’t see one wrapper from an apple or banana, or an empty container of almonds! Don’t you see how eating like this is slowly but surely you are killing yourself! I read this quote just this morning “You don’t have to be wealthy to be healthy… it’s all about priorities and valuing your health above all else” You have to be an active participant in your own health, and you are capable of incredible things when balanced, and thinking clear!
There are hundreds of car organizers out there to purchase, find one that works for you and use it. Depending on what stage of life that you’re at or what you do, we can find you a container that will satisfy your needs. Nothing is more frustrating than to stop short at a light and your folder for the next meeting flies to the floorboard, with every paper loose and out of order. But if it is zipped up in a work bag, or strapped into file bin, you still have your file in order, but it may just be lying on the car mat. Loose objects, it seems, can become “dangerous flying projectiles if you brake quickly…This is a hazard that can cause very serious injury.” “Installing a barrier or strapping them down is an option to prevent objects from flying forward and yet if they were put away, it wouldn’t be there in the first place! Take into the office what you need that you have traveled with, so it is not lost. Clients spend a great deal of money getting documents remade, because they got lost in the shuffle. When you get home at night, take in everything that doesn’t belong in the car. Your wardrobe for example should be in the closet or at the cleaners not the floor of your car. Does every morning seem stressful for you and your family because you can’t find the backpack, workbag, or the shoes to go with the outfit? How much time is wasted by searching for that elusive shoe? This isn’t vacuuming and detailing your car every night, it is just carrying in the days work, so that you are prepared for the next morning.
You feeling presentable when you get out at work, comes from a calm spirit, being well dressed and clean, and it effects your whole entire day. You set the mood for your day from the first moment you wake, if you have set yourself up for success, you will be!
Full of Purpose,
The organizer in me will tell you to make your list and check them twice. Check off what you have accomplished and know that even small steps are steps of progress. I like that the trees were decorated early and parties planned well in advance. In almost any circumstance, we are typically less stressed and more able to accomplish more; by being proactive. So that is what we recommend, yet I understand not everyone has that luxury or ability for that matter, but still, it helps to plan ahead.
This season though, I want to look at this in a little different light. We all acknowledge that the holidays can be stressful and there never seems to be “enough” time to do all that we want to do, yet really if we actually “did” all the things we “talk” about not having time to do, we would get them done!! I hear us say, “It would be nice to help at the soup kitchen, but I don’t have time, or it would be better if I took the time to go see my family, but we are all just so busy….” Stop talking about it and get busy “doing” not just talking about doing! Find something that you believe in or someone that could use a hand and just get involved. This might be the ONLY time you will ever hear me say “you don’t need a list for this; you just need to go do it.” When we look up away from all of these screens (phones, Ipads, and televisions) that consume much of our time and realize who our neighbor is, who the homeless are, sleeping in the doorways, or someone who is changing jobs or start over once again in their lives, we realize that a simple smile or kindness can make a world of difference to and for someone else.
My (now) husband was telling me the other day about a man he has known on the street for some time, who earns any money he gets by finding aluminum cans and cashing them in. As Rey and a friend were walking into work, the man from the streets approached and greeted them, they spoke and Rey gave him some money and said “go buy you a coke.” The co-worker said, “Man why did you do that? He is just a bum on the streets!” Rey replied and said, “Everyone enjoys a having a free coke now and then”. It is all about showing some compassion, for someone other than ourselves. So don’t make a list, and don’t spend time wrapping, and taping, and papering and tying bows….. instead show some compassion. You see compassion comes in very many different packages. It comes by sharing the road with the crazy driver who is texting and should be paying attention. It comes from being patient with the youngest employee who can’t seem to figure out “life”. It comes in knowing a little bit about your neighbor to know to go rake the leaves so they don’t have to. It comes from a constant reminder that a friend is right there to listen when you screwed up. Compassion is offering someone money enough for a coke.
This Compassion isn’t really that hard, more than the coke, or the raking of leaves, it is the gift of kindness that makes this season bright. Pure joy in giving to someone who does not expect it or feels like your gift is deserved is what I want you to experience. Our quest this December is to find our joy, by showing compassion to someone who might feel undeserving. Find somebody this month who could use a little bit of kindness.
I read recently three elements of compassion, which are to BE MINDFUL, BE GENTLE, and BE HONEST. Realizing that everyone makes mistakes, big and small and learning from our mistakes, can help us to be honest with someone else when they make their own. It is this kindness that changes the world we live in. Christopher Germer is quoted as saying “A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.”
Change the course of your life, and I am sure you will also change the course of someone else’s. This life can be hard, and we can be full of resentment and bitterness if we choose, or work just a little to be kind, show some compassion, and feel the joy we are meant to experience.