Organizing Theory & Artistry

October’s Theme: Organizing for School Success and Random Blend

When a tree falls in the woods it DOES make a sound and when a blog goes quiet, people notice!

And . . . I’m back!

I really don’t mean to keep taking these long absences from writing my blog but life just keeps happening to me (thankfully) and lately I have ended up doing a lot of unexpected projects, adjusting to a slightly different schedule for our family this fall and mostly doing lots and lots and lots of thinking.

Part of my thinking this month has been about this blog. I enjoy writing it very much and if nothing else, it is a historical record for my children to know what life was like for me. I hope that it also serves as a resource for people facing organizational challenges in their own lives or at least a bit of humor and entertainment watching me trying to struggle to organize mine. Sometimes it takes an enormous amount of effort to write this blog (like sorting through zillions of vacation photos and trying to put into words what will be a treasured memory for our family) but mostly it is equal parts of fun and challenge and something I really look forward to doing.

During my long hiatus, I have been shocked to hear that people actually missed my writing! What?! With all that is out there to read and entertain on the internet, why would anyone even notice? For some reason, my husband ended up being the bearer of all these tidings. He would often come home to report, “I was talking to ____ and he/she wants to know when you are going to finish writing about our road trip.” For all of you who sent these inquiries, bless you! You have warmed my heart immensely.

So for the organizational aspect of this post, I wanted to post about what to do when you get completely off track, like me trying to keep up with my blog. For me, it has been helpful to just stop for a bit, take a total break. (I do apologize for stranding my readers in a hotel in small town Illinois for such a long while, however. Perhaps you had abandoned hope of ever seeing the end of the journey.)

One of my profound thoughts during my break was that often we are organizing our own lives in exactly the right way for the circumstances we are currently facing, even though we may feel like we are disorganized or not reaching the right goals. While not writing my blog, I started a new homeschool year with my eldest daughter, started a new preschool year with my youngest daughter, did actual organizing projects for my own home (shocking!), jotted down ideas for numerous future blog posts, celebrated the loss of two teeth for my eldest child and the arrival of one for my youngest (is this a net loss of one tooth?), spent time with visiting grandparents and even scoured a large part of my house in a much-needed fall cleaning. It may be that writing the blog was not the “right” way to spend my time this month.

Then I struggled to determine a) whether to come back to the blog at all, b) how to come back and c) how to avoid a blogging void in the future. It is tempting to want to appear completely planned and ordered in how you conduct your life or business but the truth is that a full and interesting life often has too much going on to be able to control it to that extent. No matter how much we button down one area of our lives (like our housekeeping or work productivity) something else always suffers for lack of attention (health, sleep, stress level, relationships, finances, nutrition, exercise, etc. etc. etc.). Being an organized person means sometimes letting go of organization and knowing how to pick up the mess later.

As for me, my plan is to finish up my road trip first. That posting series is obviously of interest to many but more importantly, it is personally important to me to have a record of that journey. Once done, I am going to experiment with a change in format. While I generally start with a monthly theme, I am not sure this format is serving me well.

I like how monthly themes organize my blog, make it easier to summarize and easier for someone to jump in and pick up on the conversation without too much effort. On the other hand, it doesn’t really reflect how I (or anyone else for that matter) live life. It is a rare person who isn’t continually juggling one task to the next (home improvement disaster today, emergency involving a loved one tomorrow, business crisis the next day, etc.). The more realistic format would be lots of random posts on all kinds of things as they arose. But it is harder for readers to pick up on a blog written in this style, would force me to get out of my head faster and onto the blog and puts a premium on keeping up with the posts.

So for October, I am going to try a crazy blend of both styles. There will be a theme: Organizing for School Success (important to me as a homeschooling mom) but also a lot of random posts on other things too. I have a lot to catch up on.

If you are reading this month, I would really appreciate your feedback at the end of the month on whether you like or dislike this new format.

I am glad to be back with you and thanks for hanging around! Now, back to the road!