Sunday, July 26, 2009

Almost sorted!

The project of organizing began yesterday. From 1 pm until 5:30 pm, Tracy (AKA Miss Organized and some of my mess in the picture) and I sorted. We went through drawers and cabinets and closets and I have a couple dozen boxes of sorted stuff to prove it.

No, we're not quite done with that portion of the project, but I ran out of steam! Tracy says my mess wasn't as bad as some she least much of it was categorized. That means I had a drawer filled with electronic stuff, but you could also find a few bits of electronic stuff elsewhere. It's the finding it elsewhere we fixed yesterday.

Now, all my electronics-related items are in one or two boxes. It's the paper- and pen-related "stuff" that filled seven or eight boxes. In addition to those, I now have boxes for awards, memorabilia, travel, office supplies, and computer-related. I have a huge, contractor-sized black plastic bag filled with recycling, another box for shredding, and two boxes to be donated or sold. In addition, I sent Tracy home with several outfits suitable for business wear that she's bringing to a drop-off place for "Dress for Success" ( And, I still have the two 7-ft-tall bookcases, the 4-drawer file cabinet, and the 3-tiered-canvas inbox system to sort.

Tracy uses a specific system to guide her work of providing space for her customers ( Sort, Purge, Assign, Contain, and Equalize (SPACE!), and in 5.5 hours, we didn't quite get through step one. I can't afford to have her help me through it all, but I do intend to hire her for another session or two. She was WONDERFUL. I could never have gotten through as much as fast without her help. I am hoping to use her system to complete the sorting and do much of the purging either alone or with friends' help over the next few days.

My friend, Tessa (pix shows her with her Bichon, Jack), is arriving from Houston on Friday (31 July) to help finalize emptying the room and preparing it for the build-out scheduled for 10 August! At the moment, I'm still convincing myself that we'll make the deadline!
So, I heartily endorse Tracy and her work. She's in the San Diego area right now, but I have a feeling that will expand in time. She is connected to the energetic aspects of the universe and she and I found that we were immediate co-conspirators in moving me into a place of peace, piece by piece!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Organizing the organization project

It's coming together...the final frontier...the bane of my existence...MY...HOME OFFICE! I tend to be a hoarder, and I'm sick of it! Nevertheless, it's my albatross and although the messes throughout the rest of the house are hidden in drawers and behind doors, in my office it seeps onto the floor, chokes the walls, and upchucks on all flat, floor-parallel surfaces. My love affair with books has extended to uncontrolled passion for paper and a criminal craziness for pens and pencils.

NO MORE. Or at least that's my intent. In addition to signing that contract with Closet Factory to get the whole room built out into workspace, storage areas, and bookcases (lots and lots of bookcases!), I have a professional organizer arriving on Saturday ( I am serious about this and am determined to get it right. I hope that once I get the purging and sorting and rearranging done, it will take the clutter a long, long time to creep back into anything like it is now. I think I'm safe...although I've only been in this house 5 years (YEP, next month!), I've been collecting some of the junk in here for most of my three score summers, and that's probably a bit longer than I have left! :-)

The real reward is this: when all the clutter and confusion leaves, some fantastically wonderful energetically enhancing goodness will arrive! And when all that good shows up, I'll be able to find it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Five from Mary

My favorite blogger, Mary Wise, used five words given to her by a friend to guide the writing of a recent blog. I took Mary up on her offer to give out five words to other bloggers. I figured her help would help me get through the blog block I've been, here's the result:

My biological family is a small one. I have a brother, a sister, a daughter, and a nephew. I had another brother who died in 1996 (that was the year my nephew was born). I have always had mixed feelings about family. Yet, I admire and envy other families who are close and supportive of one another. My mom was an only child and my father, although the third of four children in his family, was never close to any of his siblings. Whatever the reason for the estrangement, he might as well have been an only child. I have a cousin somewhere whose name is Gary Garland. But I haven't heard from him since I was eight. My dear friend from STC, Suzanna Laurent, told me that her mother died on Tuesday. Her mom was in her 90s and had 81 grandchildren! Now, that's some family.

