Getting organized 2

I’m into Week 3 post-reading Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project, and am emerging at last from the organizing phase. I hardly recognize my closet and can at last locate my favorite beaded Guatemalan necklaces, which now live, color coded, in small plastic containers instead of strewn haphazardly on shelves and in drawers. Two things I’ve learned: First, Nobody cares what my closet looks like as much as I do. Sure, when I slid open the door for the big reveal, my husband and kids said “Ooh! Nice! Good job!” But a second later, they were on to the next thing. Whereas I paused for several minutes simply to admire the order. My jeans folded in neat piles. My shoes lined up in a row. My blouses hung on hangers.

The second thing I learned is that my husband and kids notice what I wear, especially if it belongs to a palette other than black. A lavender cotton blouse that I acquired years ago elicited these responses: “Love the color!” and “You look great!” Believe me, I didn’t look that special. Just different. But doesn’t everyone’s eye crave novelty? With my closet organized, I can access stuff I already own, and use it. I’m thrilled!

The other big takeaway from Gretchen’s first chapter is the One Minute Rule. If a task takes less than one minute, do it. That means closing a cabinet, hanging up hats on the pegs in the garage, stacking books onto a shelf. Such small things, that take so little time, that I used to avoid. Not anymore.

This is my Gratitude List for the week:

  • For the first time ever, my kids attend the same school. This means that instead of rushing from one carline to another, I have one drop-off and one pick-up. Fantastic!
  • That school offers twice weekly “homework club” Yes, we must pay for the privilege. But two days a week, our entire afternoon and evening is not consumed by homework. My definition of heaven!
  • Because I feel more organized, I am able to think about my next writing project. Truly, this is the ultimate luxury and one for which I feel enormously grateful.
  • Someone I’ve never met wrote me a note to say how much she loved reading my book, Mamalita. Thank you!
  • I call my parents frequently, but often my Mom can’t remember the details of our previous conversations. Last night, she remembered clearly that Mateo had started an afterschool activity, enough that she could ask specific questions about it. For that, I am grateful, and happy.
  • This morning, my son, reading from National Geographic Kids Almanac, told me “Rats can’t burp.” How have I lived so long without knowing this important fact? Mateo, thank you!

Have a wonderful weekend!


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