Do you value organization or flexibility?
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.