Sunday, April 17, 2011

Resisting Crazy

My attitude to being a neat-freak, uber-organized, clean-house-all-the-time was sort of relaxed in the past few years. I was already stressed about making sure I met school deadlines, got my practice hours in, and before I met my husband, making sure I made time socialize so that I might one day meet Mr. Right. I always heard about those perfectionist girls that would stay up until 3am cleaning the bathroom because they couldn't stand for the house to be messy or for their to-do list not to be accurate or for their clothes for the next day not picked out and laid out below their bed. I'm not making fun of these people. In fact, I admire their dedication. I've kind of fallen on the opposite end of the spectrum. I don't live like swine. Goodness knows that if I ever came close, my super clean husband would silently and lovingly clean up after me.

But now that my last semester of BYU has ended, and I am starting to feel like a more responsible adult, I have decided to become more organized.

Here are my books. These books scare me. However, I still have them, and I think they have potential to do some good for me, if they don't turn me crazy first.

Now, before I get too excited, I need to lay out the risks of keeping my life in 2 books. Well, really 3, but the third one is for weight lifting and I've already filled up 4 pages (writing small.) I am at risk of turning obsessive crazy and scary. I don't want to be that person that can't be OK with messing up every once in a while, at least messing up on trivial things. I want to be laid back and optimistic. I don't want to hold myself to an unrealistic standard, and always be the girl finding things to criticize about herself. That will. not. be. me. These books are simply to help me organize my life and to be more productive. No harm in that, huh?

Purple Book: Let me share with you my obsession with planners/to-do lists. It has become a problem. I've blogged about this before. I have an obsession with writing down my week plan, down to the half-hour. Every half-hour is planned out perfectly with no rest stops. Well, this started to become a problem because 1. Life isn't that way. There are changes that happen last minute and thinking on your feet is necessary. One needs to be what normal people would call, "flexible." Somehow I have a hard time with that concept. 2. Get. A. Grip. Your life is meant to have some fun in it every now and then, and sometimes that fun needs to be spontaneous. Stop trying to predict the future. 3. Even superhumans need to rest in the middle of the day to do stuff like, well, let's see....EAT LUNCH for crying out loud! So what's with the book, you might ask? Well, this is my to-do list/planner/daily inspiration notebook. I write down what I THINK is going to happen each day, and put a check by the stuff I do get done, and I add to it as I go. I also write down little spurts of inspiration that I might be feeling (I'm getting that a lot lately) so that I don't miss anything when I'm away from my computer. One key thing about keeping this notebook. I don't feel bad if I don't have a check by every single item! Some say that is setting yourself up for failure. To me, if I have just one check, then I'm still happy. I got something done! Also, since I'm not too good with the journal writing, I figure I'll have some document to go back to later and see what I did with my life when I was 21.

Green Book: This is going to sound a little more silly, but here goes. I have been trying out methods of improving the productivity of my practice time. I don't think its wise to be playing my flute, and getting little done, for hours and hours every day. So, this book is my flute practice record book. In this book, I write down the date, what I practiced, how long I practiced that item, and add up the time at the end of the day. That way, I'm not wasting any time, and I can look back and say, "Maybe I should spend more time on my scales," or "I shouldn't be spending that much time on my fill-in-the-blank." Anyway, so far its working miracles. I've learned like, 2 intensive pieces of flute repertoire in under 2 weeks, all because I'm taking responsibility for each minute I'm practicing by keeping a record of exactly what I do in those hours in the practice room.

I'm also keeping a relatively clean house. That has everythign to do with me not having any finals this semester. You're jealous.

Being organized is pretty fun, as long as it doesn't become a source of anxiety. I think of it as an opportunity, not a chore. I just have to make sure it stays that way. I have also come across two organization blogs that are fun to read. They have some great tips in them. Now, some of the things these women do are a little extreme for me, but they are great ideas!

With all my love, your semi-organized-yet-still-occasionally-spontaneous Ambrosia,


  1. You are GREAT and so inspiring!

  2. I LOVE your green notebook. I've actually been doing that for years, and I encourage my students to do it, starting VERY early. Just writing down what you do is a huge step in being able to assess what really needs to be done, as well as helping you chart your progress.

    Keep up the good work!!