One of my favourite motivational quotes is ‘Just Start’. Stop thinking about it, and just do it. Embrace the uncertainty. Huzzah. I hope it works for you too. But I have been wondering of late whether ‘Just Stop’ might resonate with me just as clearly. You see there has been something that I have been trying to do a bit less of in the past six months. And that is being the person who organises everything.
Organiser in Chief
Over the years I seemed to have become a one-woman events team. At home that has meant organising every activity, booking, appointment, gift, lift, outing and holiday. Since my eldest kiddo started pre-school 7 years ago I have been on some committee or other helping to put on Christmas fairs, fun runs, quiz nights and cake sales.
It’s easy to see how it became this way. I needed to feel useful and stimulated. It helped me to connect with other people and gave me something to do with my brain. I’ve always treated being a full-time mum as a job during the week, it gave me purpose. And if I do a job, I try to be good at it.
It can also feel great. Organising is a people-pleasing pass time. It makes everyone happy and grateful, and you get a big pat on the back. You can’t deny that it’s a control thing too. If I’m organising something (see, holidays!) then ultimately I can push my own agenda.
But honestly, something shifted, and I wasn’t enjoying it anymore. I’d started to become a bit of a miserable old grump, which is not a look to love. I resented spending so much of my time doing things for other people. I wanted to be The Organised for a change. Someone tell me where I need to be and what time it starts and I’ll just turn up and enjoy myself.
It can be difficult to see how to just stop doing things when you have taken responsibility for them for so long. Of course, there are things that need to be done, that just, need to be done. But I reckon that list is far shorter than we think it is. There is plenty that you can…
There are two ways to work at this. First, say no. For me, that mean’s that the committees are gone for now. I’m on bit of a roll and recently refused to get involved with organising my parents-in-law’s anniversary gift. I mean, what a rebel (and do you know, they’ve ended up with something better than I had in mind). Second, shut up. Zip it and sit on your hands precisely at that moment when you would usually say ‘I can sort that out if you like’.
Other people will either take things on, or they won’t, and maybe some things won’t happen. And then you may realise that it wasn’t so important in the first place. Or things will be thrown together at the last minute, less perfectly, and that’s fine too.
And then you can start
I don’t want to be the person who never sorts anything out leaves all the graft up to others. I’m a pretty good fixer, and it’s nice for things to be nice. But if you want to make room for something to change in your life, you need to create the space for it. You can’t do that when you are organising everything.
Tell me whether you feel you have the balance right in the comments below, I would really love to hear from you.
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