Life is full for a lot of us.
Full of some really great things…and full of some really difficult things.
In the midst of that fullness, in order for life to work for us, we have to do what works for us.
We have to be intentional about the things we do and the way we spend our time.
And that will look different for every person.
One of the things that can really be a hindrance to living life to its full potential is to constantly be looking at how other people are doing things and think that’s what we need to do also.
It’s one thing to learn from others and improve as a result, but it’s another thing to see what someone else is doing and then feel bad about ourselves because we’re not doing or not able to do those same things.
Our blessings and challenges and ability to handle those blessings and challenges varies from person to person.
What works for me isn’t necessarily going to work for someone else and vice versa.
I’ve seen this truth played out most recently in my quest for being organized.
For the purpose of having more time for what is important to me, I fell into the trap that I would only reach the level of organization I was looking for if I did things like such and such does things.
And that was my strategy for a long time; try to make life work for me by finding someone who seemed to be succeeding the way I wanted to, and then do things the same way they were doing them.
In an Internet full of ideas this was not hard to do.
While I did come across some really great ideas along the way with this strategy, I also wasted an awful lot of time and effort trying to force into my life circumstances and capacity what worked for someone else’s life circumstances and their capacity.
What Doing This Looked Like In My Life
When I first became a stay home mom I really didn’t know what I was doing.
I was not prepared for the amount of diligence and organization needed to take care of my own children for the whole day, day in and day out while keeping our household from drowning in utter chaos and undone tasks.
Well along came blogs. I devoured blogs learning as much as I could about being organized and keeping a house running relatively smooth as a stay home mom.
And I learned so many great ideas, but some of those really great ideas just didn’t work for me no matter how hard I tried to make them work.
For example one of those great ideas was in regards to laundry.
I read so many posts that said the answer to my laundry woes was to do a load from start to finish, folded and put away every single day.
So for a few years I tried it like that and it just did not work for me.
And here’s the key, I attempted it for a few years trying to get it to work, going to bed at night thinking what’s wrong with me I can’t even get it together enough to get my laundry done everyday like so many others can.
How awful of me to do that to myself!
It wasn’t me that was the problem (in this case) but the system that works great for others just didn’t work for me!
I really wish I had not allowed that to go on for so long, but I did.
Thankfully I finally woke up to needing to do what works for my life and if something really isn’t working and it’s not for a lack of my trying, I need to find a different way, no matter how beautifully that same thing works for someone else.
So that’s what I did and I found having a laundry day (with some break through loads done as needed) has worked wonderfully for me.
No more going to bed feeling bad because I didn’t get my load for the day finished and put away.
Instead I have a system that works very well for my family, my capacity, and my life circumstances. And not only is it working good but it also feels good.
Another example of just doing what works for you is in the same vein of laundry but regarding my rags.
A tip I got early on from blogs was to use rags* in place of paper towels to save money. So that’s what we do and it has saved us money.
But I don’t want to spend the time folding them. We use them quickly and I feel it’s just not the best use of my time to fold them.
So I store them in the bathroom drawer and in baskets on the kitchen counter, unfolded. I simply pull them out of the dryer and stash them in their appropriate place.
So it looks like this:
And they don’t bother me one bit.
But I know for some my unfolded, very visible rags would really be bothersome.
But this is an example of just doing what works for you.
While the unfolded rags cause me absolutely no angst, it’s a guarantee there are things others do that would really bother me but that thing works great for them.
Find what works for YOU, and stick with that.
In this day of immediate access to glimpses of others lives, those we know and don’t know, it’s really important to keep the perspective that there is absolutely no one size fits all way to do things. There just isn’t.
To make the most of your life and the circumstances and personality that only you have, you have to do what works for you.
Anything else will bring you down unnecessarily.
I really regret that I beat myself up for so long and felt that I didn’t measure up just because doing a load of laundry a day didn’t work for me.
There’s just so much more to life than trying to do things the way others do them.
For each of us to flourish in our own lives, we have to find what works for us, do that and get on with living the unique life we’ve each been blessed with.
Let’s Talk: What type of systems work well for you and your family? How did you come to find those were the systems for you? Have you ever tried to fit something into your life that just didn’t work?
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