Saturday, May 23, 2009

Feather Your Nest

For most of my life, I have battled my inability to get and stay organized. I would move things around, maybe, if desperate, get rid of a few things. I would get things together, for a bit, and inevitably, I'd fail to maintain whatever sense of semi-order I had managed to create, and things would once again spiral into chaos.

I finally admitted that I just don't think like an organized person. Some of us are born messies and some are organizational wunderkinds, born to keep the world in order.

So, I broke down and decided to work with a home organizer. Her name is Laura Ray and she used to work with my husband. Initially, after talking with her on the phone, I decided there was no way I could afford it. The kind of help I needed, would literally cost thousands of dollars. During our initial consultation I mentioned to Laura that I was a writer and worked in marketing. She must have retained that piece of information. She called me back a few weeks later and suggested that we trade our services. So, in turn for her helping me get organized, I agreed to write a brochure and her web site copy.

For six, four-hour sessions, Laura and I worked on my basement. We set up a home office area, a play area, organized my closets in the basement, and created a gift-wrap station under the bar in the basement. We also turned one of the closets behind the bar into a place for Scott to keep his stuff so he has his own space for his things.

I'm so very pleased with the results. I'm embarrassed to show you a before picture, but the after photos are above.

One of the most important things I learned is that this is a process and you have to create systems that will work for you. There were times when my naturally messy, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants tendencies resisted some of her suggestions, but in the end, I had to admit she was right about everything.

I'm so inspired that now I'm about to start tackling the kitchen. I also learned that it isn't a race. It's okay to make changes by degrees and create a system that actually works as opposed to rushing it and not making any real substantial changes.

Wish me luck in keeping it going and spreading the change throughout the rest of my home and life!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Concrete Angel

I just read this story on It really disturbed me on several levels.

The detail about the boy's tiny black, lime, and grey Skechers upset me because that's a perfect description of my own son's sneakers.

But that's not the thing that upset me the most. What bothered me was wondering where this so-called community that has poured out its heart and emptied its collective pocketbook in an effort to bury the child and buy new lighting for their park was while he was being murdered and probably abused beforehand.

Maybe if they had offered that same sense of reaching out and providing support to his family before he was murdered, he would still be alive.

How many kids today would have avoided being murdered if a neighbor, cousin, friend, teacher, or colleague or government agency gave an over-stressed parent an outlet for venting his or her anger or offered a parenting class, or took the baby for an afternoon so the mother could sleep?

I am not excusing or dismissing the fact that anyone who murders a child is acting in a monstrous manner.

I just fail to see the purpose in expressing outrage and collecting donations after a baby boy has been senselessly murdered. It seems that energy and those resources would have been put to better use trying to figure out some way to ensure that something like that never happens.