I was six in 1960 when my baby was born. Oops! I mean when my mother’s baby was born. I am told that I wanted to “take over”. Remembering back as far as I can, I hear a little girl responding, “Someone has to”.
My parents were never fully organized for a brood of five. Mom had been given responsibility for all our domestic needs, was poor to delegate and was co-owner of an ever growing hoard of stuff. It was chaos. Dad worked all day and absolved himself of anything to do with our “decor”. I was an unhappy child that played in other people’s homes. One summer spent with Mom’s mom and I began to understand that Mom wasn’t going to change. So upon my return I took matters into my own hands. I would become the help my parents needed. This did not always turn out well. Mom made some horrific discoveries: not all my decisions about trash (what was and what wasn’t) were helpful. But I was honing my skills and growing a sense of satisfaction every time I made order out of chaos. I didn’t care that big brother would tease me with the nickname “Suzy Homemaker”. I was filling a hole in my soul.
My zest for order became an asset which drew me into employment that demands it. I discovered the thrill of a balanced report: You make a place for numbers then put every number in its place. A balanced report at month end is what I look forward to but don’t always get. A clean and orderly house is what I look forward to but never achieve. Oh, Spirit fall upon me and be my own help today!
Order cannot be used as an excuse to avoid higher priorities but it cannot be neglected either. Order is a craft, a balancing act and it takes practice. It IS a practice but not a regimen so strict that it cannot be followed. Order is just putting one step in front of the other; the daily grind, the steady drum beat.
With every scrap of waste I recycle, I know I am blessed and sent for this very thing; to put the world in order. With every step toward further simplicity as I age I hear the voice, “Someone has to.”