There was the man who had taken care of his spouse for the past seven years. She had passed away about 6 months before I met him. There was the couple, only one of whom had survived a horrific car accident, ten years earlier. The woman whose divorce had been very difficult, a divorce which had been finalized a year prior to our first meeting. And the woman in therapy, with several major life events behind her in the past two years.
Seven years, ten years, one year, two years.
Each person called when he or she was — what I call — turning that last corner of those life events and transitions they’d just gone through.
Turning the last corner before moving onto a new chapter. Coming out of the forest, out of the fog, out of the muck, all phrases people have used to describe where they’d been.
During these times, our mental energy and time is focused on dealing with our emotions. Getting through life one day at a time. As it needs to be.
What we forget about and don’t see until we’re coming through the fog is what’s happened to our surroundings — our home, our office, even our calendars and how we fill our time.
We’ve let the mail go, so it’s piled up. Or it’s in plastic bags and bins, waiting for us to go through it all, now that we have time.
It’s difficult to find anything in the bill paying or home office space. This room was where we put anything paper, or anything we couldn’t find a home for at that moment. Because the phone was ringing with another doctor’s appointment, or with a new friend asking us to get out of the office and enjoy the sunshine.
Another room has the beginnings of where sorting out was begun but never finished. Life got in the way. Now, who knows which bag holds the donations and which was for recycling.
Things are everywhere, because when we were taking care of someone else, we didn’t have time to stop and think. “Where does this go?” The phone is ringing with a friend who wants you to go to a museum, so the mail gets dropped on the table for now. But we don’t get back to it; it’s still there a few days later with the next round of mail coming in.
Or our time. You used to have appointments throughout the week to take your spouse to. Now you don’t. You used to spend every Saturday with your mom going to museums and concerts; now there’s a void.
You get the picture. You may have this picture in your home and of your life. It may seem like there is no good place to start.
The fact that you’re thinking about what to do is a huge step in moving on. A few weeks, months or years ago, this didn’t bother you, that your house and belongings were out of sync with who you are, what is important to you, your values, priorities, who you are. But now it does, and that’s the first sign you’re ready to move on with reorganizing your home, your office or your time to reflect where you are today — perhaps with a little bit of who you are becoming.
However long it takes — 7, 10, 1 or 2 years – you’ll know when you’re ready to move on. You’ll feel it. Something shifts in your mind and in your heart. Something will be the last straw, that trigger that says “Okay, I’m ready. Enough. Time to get back to me again.”
That’s when a Certified Professional Organizer(R) can assist. We can be helpful simply by having the appointment “with yourself.” You may know exactly what needs to get done, but it’s hard to fit into your new life.
Or you don’t know what needs to get done, or aren’t sure where to start — and that’s where we also support, with new skills and systems or collaborating to tailor what you’ve put in place but which has to change to fit the new chapter of your life. We assist you in moving on. We get you started or stay for the duration, whatever works for you, your schedule, your budget and your skills.
But first you have to call. And that will be the second huge step you take towards your next new chapter. Two steps already. Didn’t seem possible a few days ago, did it? Good for you. Nice work.