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Posted: December 31, 2010 12:00 a.m.

Of clutter, leftovers and loose ends

If you’re really into organization, if you’re really into time management, if you really believe that "to everything there is a time and a season," then your Christmas decorations are back in storage in the attic, the Christmas tree has been tagged for the chipper, thank-you notes have been written, and the refrigerator is sparkling and clean, nary a leftover to be found.

I make a lie of every part of that statement. Organization is very important to me — as a concept. I’m always working on it. Time management is a powerful habit, but I can’t say I prevail when it comes to squeezing every useful moment out of every day. Inevitably, I get about 10 things going at once, trying to juggle them at one time, and a few always come crashing down. I do believe that "to everything, there is a time and a season," but this year’s minimalist Christmas décor is still hanging around. Last year, it was May before it all made it into the attic because it was just too darn cold to venture into unheated space. The room where I wrap and bag gifts remains in desperate disarray. The refrigerator still boasts a few items that should have left a week ago along with ingredients for recipes I meant to make but couldn’t find the time. I didn’t send out cards this year despite the lovely ones we received, but I have a small stack of thank-you’s yet to be written. I could make an organization professional very wealthy.

Clutter of one sort or another is always a battle to be fought. How easy it is to let the mail, to-do lists and things you mean to read pile up on the kitchen table.

It is an impediment to our body’s energy field, dragging us down. Take a look around at all that needs to be organized, put away or completed, and lethargy sets in.

Another type of clutter takes form in thoughts like, "I’ll never get it all done"; "I don’t know where to begin"; "I need some help"; or "What should I keep or what should I get rid of?". Paralysis can set in, and the tasks become almost insurmountable. Is this how hoarders become hoarders, I wonder?

The New Year is perfect for taking stock of clutter and loose ends. For me, time spent partying would be better spent dedicated to quiet contemplation and reflection. I want to ask myself: What worked this year? What didn’t work? When should I say "yes" with enthusiasm, and when will I learn to say "no" and mean it?

We start each year with the best of intentions. The 12 months stretching before us seem endless. We hold a brush in our hands and see a clean canvas before us. We tell ourselves the New Year — and we — will be different. Heaven knows, that’s the case this year. I’m more than ready to shake off the dust of 2010 and willing to believe that 2011 will somehow be different. I don’t want to drag the clutter of unfinished business along behind me into what feels like nice, clean space. Let’s hope you and I both can succeed at that.

"Hope," is a lovely word, interchangeable with "belief," "expectations," "possibility," "refuge," "a thing desired," or "a wish." Where would we be without hope?

 

Barbara Morgan is a Covington resident with a background in newspaper journalism, state government and politics.

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