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Lee T Blauersouth @AmmoniteInk
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Mental health ramble incoming!

Lot's of people are talking about getting organized in 2019, and, more specifically, how grim they find their chances of getting organized in 2019.

I have suggestions.
For background- I used to be so disorganized that they almost held me back a grade- truly. I was in Special Ed for years largely because even if I DID THE HOMEWORK I could never manage to get it FROM MY PLANNER TO MY TEACHER within a day of the due date.
I am not a naturally organized person. At all.

But my dad used to tell me that if you want to learn to play golf, you don't ask Tiger Woods.

Don't ask the natural, you ask the person who had to fight for every step. Who knows every way to fuck it up.

Friends, that's me.
Now, this is complicated by the fact that organization is a broad, complex category of behavior that can be screwed up by small, stealthy learning disorders, anxiety, depression, ADHD and all kinds of other issues.

And they fuck it up in varying ways!
So, the first and most important suggestion I have for you is that you need to learn exactly and specifically how and why YOU fuck it up.

Take the age old "make a to-do list!" advice. Did you cringe reading that? I kind of did. Classic advice from naturally organized people.
I suggest you stop & figure out, why, SPECIFICALLY you can't keep a to-do list.

Do you get overwhelmed and anxious and shut down and not do anything?
Do you lose the list?
Do you forget to update the list?
Do you dither on how detailed to make the list and quit halfway through
It's buffet style, now. You can have a little of this and a little of that.
Ok, the next thing is FORGET THE WORD "SHOULD".

This word is not your friend. This word is built on expectations of naturally organized people. You have likely been told you "should" be able to keep a planner. You "should" be able to be on time easily and reliably.
Absolutely fuck that noise. Plug up your ears and go LALALALA until that little voice shuts up and leaves you alone.

Should is a word made for a world we don't live in. Should doesn't care about our actual brain and your actual barriers.

We need to talk about your actual brain.
Look, if you had a cat, and that cat knocked your plate onto the floor absolutely every morning when you ate your breakfast at the counter, eventually you'd stop arguing with that cat. You physically block the area or find someplace else to eat.
You give up that the cat "shouldn't" do that, and get down to figuring out how to eat your food without constantly buying plates.

Your brain is the cat, ok? Above all, learn to make peace with the brain you have.
I am a reasonably successful 35 year old adult with a child, a career, a second writing career, hobbies and a new business in the process of being opened. I HAVE to maintain organization or my life completely falls apart.
And I do some ridiculous, childish things I "shouldn't" need to do. Because I care far more about what will work for me than what I should be able to do.
I have multiple planners- this is hilarious considering the tears shed over the multi-year fight to get me to use even one.

But I lose planners, and I get overwhelmed with long lists. These issues needed solutions.
Another one STAYS IN THE PURSE. MUST NEVER BE SET ON ANY SURFACE WITHOUT GOING IN THE PURSE. I literally tied one to the purse for the 1st year to train me to follow this rule and not wander off carrying it.

Did that look silly? Yes. Do not give a shit. It worked.
This means my to-do lists are split up, and only accessible from the location where I'll use them. I worry about work lists at work, and can't even access them at home, where they'd add to my home to-do list.
I set an alarm on my phone for months to remind me to check the planner at a set time every morning to remind me that it exists.

I kind of resented having to do that. I felt like I shouldn't need to.

But, again, fuck the word "should".
Now, I'm not telling you to get multiple planners, or make the bullet lists I love or set a timer or anything in specific.

I'm telling you to pin down the EXACT place your organization breaks down and do whatever ridiculous thing you have to do to take care of that. Shamelessly.
You only need to know how to keep YOUR brain organized. Focus on brainstorming for that one thing, and destroying any shame that tries to undermine your efforts.
I'm not telling you to "just" get organized. There's no "just" about it. Let me validate right now that this can be very difficult.

It may take months. It may take years. Try to be kind to yourself about it. That's a lot more normal than you think.
Face that anxiety. Face that shame. Face that hopelessness. I swear to you, you CAN do this if you keep trying shit and let yourself have whatever you need to have.
This isn't about becoming "an organized person". Those guys are weird anyways.

It's about getting barriers out of your way so you can do what you want. It's about letting go of feelings that hurt you, so you can be who you need to be to be the person you want to be.
I hope this helps. Please be kind to yourselves, wonderful twitterverse.

You can't hate yourself into a better version of yourself. So give yourself permission to do what you need to.
I am not and will never be a naturally organized person. To this day, if I violate a planner rule it will be INSTANTLY lost and I have to cry at my wife till she finds it for me and it’s always somewhere completely irrational.

But I’m juggling a LOT and by damn I’m WINNING.
Please join me. Don’t wait as long as I did to give yourself permission. Don’t wait as long as I did before I started telling people “this is how I organize. Don’t fuck with it if you want me to get things done”.
Letting yourself do what you need to do is a way better New Years resolution than “be organized”. You might feel a little more ready to go after it and a little more able to stick to it.
OK this took off. I don't have a stormcloud or whatever but I did write a fiction book about a bunch of struggling, imperfect people trying to be heroes, if you happen to be into that.

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