From Where I Sit – A Life of Structure and Order

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I live a very structured, disciplined and orderly life. For instance, I never ever let dirty dishes pile up in the sink. Unless of course there’s an episode of Gray’s Anatomy on the television that I’ve missed watching. Or an impromptu trip to the city. Or a pressing column to write.

Cooking for others or myself is something I love to do, unless there is anything else to do. Like breathing or sleeping.

When it comes to vacuuming and dusting, my scheduled routine is carved in stone. “Stay on top of it” is my motto, except for those times when the vacuum cleaner is still hot as the guests are ringing the doorbell. Or you can write your name in the dust. Or piles of paper have been hidden out of sight sometimes never to be seen again.

Laundry is done every Monday morning, just like our mothers used to do, unless there’s a good book or decorating magazine calling my name. Or I need to run for repairs for the farm. And God knows the sun never sets on my pile of ironing.

Weeding, deadheading, and pruning are all near the top of my to-do list. Grooming nearly a dozen distinct flowerbeds plus patio pots takes a system and a plan and is not for the faint hearted. Mowing the entire yard can take six to eight hours using the John Deere riding mower. I’ve given up waiting for chickweed to be declared the hot, new groundcover. “Work, work, work” is my strategy, unless the mosquitoes are the size of hummingbirds or it’s raining or windy or really, really hot or really, really cold. Or maybe my bum shoulder is acting up. It’s surprising how the pain of a torn rotator cuff can cramp a girl’s style and mess with a well-laid plan.

Taking on volunteer work, painting for an art show, manning my new gallery, tackling the creative, home d├ęcor projects I love, working on my website, visiting with my kids, reading for leisure and knowledge, keeping a journal, nurturing friendships, visiting with family, spending time with a husband who’s not home much — are all vital to keeping my life fulfilled. These are all priorities getting my full-time attention, except when I’m giving some other things all of my time and attention.

My discipline and commitment, of course, also extend to life-affirming, health-giving, illness-banishing regular exercise. You can set your calendar by me with three (and sometimes four) trips to Curves each week. Whether it’s to Vegreville, my home club or through using the travel card that permits visits to any Curves location in the world, I am there. Unless it’s Women’s Words week and I’m in a course every afternoon and shopping every evening.

Take a page out of my book and you too can have mastery over your time and life. No distractions, no diversions, no disruptions, and no derailed plans. A life of structure and order is a beautiful thing or so I’m told. I can always hope, from where I sit.

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