Friday, July 25, 2014

Organizational Anxiety (Home & Work)

This post really is being written 3 weeks later in mid-August ... well ... that's what I do.

I return to work on Monday, July 28. Summer break is over after 7 weeks ... not shabby at all, very great vacation time as MNPS employee. Despite 14 years of this process, I have anxiety about returning to work - like I've forgotten how to do my job & my brain stops functioning. It is strange, but true. In addition, I am going to a new school where I know no one other than principal & assistant principal whom I met ONCE in the interview. Not that I care about having friends at work, but my shy side is feeling scared about going to a new place.

Anyway, back to blog title. Not that I haven't done anything all summer, but there were a few items on my Summer To Do list (future post-dated blog post) that I had not tackled - my office, bathroom closet, garage, basement - some hail-Mary attempts were made. Sometimes it seems silly with less time, you'd think I'd read book or go to Y pool or combine those 2 and just relax. Nope, I freak out, need order in the ensuing chaos so I organize. Jai dislikes post-vacation-pre-work Tara mode -- really stresses him.

3 of 4 of tasks listed above are not going to be completed in few days. They truly were summer projects. I could list excuses, mainly didn't want to do them earlier. I want them done, but it is not something I felt like doing post-work-beginning vacation. I truly need to veg, especially as I'd packed up my previous office AND I stored those boxes in part of garage. 

Garage - 1 reason I didn't do much (other than work boxes being in there) is I need Jai's help since that is typically his domain. However, Jai is not really interested in organizing anything. Once I packed van with work boxes to take on July 28, I was able to move around. I reorganized the camping supplies so they are all in 1 place (took shelf from basement which helped clean out that space)!!!! We started purging on July 27, but it is definitely an August/September project. Jai is excited about prospect of on-going fun! : ) Really he doesn't want to be forced to do anything ... we have been married 9 years, garage is mess, we need to use space differently. He's not going to do it alone ... we're doing it together.

Basement - mainly shifting some stuff (purging) & sweeping bugs & dirt - that was necessary per instructions from new bug consultant to deal with our bug problem. Plus we were having consultation with architecture & construction company to discuss renovating basement. I needed to clean & organize space. It is NOT done, there is definitely lots to do.

My office - once again during a break, I didn't want to tackle this task. It is small space, doesn't get used often, it really isn't disorganized ... except for huge box & pile of papers (paper bills or receipts mainly) that sits on desk. There was moment when I needed to find document & searching through this hot mess pile was annoying & fruitless. Frustrating! Didn't change outcome - most of it needs to be shredded at this point I suspect. Project for Fall Break! : )

Bathroom closet ... small project, attainable goal, really needs to be cleaned anyway since it is public health concern. No, not really, just Tara's public health standard. : ) Basically I took everything out and washed shelves & walls. Then I laid grip liner on shelves & rearranged everything. I got rid of few items, mainly shifted placement of items, hopefully making space more efficient & user friendly. Even though I am primary user, it is used by Jai some for Jacqueline's care, more Julia now as she becomes more independent & manages her skin & hair care. I am enjoying results - much easier to find what I need & use products I have. Example: found container of body salt scrub which I should use to exfoliate, especially legs before waxing. Probably been in closet for 2 years, all dried out, block of salt ... I added almond oil to it, now I can use it again!!!

I also organized some stuff I have in my mini "office" downstairs in living room. I had piles of file folders, but it was a mess too. I used these beautiful batik like cloth nested containers made in Ghana that I bought at RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer) conference here in Nashville in June. Cool thing is it is functional, practical, looks like decoration too. Brillant! I actually can find what I need more easily. Overall it makes me feel good, especially since I paid money for containers & supported a good cause!

Work project
I get to Amqui ES on Monday - my office is dirty. Understandably so since previous occupant packed up her stuff as I did, but she didn't clean the space (as I did not either). Since I am OCD about cleanliness, I grabbed paper towels & wipes, whatever I could find in main office (asked principals & custodians), vacuum cleaner, & I got to work on this new space! I moved every piece of furniture which was going to be necessary since I knew I would rearrange where desk, shelves, tables were anyway. I broke 2 parts of a lamp. First bulb cover shattered, then bottom collapsed. This meant I had to vacuum again!  1 vacuum cleaner "exploded" - it was old! It took a few days to clean & organize everything just right, which meant I was delayed organizing & planning for School Counseling Program. However, having your work space right is critical, especially in my job where I work with so many different people - it has to function in certain way.

Does organizing help with the anxiety? Yes, I think it does. It is some kind of order. I sleep poorly usually the few days before work starts. Physical work helps with exhaustion to aid sleep. There is some peace is completing task, especially when there is an aesthetic benefit as well. Am I crazy? Pretty much ... like all of us, just in my unique way. : )