Sunday, January 15, 2006

A New Diagnosis

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A new diagnosis is difficult to accept; yet sometimes it makes so much sense. It puts things in perspective or adds a new level of meaning to past events. Perhaps it lights the way to a cure.

Just yesterday I received a new diagnosis: I am a surface area abuser (SAAB).

I was talking with a mom who said she had piles of papers and clutter (mostly more papers) on her desk. When she referred to herself as a SAAB it was as if the scales fell from my eyes. Yes! This is my problem too. A surface area abuser covers (abuses) just about every available space (surface area) with clutter.

I’m not clear if she had professional help like an organizer or maybe even a therapist, but she really had the vocabulary down. I turned to her with hope as she described her treatment. It went something like this:

“First, I had to admit that all the clutter was a problem. Once my awareness was raised, I had to put some limits on my behavior. Instead of leaving my clutter everywhere, I chose a couple of spots- a counter in the kitchen, my nightstand, my desk and the mail table- where I allowed myself to leave papers. Next I eliminated my nightstand and bought a smaller mail table. Then I made the counter less convenient. Instead of the entire counter, I limited my mess to half of the counter, then ¼ of it and then just a small area. There’s just no room left for my clutter—except on my desk, which, I have to say is a bit overloaded at times. But mostly this is working.”

I’ve been trying to convince DH to accept my clutter (helloooo- every heard of entropy? The tendency of all things in the universe toward a state of disorder. I mean, who am I to stop that?!) I must admit that the SAAB diagnosis seems to fall squarely in the camp of “courage to change.”

Am I up to this? Am I ready to embrace this change?

I have all these papers and coupons and articles and half-written essays and, my gosh each child must bring home an entire tree’s worth of papers each year between school notices, homework and flyers about who only know what. I can’t just toss it all in recycling.

I’m going to take a deep breath, head over to the Fly Lady for some inspiration and take that first click toward ending the cycle of abuse.


jim mcnelis said...

You missed your calling as a college professor Kim. I think their tenure is based partially on the disorder and clutter in their offices.

inthekitchenwithkp said...

in solidarity with you sister! Together we can overcome this! I'm sure Ikea has something we can use to help us beginners. Lol