Saturday, January 16, 2010

Reduce the Stress & Increase the Success

When Blake moved to Houston by himself for that first year out of college and into the "real, working world," he lived in a small apartment minutes away from where he worked.

His mother made the trip to Houston immediately and was there to receive the moving company and purchase any necessities that Blake was lacking (silverware, pots and pans, a toothbrush). I came to visit within the next few weeks to help organize and unpack the remaining boxes then leaving with a confidence that Blake was set and comfortable.

Only when I returned several months later as a surprise did I get a glimpse of reality. Imagine entering into a home that had just been burglarized... That was the appearance of Blake's apartment when I walked through the front door. There were food wrappers casually tossed around the couch, the dishes were piled high in the sink, a shotgun lay outside of its case in the middle of the living room floor, etc., etc., etc.

Seeing as Blake and I had only months until our wedding, after which I would be moving into a home with this man... I began to panic that this would be a lifestyle that would remain with Blake and collide with mine.

After several minutes of reassurance and a shot or two of tequila (hey, that fixes everything, right), Blake and I set to clean up the mess that I feared would inevitably become my future...

Three Years Later (My Future)...

As I sit here in our living room, I still cringe at the memory of walking into that tiny, smelly apartment *shiver*; but you must know, Blake has come a long way since his bachelor days. He's still messy, but he does make an honest effort.

Now, for those who know me, I am neat and orderly... Okay, I'm anal. I can't help it. Blake and I have come to the conclusion that I have to be this way because I have the worst short-term memory. If an item is not in its assigned place, I have no idea where it is.

Seriously, it's true!

Regardless to my reasons why, I have also concluded that my extreme organization is the secret to my success and lack of stress. Let me give you a few examples to support this.

1. Professional Workplace
Let's say that I'm having a surprise guest (like one of my college professors) coming to visit my classroom. He wants to watch me teach a lesson, and I want to make sure that I teach an amazingly creative lesson... Hmmm... I think I have a great lesson on teaching polygons that I created when I was at the University of Oklahoma. Well, as it turns out, I kept all of my college assignments in binders organized by semester and class. I actually store them in the classroom in my cabinet... How convenient?

2. Vehicle
So, I am driving down the street to visit a friend when I decide that I'm desperately in need of a Diet Coke. It just so happens that a few months back I bought a promotional t-shirt at a local pizza joint that promised a free drink to anyone who comes into the restaurant wearing the shirt. Knowing that I would never remember to wear the shirt each time I could possibly want a Diet Coke, I placed the t-shirt in the hidden storage container in the back of the Jeep. All I have to do to enjoy the sweet, addictive sensation is pull over, pull the shirt on over my other clothes, and receive my free drink. Ta-Da!

3. Place of Residence
Here's a for instance for you. I'm in a rush trying to get ready for the day, and I'm already behind because Blake and I pressed the snooze button thirteen times. (It's happened before.) As I brush my teeth and apply my mascara, I think, "I bet that red cardigan with the pearl-like buttons would be perfect to wear today." Well guess what! I know exactly where in my closet that sucker is. I'll know immediately if it's not hanging there then it must be dirty and on its way or at the dry cleaners.

The Holy Place Known Otherwise as My Closet

I mean it when I say that being organized and tidy is the key to almost all of my successes. If you want a sure-fire way to reduce the stress and increase the success in your life, take time to put everything in a place.

I may or may not be available for hire.

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