Are You a Creator of Order or Chaos?

Right now we are living in the midst of chaos, with our possessions scattered hither and yon, whether downstairs or upstairs or out on the porch or driveway. And that doesn’t even include the main stuff in the pods, which will arrive this afternoon.

I have such a struggle with neatness! That’s why I so need structures—drawer dividers, shelving, cabinets, etc. When left to myself I end up strewing my things all over the place. I have no inborn sense of order and neatness.

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Where’s the Line between Acceptance and Accountability?

Figure with a key chasing a figure with a keyhole in backPeriodically I’ll get into a discussion about the question above. My dear friend Cecelia and I used to argue (sort of–she’s too nice of a person to really get into it) about this issue. She’d say, “I think you need to accept people the way they are” and I’d say, “But Cecelia, then how will they ever change?” We would have this discussion in particular about a mutual friend who . . . well, I won’t give any details. Suffice it to say that what Cecelia thought of as harmless eccentricities I thought of as remediable faults. (Not that I was being judgy or anything.)

This issue has come up recently in other conversations I’ve had.

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A Funny, Charming Book about . . . Clutter.

Year of No Clutter by Eve Schaub. Follow the link to the author’s website.

Since I’ve been so immersed in political and true-crime podcasts and articles for the past months my book posts have been a little sparse. I spent some time today trying to come up with something to post for this week, attempting to persuade myself that I really was going to read the book I have about the Peloponnesian War. (That may actually happen at some point, as it’s excellently written, and I love the Greeks–did my masters speech recital about them.) But I’m ending up with this audiobook, written by the same woman who wrote a book a couple of years back about going a year as a family without eating any added sugar. I didn’t like that book too much, as I found her premise a bit irritating: that she could go ahead and make sweet things as long as she made them with glucose (sold under the name of “dextrose”) instead of sucrose (which is half fructose). Actually, what I found to be irritating was that because of her I ordered a 50-lb. bag of dextrose and then realized I just didn’t want to use it.

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My Obliger Tendency Enjoys House Showings.

Living room with leather furniture and pictures of English gardensAs I’ve said many times on this blog, I am a classic Obliger, which means that, while I have a hard time getting myself to meet my own expectations I readily meet others’ expectations. How I wish, wish, wish that I had known this about myself 50 years ago! But Gretchen Rubin, the woman who came up with the Four Tendencies framework, wasn’t doing much writing then, as she would have been a toddler. Actually, I wish that I’d known about the Tendencies 53 years ago. I’ll be 65 at the end of this month, so 53 years ago I’d have been 12 years old. That’s a nice threshold age, I think.

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The Joys of Delegating

Finger pointing to 6 arrows going in different directionsWell, the March concert of the Cherry Creek Chorale is over. Didn’t make it? You can still get in on our last concert of the season in May. I’ll be posting about that music over on the “Behind the Music” blog and giving links to buy tickets. I have to say, this concert ended up being truly great. It wasn’t until Thursday night’s rehearsal, when the drummer and bass player showed up, that I really fell in love with the second half of the program, all classic tunes from old movies. The first half was great, too.

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Celebrate the Quirks of Those You Love.

girls braiding each other's hairThis is becoming an almost-weekly tradition when I take an idea from the Gretchen Rubin/Liz Craft podcast, expand on it, and apply it to my own life. So this was episode #100 (hey, a good time for you to start listening if you haven’t yet done so!), and for this special episode they centered the whole podcast around listener questions. One listener asked about their relationship as sisters, how they manage to get along so well and whether or not they’ve ever had a big blowup.

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Further Self-Knowledge.

head half covered in mosiac lines and head reflected on left and rightI wrote earlier this week about how self-knowledge can add to our happiness because we can quit trying to make ourselves do things that we don’t enjoy and aren’t any good at. I mentioned the Enneagram test as one that I’d taken but which gave me some rather confusing results. So I just re-took it, answering some of the questions differently and I think more accurately. Some of them are difficult for me, as either neither or both of the choices seem right. (Read that sentence three times.) One in particular gave me pause, as it was given the choice between a tendency to be sociable and friendly and being solitary and self-sufficient.

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Knowing Yourself Can Add to Happiness.

stylized face superimposed over rectangular colored tiles

This is another one of those posts that grew out of something I heard on the radio and then managed to find again. It was just a five-minute segment on some woman who lives in New York City and produces modern operas, running her office out of the second bedroom of her two-bedroom apartment. Her production company totals eight people, including her. New York Apartments are pretty small, so I can’t imagine how they all fit in and still get anything done, but apparently they do. She says that it would make no sense for her to spend $30,000-$40,000 per year on office space and therefore not have that amount of money to spend on what really matters to her: producing modern operas by new composers. She is completely focused on the business at hand.

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Time to Learn Emotional Hygiene?

There’s a program on NPR called “The TED Radio Hour.” I was listening to it yesterday as I drove across town to a concert. Fascinating! Here’s the entire TED talk that’s referenced in the show. Note here that I (although perhaps not Dr. Winch) would make a distinction between mental/emotional health on the one hand and spiritual health on the other. But I found his ideas to be very intriguing. Be sure you listen to the whole thing. He has some great stories!

Are You Philip or Andrew?

Wood carving of Jesus Feeding the 5000The Bible is far more than just a storybook, a collection of moralistic tales. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t fascinating lessons to be learned, along with the vastly more important doctrinal issues.

So, as I’ve said about five million times, I belong to a wonderful Bible study organization, Bible Study Fellowship International.

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