To many people, good organizational skills are an important characteristic. But in my family, its a disease. It started with my mom. She can make a travel itinerary like its nobody’s business. Family vacations were structured and scheduled – from breakfast locations all the way down to which gift shops we would visit. To some people, this sounds like a terrible way to take a vacation, but our family kind of liked it. Whenever we visited anywhere, we were guaranteed to never miss a thing. And then when I got married, my mom and I planned the wedding together. She was quite a show to watch. She had this enormous notebook that carried everything from fabric swatches to flower petal samples. I’ll never forget when she handed out schedules, itineraries, and emergency contact information to the wedding party at the rehearsal dinner. Classic Mom. But my wedding went off without a hitch and I have never been so thankful to her.
My sister is like a mutated version of my mom. She’s like a Boy Scout on speed. I can’t explain it any better than this visual representation. This is the flow chart that my sister sent me for one of my visits to see her:
See? Its a disease. And I feel bad for her. She just can’t help herself.
I like to think that I fall somewhere in the middle, and I only owe that to Chris. Chris has never worked off a schedule in his life. The man doesn’t even have a calendar. He just “remembers” his appointments. So, the few times I have tried to corner him with an itinerary, he’s just smiled and said, “That’s nice, sweetie,” and then done whatever the hell he wanted. This has forced me to find a happy medium. I like a good list, but I’m not big with schedules and itineraries and hour-by-hour planning.
For Christmas this year, my Mom gave me something called Life.docs. Life.docs is a binder that is supposed to be one-stop-shopping for your personal affairs in the event of an emergency. There are over 150 pages of information that you have to fill in. Things like your health insurance information, your doctor’s contact numbers, your mortgage paperwork. It even has questions like what your I.D. and password is at your office. The idea is that if something were to happen to you and a complete stranger (and/or a husband who doesn’t pay attention to details…) had to step in and take care of things, everything they needed to know would be in this book.
It is now the end of February and I had not yet started filling out this book. It seemed too overwhelming to me. Too time consuming. Too detailed. Too ORGANIZED. But last night, I went into overdrive. I think I might be “nesting” (isn’t that what its called?). True, traditional nesting involves picking out bedding and hanging pictures in the baby nursery, but I think my nesting is taking the form of being uber-prepared. Suddenly it dawned on me that I’m going to be responsible for someone and if – God forbid – something were to happen to me or Chris, how would anyone be able to help the baby?
So, I started organizing our house. I started last night by cleaning out our office. This led to cleaning out our filing cabinets (including labeling files with computer-printed labels – spiffy, huh?). This finally led to me sitting down with our Life.docs binder late last night. I got through the first 3 sections, and then had to quit because Chris wouldn’t help me answer questions like who is HR contact was at work. And because it was 11:00 and I was falling asleep as I wrote.
But this morning, I feel organized and in order.
Now, by all means, bring on the baby to totally send my organized life into chaos.