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Home / Opinion / This 'n' That / PAT YOURSELF ON THE BACK FOR TRYING

PAT YOURSELF ON THE BACK FOR TRYING

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As I’m writing this, it’s February 2, and Punxsutawney
Phil has seen his shadow. The annoying furry forecaster
is predicting six more weeks of winter. And did I mention
that right now the weather is dreary with a promise (or
threat!) of rain?
But I am determined not to let all that get me down. As
we begin the second month of the new year, I’ve decided
to focus more on the positive side of things.
For example, for years – make that decades – I have
tried to be neater and more organized. This has proven
to be a big challenge because by nature I tend to be disorganized
and a world-class procrastinator.
These faults make improvement tough. When your
natural inclination is to put things off, they tend to escalate
into one big mess. Then you can waste even more
time beating yourself up about it.
I’m finally realizing this is a self-defeating process.
From here on, I plan to try to focus more on little improvements
rather than temporary backsliding moments.
For example, last night I finally cleaned out my kitchen
junk drawer. Most people have a junk drawer. I have a
genuine disaster zone. It gets cleaned out occasionally,
only to sink into a worse mess the next time.
I’m talking “can’t open the drawer because the junk is
blocking it” messy. So after I cleaned it out last night, my
first thought was “it’s not perfect.”
Well duh. Of course it wasn’t. But then it dawned on me
that it didn’t have to be perfect. It was a definite improvement.
That’s the important thing here.
Another good example is my desk. For years I have
removed piles of junk off it, only to have a new bunch of
stuff appear. I think of this as a work in progress. Very
slow progress. But now I’m going to try to clear a few
things off each day while NOT adding new junk any more.
This will be a big improvement and an even bigger
challenge because this desk is where I drop everything
when I come home.
I’ll have to frequently remind myself that while it’s not
perfect, it is BETTER.
With enough pats on the back (positive reinforcement),
I hope to eventually conquer the Desk Disaster Zone.
Then I can work on to the Closet Clutter Catastrophe,
the Grungy Garage and the Full to the Max File Cabinet.
Perfection is over-rated. So is the groundhog’s weather
forecast!

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