Wednesday, March 12, 2008

TO WRITE: Organizing Your Life
As I write this, I am surrounded by piles of papers covering my desk. Some are messy, some relatively neat; some are short, others tall; some were born today, at least one is a year old, I'm embarrassed to say. I've been meaning to straighten up, sort, file and toss -- really.

While I'm sure I'm not alone with my paperwork problem, we all have much larger things to organize too. Like our life in general. How are your priorities? (What are your priorities?) Are you using your time, money, talents and energies the way you'd like? Are there activities you're dreaming about but not getting to?

Personally, I'm trying right now to find more time for myself in my schedule. I'm leading my writing group, attending another, taking yoga classes, doing marketing work for my upcoming book, starting to prepare for the arrival of our adopted baby in a few weeks, trying to write, etcetera, etcetera -- and I'm spending way too much time on other volunteer work, especially the omnipresent meetings it involves. So, I'm getting out of a few things. I've felt reluctant, even ashamed, to say "No" to several things lately but, have discovered that it's actually empowering! I can decide how to spend my time and, frankly, the world won't fall apart without me being involved in every decision.

Play with this. . .
Write continuously for 20 minutes about something you'd like to organize in your life, whether it's one bathroom drawer or your entire calendar. How would it feel to just begin your organizational task? How could you break it down into manageable components? (I was intrigued to find recently that more than one person in my writing group proposed this topic on an anonymous suggestion sheet. I suppose we do tend to feel disorganized and out of control when we're depressed.)

Then consider how you would feel after organizing something. For me, a clean desk is like a new start on life. Maybe you too would feel empowered, free, or pleased to accomplish something tangible. If you're depressed right now, start small -- just delete three bulk emails you're not going to bother reading anyway, or toss out some junk mail that's accumulated on the kitchen counter. Voila!

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