I remember when I was rooming with my sister in college. Well, I was in college, and she was in graduate school, but for about a year we shared an apartment off campus.
She has always been a go-getter. Seriously, for years I couldn’t understand how she could get so much done. She probably couldn’t understand how I could get so little done! We are opposites in many ways… however, living with her had its bonuses. I lived something of an organized life — the apartment was never a mess, with her in charge. (Did I mention she’s my older sister?) Even if it had been a busy week, on Saturday morning she’d get up, make a list of what needed to be done, wake me up and hand me my orders. We’d both work away (I admit, I was not always cheerful about not getting to sleep in on a Saturday, spoiled younger sister that I was) and by lunchtime the place would sparkle and the rest of the weekend was free for fun! …and, er, studying.
Musical chairs… er, chores
She also put music on while we worked — maybe something she picked up from our mom, who always had the Saturday Metropolitan Opera broadcast playing when she did Saturday clean-up. Or maybe she just knew that music can get you moving and keep you moving when you’re doing chores that don’t require a whole lot of brainpower, just elbow grease. One of the songs I remember was from the Broadway musical Purlie! — a men’s chorus singing a rousing “First Thing Monday Morning!”
Gonna get me straight… ‘fore it gets too late…
I can’t tell you much else about that Broadway show, because I never saw it, but I do remember that record playing, among others, to spur us in our Saturday cleaning sprees. For some reason, though, “First Thing Monday Morning” sticks in my head. Maybe because it’s one of the procrastinator’s mottoes.
When the going gets tough, the Tough — um, what was the rest of that?
When you’re surrounded by disorder, when you’re living in chaos, you have this desire to get things straight, to do things “decently and in order,” and an orderly approach seems to involve the ritual of setting a start date, just the right start date as a matter of fact, whether it’s Monday morning (the start of the week) or January 1st (even bigger, the start of a new year). The energy starts to flow as the deadline approaches, you gear up, you look forward to tackling the problem (and maybe there’s some dread mixed in with the anticipation, anxiety that it’s not going to work), and then the day arrives!
There are several different outcomes, in my experience.
– An interruption comes along, some reason that you can’t start on the designated day. You have to wait a whole ‘nother week to get started! (This is assuming we’re talking about “Monday Morning Syndrome.”) What an energy drain. It’s the procrastinator’s dream, though, because you get to put it off another week.
– You get started on The Day and work along and it’s just not fun, but you force yourself anyhow, for awhile. You almost welcome the inevitable interruption that throws you off track.
– You get started on The Day and actually enjoy bringing order out of chaos… but it doesn’t last. I’ve figured out that my college biology professor was right. Everything trends towards disorganization. Without the spark of life, corruption sets in; organic matter breaks down (or is broken down) and falls apart. Without consistent upkeep, order breaks down and slowly — or not so slowly — becomes chaos.
First thing Monday morning…
I’m in the digging-out phase yet again, after an over-busy school year. Monday seems like a good day to talk about planning and organizing strategies. You’re welcome to join in!
I’m not advocating Monday-Morning thinking (tried it, bought the T-shirt), but rather establishing (gulp) routines, figuring out how to make things work, especially for someone as distractable, overbooked, and happy-go-lucky as I tend to be. A Monday-morning check-in is a good accountability tool.
How about you?
Are you just getting started, re-started, or partway on the journey from the City of Chaos to the Realm of (most-of-the-time) Order?
If you’d like to come alongside, leave a comment to this post, or drop by my parallel blog (I can’t do a linky on this wordpress account, the way it is at the moment) and sign the linky. Today’s topic: What’s motivating you to do things differently? What’s your pet peeve right now, in terms of your home and schedule, something you have the power to change?
Happy Monday to you!