If you like pina coladas: Organizing through a divorce

Jeff and I are always trying to keep our lines of communication open.  We talk about cheating.  We talk about our differences in parenting styles.  We talk a lot about a lot of things and, for extra-credit, we have both been in therapy many times.  So, when we watched a movie about two couples having affairs (“Last Night”) the other night it was no surprise the discussion afterward lasted as long as the film.   During this discussion it came to our attention once more that the thrill of an awesome, new relationship is intoxicating and in all honestly, very hard to beat.  After this discussion I’ve started calling this phenomenon the 100-day relationship.  For some people this feeling of falling in love is addictive and destructive.  These people are called serial monogamists and two of them, brothers, live across the street from us.  Every couple of years a new lady moves in.  It is quite entertaining for me, and for them the 100-day phase is the best part of their lives.  One in particular is transparent in his joie de vivre whenever he has a new little lady in his life.

On the other hand, marriage is hard work and not quite as intoxicating quite as often.  Ahem.  Anyone who says otherwise is single.   That any marriage outlasts the temptation to go out and find a new partner is no small miracle, such is the pull of the 100-day relationship high.

Today I spent a few hours working with a woman in the middle of a divorce.  This is the second such experience for me in the past three weeks.  In both cases the marriages were approaching twenty years when the couple separated.  Twen-ty.  Twenty, people!

So here comes me bouncing in for some organizing fun, so full of pride in my long-term marriage that I’m already planning our next anniversary celebration, only to find that my clients are as surprised as I am by the ending of their marriages which they thought were bullet-proof sometime after year eleven.  And now, they really need some help getting their affairs in order–especially their financial affairs.  All of that talk about money and hate and the children is really not fun.

Not the most cheerful organizing sessions I’ve worked through.  Still, I’m so lucky to be able to help people in practical ways through major life changes.  And in these cases I come home very thankful for Jeff and for our communication patterns.  I also come home more aware that there is no silver bullet.  There is no guarantee that my marriage will not spiral down a dark hole due to unforeseen events or bad decisions.  This knowledge hasn’t made me depressed and it hasn’t made me chipper either.  It has made me pensive—about life insurance and retirement plans.  And I am also more aware of little ways I could take better care of myself and be more considerate to my man.  And right about now, you can color me inspired to move those straight to the top of my to-do list.

Cleaning up the Christmas crap

I sit here in my newly un-decorated living room with mixed emotions.

I’m happy because it’s over. The tree can’t stay up forever. I mean, what would people say if a professional organizer left the wreath on the door and the lights on the roof until March?

I’m also sad because it’s over. Christmas is the happiest time of the year in this house—not just December 24th and 25th—the whole season. It is the time of year when I am living in each moment the most. I am glad to wake up each morning and thankful for all of the seasonal things to be done. It is my busiest time at work which also makes me feel fulfilled and grateful. I love December! All of those little red and green decorations around the house remind me to stop and take breath—to drink it in. And the lights on my house make me feel lucky every time I drive up.

So today when we took it all down and packaged it into (perfectly organized red and green) boxes I played my holiday channel on Pandora and enjoyed the season one last time.

After a couple of hours, it occurred to me: this takes a long time!

I got a little side-tracked thinning out my old sheet music (btw: Who knows where to donate sheet music??) and making juice in my new juicer. (health kick, party of one!). But doesn’t everyone get side-tracked? This is why I have a job. Going through this stuff and deciding what to keep and what to put where is time-consuming. Our house is very thinned out and it still takes a minute. No one wants to spend a day doing this! Well, no one except for weirdos like me who love it!

So, if you still have some decorations up, even if you still have a pumpkin on your porch (I won’t tell), call me and let’s get it over with! Now is a great time to get rid of some of the toys your kids won’t miss and nic-nacs you keep out simply because it’s a pain to make a decision.

It is a pain. And my job is to make it less so.

Call me.

Nonnahs      323.230.0297