24 September 2008

I know the answer

and it's not 42.

The answer to keeping control over my life is to

1. buy the proper containers for my stuff .
2. Put everything in a specific place. Even if the place is arbitrary, define the place.
3. Spend at least an hour every day putting things back into their places.

Repeat 3 daily, with daily:

laundry, wash, dry, hang, fold, put away.
kitchen tidy (putting stuff away)
dishwasher unload and load as we go

This gives me a stretch of calm from about an hour after I get the kids on the bus. During that time, I can:

1. Go through paperwork and pay bills, file bills, control budget
2. Read magazines
3. Watch DVR'd TV while writing/blogging/reading blogs and news
4. Extend zone of tidiness incrementally
5. Decide on dinner and ascertain that I have correct ingredients or go shopping (done at least every other day).

I have a hard deadline of Friday for getting all my (on extension) tax paperwork together and it looks like I will make the deadline, while discarding extraneous paperwork and clearing up on the way.

This week has been the first time in I don't know how long that I have felt happy with the state of my environment. I no longer feel that I need to apologize for the condition of my apartment when I have people over. Although I am using the dining room table as a desk, it takes me less than 5 minutes to have the apartment ready for guests.

Interestingly, although I always wear a watch, one of the items that gives me the feeling of control is that we put a clock up on the wall. That was something the German resisted, saying that it "didn't go", although the finish (chrome, from Ikea) was well within our range of balck, white, chrome and brushed nickel. However, last night he turned to me and said that having the clock makes him feel more "present". I agree.

It's a nice feeling. I'm not certain how I will be able to hold onto it after my German classes start again, but it will be a priority.

Apartment beautification plans for this evening are to put up our remaining two re-purposed shelves. Tomorrow the wheels will go on the Arbeitsplatz and perhaps on the weekend (when we are in Bremen) we can find something colorful for the walls (we really need some color!)

Self improvement plans, now that I have been wearing my prescription orthotics for two weeks and the pain is decreasing, is to get back to the gym. Next Wednesday is the start date goal.


kenju said...

You must be very disciplined!

G in Berlin said...

No, what I am is very un-disciplined. Sometimes I feel that I can't actually do anything when I am surrounded by mess. Then the urge to straighten and de-clutter expands from the file cabinets and stacks of paper to the table I am working at and then the room the table is in and then the room I am removing the clutter to, and so on. Also, I have taken fly lady's mantra to heart and I find that when I first have boxes, or box equivalents in each room to gather the mess, that it makes it easier to then redistribute it. Also, working in bursts of 15-20 minutes maes it all seem more manageable. And, now that I am cleaning/de-cluttering for 4, I need to stay on top of it. I'm not certain when moms give up on cleaning up for their kids, but I'm not there.

christina said...

Oh geez, sorry about this, G. This freak Patrick has been following me around and leaving his filth on a bunch of other blogs as well. Please delete ASAP.

Anonymous said...

My daughter's inlaws live in Bremen. I have a book with lots of pictures too. Small world sometimes.

G in Berlin said...

It's an very small world here in Germany, that's true. On Rosh Hashonah I was sitting next to woman who came from Bremen to Berlin for the holiday: she finds Bremen too parochial. I found that amusing, because for Germany it's not a small town and I did find it very cute. But Berlin really does stand alone for openness here, I think. Although I don't know Munich so , in the spirit of scientific curiousity, I should examine that city.