embrace your idiosyncrasy

by rebecca on October 27, 2012

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I love systems. Can’t help it. My brain loves puzzles, and containers and sorting.

But sometimes I get lost and what I really need is a streamlined approach. Let’s face it: lots of systems are difficult to maintain. A good system requires tending to work well. I’m not as big a fan of tending as I am setting things up.

I like playing with color and texture, like when I grab a weighty pen and a chunky pad of post-it notes and jot down the title of the book my friend is recommending. That feels like play. The actual work of looking that book up? I loose interest pretty fast.

Jotting down notes on pretty post-it notes is not a system. It’s a great way to have a messy kitchen island. I should know. I’m a pro at this.

I fought my penchant for post-its for a LONG time. I thought post-it notes were my problem.

Big hint from me to you: don’t fight your idiosyncrasies.

Embracing my idiosyncratic love of post-it notes

  • While planning our small town’s Halloween party, these post-it notes were all over our island. That’s the way I think.
  • An idea occurs to me, I jot it down.
  • I bring a little organization to them by seeing what goes with what.
  • Once I could see some plans developing, we had a meeting and I asked people what gave them joy.
  • Everyone volunteered in the capacity that served his/her strength and interest
  • I knew, based on post-it notes, that the big bases were covered
  • I plopped tiny details into my weekly plan

I like things that repeat.

I have watched Pride and Prejudice countless times. The repetition comforts me. As much as I enjoy something new, routine is my friend. So each week I plop the same “sample week” into my “This week” document and begin again.

This week I simply added in the tasks I’d need to follow-up on in order to get this party off the ground. When I shut down for the day, I visit my list. Completed items get a smiley face. Anything undone simply moves to the next day. If I learned something today that will help me in the future, I use my 43 folder system.

*These two systems, in tandem, work for me. They may not work for you, but they might give you an idea.*

Monday: set up the week.

Before 11

  • Yoga for 10
  • Drink 2 glasses water
  • Set up calendar for the week 🙂
  • Write blog
  • Start laundry
  • 2 phone calls

Before 4

  • exercize
  • Clients
  • Call re Halloween food
  • Call re fire fighters
  • Call re flyers
  • Call re pumpkins

Before bed

  • Island
  • Drink 2 glasses water
  • Laundry
  • 30 minutes house spiff
  • add photos and links to blog

I struggled on Monday.

I knew the person who was in charge of flyers was uber responsible and I wasn’t going to give myself that “job” again. But my brain doesn’t rest until things are done-done-done, so it’s better for me if I keep it on the list but not my responsibility.  Bottom-line, I sleep better.

I wasn’t able to get ahold of anyone at the firehouse to ask about volunteers, so that item simply got repeated, as I explored new avenues the next day.


  • What fire fighters do I know?
  • Flyers are being handled


  • Aside from fire fighters, who else could control traffic?
  • Flyers posted 🙂


  • Talked to fire fighter friend 🙂

I want to notice patterns

  • When I’m tweaking a simple goal like “get ahold of fire fighters” over and over: notice
  • Perhaps I’m after something else
  • Like getting kids across the street safely
  • That can happen with the parents already gathered at the party
  • Think about the solution needed
  • Not just the path I’m following

We decorated for the party tonight. It looks super cool. It was an enormous community effort. I learned things for planning next year’s party that I will file in my September folder.

The Charlie Taylor Foundation donated these colorful wares to our kids. Carol Perry is going to help them design fabulous Halloween ornaments for their doorknobs to welcome trick-or-treaters.

I am taking time to tend my home. It’s part of my 4-step philosophy in Soulful Cleansing. Identify – Notice – Address – Tend.  I’d love to have you join the class.

I am participating in 31-days of Soulful Cleansing. This project is the collaborative brainchild of The Nester. Join her here and see all the other 31-day projects.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannon October 27, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Your post its really arent any different that using index cards when writing your senior paper or whatever 🙂 It’s a nice visual way to organize before you muck in. Looks like you did a great job!


rebecca October 29, 2012 at 11:53 pm

I’ve never thought about that, Shannon! I never could write a paper without those index cards. No wonder I need this!


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