No wonder Suzanna is a natural leader. Leadership is something one can't read about and then become one. I think some folks have a natural tendency to be leaders, even when they don't try. Others work at it, and through a series of connected events and mindsets, get good at it over time. But the majority of folks, no matter how much they read or practice, just don't have the magnetism or special formula it takes to have others follow them. I bet Suzanna's leadership skills were a combination of born to it and practiced. I don't know if she would have thought of herself as a leader in her years as a young mother, but by the time I met her she certainly was exhibiting leadership...and she has only gotten stronger and better over the years.

Being a good leader can be fun. Walter Cronkite, a leader to so many in so many different ways, died last week. I watched a few shows that chronicled his life and work. I must say that despite his having to report on some of the most challenging and interesting years of the 20th century, it looked like he had fun. He had many friends and enjoyed people. He knew when to work and he knew that it was important to balance that work with play. I know my own memories of the major events of the 60s were all bookended by Uncle Walter. At only 92, he was probably considered a kid by Suzanna's mom. I imagine that they are both on the other size of the horizon doing whatever comes next, and I bet they're both still having fun.

Something about mentioning the horizon made me think of the Rainbow Bridge and how some of those great things we'll meet in our next manifestation will be our pets. I recently saw an old family slide and my mom was walking on the dunes near the coast of Maroc (Morocco) with a dog we had then--Blackie. (Yes, I was quite original in naming him.) Until I saw that slide, I could only remember one dog from our Maroc days--Neige. Neige means snow in French (uh-huh, he was a white dog--I had a theme, and it was in two languages!).

Pets have always been important to me, although having them can bring grief, they more often bring joy. I have pets and they make my home so much more fun than it would be otherwise. With them around, I know someone will look to me for leadership...even if it's leadership to their food bowls or to their leash for a walk. And, that's OK with me, too. They're part of my family.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A month of activities

Well, it turns out that I do Twitter more than I blog...but I don't do either very often!

So, what have I been up to over the past month? Here's a list of the stuff that's kept me busy:

  1. Inherited a new group of 3 writers (& the product they support) at work; they came with a new culture, including a new set of developers, managers, product managers, QA engineers, and doc practices.Of course, none of that is new to them, only to me. So, I'm making an attempt to learn how to support them, take a bit of pressure off them, and yet guide them when they need guiding. (Hmmm...isn't all that the same thing?)
  2. Spent much of my work time attending meetings and fielding crises for both the San Diego product and the Cupertino product, because both of them are shipping this coming week. (Did I mention the new team is a remote one?)
  3. Took a free junket to Reno with Cheryl Smith to gamble and tour around northern Nevada and Lake Tahoe. (See my facebook account for pix.)
  4. Met with four designers (a couple of them multiple times) to have them give me estimates on building a home office in one of my bedrooms (the one I use as an office/catchall now). Just about ready to make a decision
  5. Saw my therapist twice--once for a nice chat; once for a gut-wrenching "aha" moment that left me drained and wiser. I hate it when that happens...yet it's why I go. Sigh.
  6. Fired and hired yard maintenance folks...the one I hired had a lot of "clean up" to do before he could even begin normal maintenance because the one I fired just wasn't doing what should be done. I'm pretty sure the new one will do well because his mother-in-law is my housekeeper and I think she'll be pickier about my yard than I am!
  7. Went to a local casino Friday night because I got a wild hair to drive to Viejas (only about 25 miles from my house...much too close!) all by my lonesome. (Is gambling alone as problematic as drinking alone?) Anyway, as luck would have it, I started out great (won $200 on my first $20 at Wheel of Fortune); kept at it far too long on one hand (lost the $200 and close to another $100), but was rewarded for my obsession because I was randomly chosen to be a contestant in a money-grabbing contest! I was the last person of the night (did my stint at midnight!) to stand in one of those wind-tunnel glass boxes for 30 seconds and catch and hold as much cash as I could in 30 seconds. Wound up with $316 and a gold lamee helium-filled balloon. Had sense enough to go home immediately after! Unfortunately, these kinds of exciting times only feed my desire to go again! Still, it was pretty much a rush!
  8. Glad to say my sister is doing much better this month. She's still my "hermana loca" as Rosita (my housekeeper) says...but the "loca" is quite mild relative to some past times. And that's good. For her. And for me.
  9. Three lovely Houston friends of mine are July birthday girls: Deborah, Connie R, and Tessa. I wish all of them the very best and I treasure the parts they play in my life.
  10. I'm hooked on season two of HBO's True Blood
  11. I blogged.

Linda O

Linda O
Glamorous Me