Do you value organization or flexibility?

IMG_3802 - Version 2
IMG_3802 - Version 2

This summer one of my girlfriends had to leave town on short notice, and so she called me as one of her I-need-to-reschedule-our-plans calls. I asked her about the sudden changes and it sounded as though she was making tremendous efforts to adjust her schedule in order to accommodate her extended family. However, I didn't hear an ounce of irritation or frustration in her voice.

After she explained, I said, "Wow, you're being so positive with the last-minute changes.  Points for you for being flexible!"

She laughed at the comment and then said, in all earnestness,

"For years I lived a hyper-organized and structured life.  Everything was well-planned and orderly. 

But my need for order made me rigid and unmovable.  Finally, I decided to value flexibility over organization.

Flexibility gives me greater freedom.

I will always have time to organize later."

We picked another window for our lunch and off she went on her journey.  Still, a month later, her words rattle around in my head.

I was bothered by her linking organization with inflexibility.

I LOVE organization.  I aspire to have "homes" for everything in my life where things will always live in their proper place. I hang my clothes by color.  I alphabetize my spices. (Is a tad much?  I'm only suspicious of this habit because I have friends who have acted as if I need an intervention. Hmmm)

Is a love for order a bad thing?  Maybe not by itself.

However, when I am brutally honest with myself, there are many times I put my need for order above adaptability or play.   I make a fuss when there's a mess despite the fact that I understand the messiness of creativity.  To make matters worse, many days I feel my approach calcifying in my behaviors.

Increasingly I realize I need a reset; I need to put flexibility in front of organization.

Life is far too variable and will prove far too frustrating to get those two values out of order.