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The Big Picture

Organized Schmorganized

I have a confession to make:  I despise organization.
Don't misunderstand.  I would love to be organized.  But I am convinced my abilities are limited.
Getting ready for church, for example, was a nightmare when I lived in the Bible Belt back when church attire was in a class by itself.   Finding shoes and socks that matched 18 feet was a routine Sunday morning frustration--also in a class by itself..  One morning we were down to the wire and I was frantically throwing shows out of the shoe basket, crying, "I hate shoes and socks!"  when I turned to see my daughter, Bethany, standing behind me, no doubt trying to figure out just what her mother had against shoes and socks.
During baseball season, I have shown up at the wrong field with the wrong kid on the wrong night.
I frequently get lost--with a GPS.
I started a Facebook and couldn't find my wall.
The constant clutter and chaos can get a mother down.  But one day several years back, I learned to let go.
I was talking with a friend who manages people's homes by profession.  These folks depend on her for anything and everything.  Our family was visiting the home where she worked, and we had a conversation. 
"You do a good job with those kids," she said to me.  "They are polite at the table and they take their plates when they're done."  She didn't know we had practiced for a month before we came. "I can tell they are being raised with a lot of love."
"Oh, thank you," I said.  "That really makes me feel good--my house is so messy, it really gets to me."
She stopped and turned to face me.  "I have worked in many clean houses where the kids are killing themselves," she said, looking me right in the eye.  "Don't you worry about that house."
I will forever keep trying to do better in the organization department, but I will never forget her words.  Her advice has helped me to remember that while being organized is a good thing, it is not everything.  
Once in a while the clutter still gets me down, but then I revisit the essential elements of raising kids. Being organized pales in comparison. 

13 Comments to Organized Schmorganized:

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Debbie Riley on Thursday, March 03, 2011 3:23 AM
I laughed through this entire blog until I cried at the end. You are doing a wonderful job with your kids. I am sending Kelly a link - another wonderful Mom - I think she will love your blog. Love you Deb
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Sherry Shelton on Thursday, March 03, 2011 5:04 AM
Love it, so you.
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margie on Thursday, March 03, 2011 8:56 AM
Glad you liked it, sisters. Wish it wasn't so much me but what did Mama use to say...If I don't laugh, I'll cry!

Mary Beth Bonneville on Thursday, March 03, 2011 11:05 AM
Margie, I love you! For some reason, your big sister thought I would enjoy this. I am the quenn of mess and your sister once saw me do a play were I was the female of FELIX UNGER the neat freak. I heard her belly laugh through the entire performance. I let her know that I had NOT was just good acting! Mary Beth
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margie on Thursday, March 03, 2011 11:27 AM
Mary Beth! We schmorganizers have to stick together! Would love to see you in that play--a role that would be difficult. That is good acting! Hey, I live in tiny upstate NY but you wouldn't believe the dramas the high school does. Les Mis last year and Phantom this year! Thanks for sharing with me. Your fellow schmorganizer, Margie

Meredith Wiegman on Saturday, March 05, 2011 2:52 AM
I know I've told you this before, but I like how you don't "major on the minors". I think your house is beautiful all the time, no matter how disorganized you think it is.
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margie on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 9:48 AM
Meredith, I often recall what you said to me one day when we were neighbors--that the reason my house was messy was because I was focusing more on what mattered, like my kids' behavior. It has helped me to remember that! Miss you!

Alicia on Thursday, January 17, 2013 8:25 PM
LOVE this reminder of what really matters. And by the way, you're not the only one to take ht wrong kid to the wrong field at the wrong time. I've got tales to match yours, too. And just yesterday missed my son's basketball game in a neighboring town- not because I wasn't in town, but because I couldn't find the school where he played- and yes, I had the address plugged into the GPS. I think we could be soul sisters.. maybe a frightening combo :) We'll just keep loving our kids and hoping God covers our gaps! So glad I stopped by today - you set me free just a bit more! (Found you through HAH link). Blessings from an unorganized mama in Iowa.
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margie sims on Friday, January 18, 2013 10:59 AM
Thank you for telling me that--it is exactly why I keep writing. Soul sisters indeed. Be free! Margie

Melinda Ziskinder on Monday, January 21, 2013 4:37 PM
Margie, This reminds me of a scene in a Harry Potter movie where Harry's new friend has him over and nervously asks him how he likes his home, which is messy and not fancy, but which is filled with the warmth of true family life. Harry, being raised without any affection by his relations after his parents have died, responds, "It's brilliant!" Your family is truly a model of how a family should be. That is an accomplishment worth much praise!
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margie on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 9:46 AM
What a nice thing to say, Melinda. Thank you! I miss our chats at baseball!

Fawn Weaver on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 11:26 AM
You not being able to find your wall on Facebook is hilarious! I have many such experiences :). Funny post, Margie. Thanks for the laughs (and putting organization in perspective).
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