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I'm happiest when....

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My inboxes (all of them - work email, personal email, and plastic tray on top of my desk) are empty. Corollary: I'm happiest when everything's checked off my to-do list.

I was an extremely messy child. My mother used to despair about the state of my room. All the way through college I was Miss Messy.

Until I was a Peace Corps volunteer. I was in an environment where everything was intolerably chaotic. So I responded in the only way I could: by creating and following as regimented a life as possible. It certainly helped that I was an English teacher and already beholden to rules and timetables. I carefully organized my lesson plans and alphabetized my books (divided into work-related and pleasure-reading). My routines helped me cope in a world where colleagues were rapidly wasting away and neighbors were unable to pay school fees.

I don't consider myself anal or OCD though. It doesn't freak me out if someone moves my stuff (I move it back) or if plans go awry (I'm a very good travel companion by the way). It doesn't matter to me if I eat lunch at 11am or 2pm. It's just that deadlines, routines, plans, labels, and lists enable me to deal with life in a developing country where the slogan is "Tolerate Ambiguity." I'm not comfortable unless I know that every Monday I start the work week with a tidy home, a full fridge and pantry (with the recipes for the week), clean clothes, and the bed made.

Maybe it's not the best use of time to spend an hour every Saturday filing. But it makes me feel better. When my needs are taken care of, I can contribute my little bit to saving the world (as it were).

Favorite organizing resources (I actually own books by these people, believe it or not):
David Allen
Ronni Eisenberg
Julie Morgenstern
Laura Stack
Stephanie Winston

Websites:
My Organized Life
National Association of Professional Organizers
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[User Picture]
On May 23rd, 2006 06:23 am (UTC), flemmarde commented:
and this is all why you are going to be the perfect person to organise me :)

you alphabetised your books? heh heh. although i do divide mine into work and play. though at the moment there's a heap mixed up on the floor. sonce my boxes arrived i have more organising to do and i can't bear it :(
[User Picture]
On May 23rd, 2006 07:35 am (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Excuses to visit Geneva:
1. Meet Flemmarde, India, and the famous H
2. Organize F's affairs
3. See the famous ejaculating fountain
[User Picture]
On May 23rd, 2006 07:51 am (UTC), flemmarde replied:
heh heh

see the fountain from any angle, any where...

if you come soon, you get to meet cousin d and the eldest offspring as well for no extra cost :)

cast o bloody thousands
[User Picture]
On May 23rd, 2006 08:09 am (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
It'll be a change from the "cast o bloody thousands" in Morocco at least!
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On May 23rd, 2006 09:39 pm (UTC), flemmarde replied:
heh heh.. yeah... you won't have to perform in quite the same way :)
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On May 24th, 2006 07:38 am (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Yeah. At least in your household I won't have to refuse to milk the cow in rude gestures!
[User Picture]
On May 24th, 2006 09:11 am (UTC), flemmarde replied:
so you'll be quite happy to milk the cow then?
[User Picture]
On May 24th, 2006 09:15 am (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Hmm...only if you ask nicely and do up a nice Pav for me!
[User Picture]
On May 24th, 2006 09:30 am (UTC), flemmarde replied:
hahahaha... me... baking a pav... hahahahaha

you missed the whole pav sagas of a year or so ago when my then young gay french flatmate made them regularly until he got them right, to use up the egg whites he produced making carbonara all the time. the one he made on my birthday last year though was quite something strange. all chewy and leaky
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