I think that my theme for the coming year is organization... everything is pointing me in that direction... what I think, what I feel and what I am given. My favorite Christmas presents this year are plastic containers to organize my rocks and a beautiful bag to house my aromatherapy gear, complete with plastic bags that Velcro to the sides of it to hold oils and a beautiful purple and green box to house all of my essential oils, safely, uncontaminated and easily transportable... and a small penguin change purse to hold my bus tokens.. I am going places and getting organized! (I also got some other sweet stuff like a food dehydrator, toys and new jammies for resting in after I am organized.. hehe)
All this thinking about organization made me think of the most organized woman I have ever met, my, "Everything has a place, everything in it's place", Mother. I remember my Mother saying exactly, "Alright, lets get organized!" before embarking upon any chore. Big or small, it did not matter, she said it. For every job she had a method and system that worked for her. She chipped away at each task methodically and with purpose. I cherish the pieces she shared with me because each gem is totally transferable to my life.. like "clean the bathroom first, it is the smallest room in the house and you fee like you have accomplished something... one room complete". And, "If the kitchen is clean, then the whole house feels clean". She also taught me that some things are necessary evils and the task you like the least you should do first. For each person that evil is different.. mine is dishes.. but when I look at them as a necessary evil the task is less daunting and I am happy to have clean dishes because I love to cook and eat. This logic, applied to my life became, "Change the way you see something and it becomes less stressful and difficult".
My Mother's system was her own, and from the outside it seemed unfathomable. But then, that is the beauty of Mother's. We do not always understand what they mean on the surface, especially when they teach by modeling or through metaphor. Then one day a task presents itself that we do not know how to handle and there is our Mother alive and well in our subconscious saying, "lets get organized" and it all falls into place. I think she was teaching me about controlling what I can and not worrying about what I can not. And that the only thing I can truly change is how I approach a situation. The only real control I have is over me in this moment.
From the outside her system did not always make sense to me, but it didn't have to, it only had to work for her. After all, it was her system. Just like, what became my system did not always make sense to her. She did, however, have the good sense to continue to teach by doing and not by outwardly judging. Even though it sometimes felt like it, I have realized that that part was how I felt about my system not being good enough, not about her or her imposing her will on me.
And for each of us, part of the organizing is finding what works and what doesn't. And that is life, sorting and discarding that which doesn't work anymore and finding new solutions. In this right now, its a black and white case and plastic and wood containers to transport my new career from place to place.
And here I am, 2 years after she died, Mama continues to teach me about how to organize my life. That, my friends, is the mark of a great Mother. My ardent wish is that I can be that kind of Mother to my children. I best get organized!
Mary Robina Robinson Donovan (January 31,1924 to January 4,2007)