Organizing My Frustrations

Our home is a work in progress.  I guess it always will be.  I suppose I could be all philosophical here and say that I, too will always be a work in progress.  However, the work in progress status of our home was really bothering me recently except I couldn’t put it into words.  Are you a “nothing-er” like me?  My husband and I had a bit of a discussion last week and it began with him asking me the basic question.  “What is wrong?”  My reply was, of course:  “Nothing.”  I’m a nothing-er. Did I really mean nothing was wrong?  Nope.  When I tell my husband that nothing is wrong, I really mean one of about 3 answers (it took me a long time to realize that and I do need to share this “cheat sheet” with him perhaps):

  1. There is something wrong but I have not yet found the words to express it. 
  2. There is so much wrong that I do not know where to begin and we don’t have time to “discuss” every detail and so I’m still trying to pick my battle
  3. There is something wrong but nothing that you can do about it.  Most men are problem solvers and mine is no different.  Sometimes I simply need time to be upset and solve my own problems. 

Last week after giving it some thought, I realized that my main frustration (there were some minor ones as well) was the state of our house.  However, there are SO MANY projects going on in our house that I couldn’t pinpoint what was really bothering me at the time of the “What’s wrong?” question.  I’ll tell the truth here and say that I had let the house get into quite the disarray.  I’m not the best housekeeper in the world to begin with and so when I get frustrated and stop bothering, it shows!  Once I realized the main thing was the huge lot of unfinished projects and overall decor dilemmas in our house, I decided to start breaking down the problem bit by bit.  I did this as I began the arduous task of cleaning up our home.   I carried a piece of paper with me as I cleaned and room by room started listing EVERY SINGLE thing that was bothering me in each room.  I started with the living room.  The list was long.  Some items were serious, some were petty, and some were easy fixes.  I realized that *I* could certainly do something about some of the easy fixes:

  1. Broken Magazine Basket:  I removed the magazines, put them in our bedroom, and disposed of the basket (I sadly determined it was beyond repair).  A new basket (well, the kind I happen to like) is not in the budget right now but at least I no longer have to look at a broken basket every time I enter the living room.

    magazine bin

     

  2. Table Location:  We had a table near our front door and I liked it there.  However, we had moved it to a location next to a couch.  You could no longer see the bookshelf part and I was missing my front door table.  I moved it back! 

     

    I even had an inspiration for adding a little decor to the area with family photos (A project for the future).

  3. Game Systems all over the floor: 

     

     I can pick those up and put them somewhere!  I haven’t done this one yet because while it is an easy fix, it is also one of those projects that require multiple steps and strategic planning.  Hmm…Maybe it is not such an easy fix but it is certainly within my control. 

Some of the larger tasks on the list were in regard to the wall color (it has been a point of contention for some time), the flooring (we removed the carpeting a couple years ago and it wasn’t prett), and the overall layout and decor of the room.  I can now look at the list and have a starting point for a future discussion.  I have my points listed out regarding the room and in one case, a proposed solution to avoid future frustrations in the matter.  Now if only we could AGREE on a wall color (picking up paint samples is on my to-do list…). 

Are you also a “nothing-er” like me?  How do you organize your frustrations?

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7 thoughts on “Organizing My Frustrations

  1. Diane | An Extraordinary Day

    I too am a “Nothing”er. But, it usually gets me in trouble with my guy if I say that. Because he knows….I’m much too complicated to have “nothing” bothering me. Heehee!
    Organize my frustrations? I had no idea people did that! LOL!
    I do love how you decided what you could or couldn’t do and did what you could. It works. And it’s sooo empowering!! Just look at how wonderful your list will be with all those things checked off!!
    Diane | An Extraordinary Day recently posted..{31 Extraordinary Days} Joy Day! A Day to Proclaim His Love & FaithfulnessMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jean Post author

      Diane, I was really surprised how much better I felt by simply moving that table to a different location. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  2. Catherine

    Greetings from France! I stumbled upon your blog a few days ago, and I seriously think we are some kind of doppelgängers! For many of your posts, I can find a similar entry in the diary I’ve been keeping for about a year now, chronicling my organizing efforts/frustrations.
    Indeed I’ve also found that tackling what I call a small « feel-good » project really helps: something I can do in a very short time but which will give me a great feeling of accomplishment, and it doesn‘t matter if I‘m leaving out « more important«  things in the meantime. I take before and after pictures too, no matter how insignificant the project I‘ve taken on, and that’s a great trick, both motivation and reward.
    Another source of frustration for me is the fact that neither my husband or my sons care about the mess in the house, or indeed even see it. For a long time I kept my frustration and resentment for myself, but one day I basically told them: « Guys, the fact is a messy house makes ME depressed and cranky – never mind why. Wouldn’t it be worth a little effort to make your wife and mother a little happier and easier to live with? » This got to them better than any other argument I have ever tried. Of course I need to repeat this every now and then, but I think it’s starting to establish new helpful habits around the house – such as clearing the dishes right away instead of leaving them to dry in the sink, or not leaving shoes and school bags by the door for me to trip over when I get home from work.
    By the way, we have encountered the same problem with the wall paint color while redecorating the living room earlier this year. Months of delay because we couldn’t agree. In the end I decided to pick the color myself and asked my husband to try and live with it for at least a year, at the end of which, if he really, REALLY didn’t like it, we would start over. Fortunately he does like the result – or maybe he is just relieved not to have to think about it anymore.
    Hmm. I’m not usually such a chatterbox – I hope you don’t mind!

    Reply
    1. Jean Post author

      I don’t mind at all! It is very nice to read how someone else approaches all this organizing stuff whether that approach is similar or different. Thank you so much for your comment!

      Reply
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