I have come to the conclusion that there are two types of people in the world ( actually there are thousands, but for this article I am only talking about two)
There are those in Column A; the neat, tidy, organised people. Often they are left brain dominant and they tend to get bored more easily. In their leisure time they frequently feel like they have nothing to do, because they have finished everything they had to do. Their homes are organised, their inboxes are empty and their chores are done.
Then there are those in Column B: messy, colourful and disorganised. These people often favour the right side of their brain and they live much more chaotically than the people in Column A. They could never imagine being bored or ever being able to cross everything off their ever expanding to-do list.
I am firmly nestled in the latter group.
You know those houses where everything is immaculate and tidy; the houses where the countertop might be home to a vase of flowers or a neat bowl of fruit and that’s all. Well, while I feel a tiny bit jealous, I also find it hard to fathom living in those houses.
Maybe you live in a home like this; if you do, I salute you oh mythical creature, but I am baffled. I know it’s possible, I have friends and family members who live in the display-home neatness I am describing; they live in a world where everything has its place and somehow the bed is always made. But I just wonder where their things are? Where do they keep their stuff?
Books, clothes, DVDs, magazines, collections, hobbies, art supplies, teacups, theatre programs…. it goes on and on…. or maybe that’s just me.
Then there are the lists of Things To Do: places to see, people to catch up with, recipes to try, drawers to sort, rooms to organise, classes to take….
And now, in this era, we also have the digital stuff; emails to answer, saved articles to read, links to explore, bookmarks, photos, social media…..
And all this is excluding the options we have for things we can do with our lives; our careers, our leisure time, our holidays, our weekends.
Life is so busy and it seems that in our society we pile more and more onto ourselves all the time. Obviously some more than others.
Basically in countries like Australia, we are lucky. The world is our oyster. We have so many choices and options and opportunities and possessions and friends and digital space and places where we can share our thoughts, our photos, our meals, our desires. We can broadcast what we are doing, what we are listening to, what we are watching, what we are thinking, everything is out there and on show. Which is fantastic, the world is smaller today than it has ever been in the past and it will only get smaller and smaller. By the time our great grandchildren grow up we will be living on a marble.
Yet I often feel paralysed by choice.
Let’s get back to those Bigfoot-unicorn-mermaid-pixie-sasquatch like creatures from column A, the ones who know where everything is at any time, and have organised diaries. I’m not sure that they feel these struggles. I’m not sure they have these pains. It’s possible they just go through life nicely and neatly and then the weekend comes and they think, “ok, what am I going to do today.” Not “oh gosh, I have a million things I could do today but I also have social plans galore so everything is just going to have to wait” which is pretty much what goes through my head every weekend.
Maybe it’s the curse and the beauty of being a creative person; everything is a possibility and we often have 5 or 6 ideas on the go at any one time. Maybe it’s just being a procrastinator or disorganised or having the attention span of a goldfish.
Yesterday my mum told me that she had read somewhere that you know you’re getting old when you look at your book collection and think “I’ll never have time to get through all these….”
Well I’m 35 and I’m already thinking that!
Things pile up and ideas pile up and creative pursuits pile up.
When people say they are bored, I just don’t understand it because I could honestly be trapped in my house with no communication for a year or truthfully even 10 years, and still have things to do. I would go crazy but I would never get bored.
So I guess the moral of this story is to just embrace the gloriousness of yourself, whether you are in column A or column B, just do your best darling and try to be as balanced as possible but also realise that we all have strengths and our brains all operate in different ways. If you are in column A and you operate well in order and structure then so be it. You are lucky. You are in control of your surroundings.
If you are like me, we can try to organise and we may succeed short term, but in my experience things will invariably pop up to derail us and that’s ok too. Just remember that nobody on their death bed ever rememberd how many times they had made the bed.
So, column A or column B, which one is more you?
Or are you in Column C- another beast altogether? And if so, what does that look like?