Oh, the Things I Could Do If Only I Were More Like Martha

Martha Stewart

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I start school tomorrow, and I’m not even remotely ready.  Also, my air conditioning is broken and all three of my kids are currently on summer break, which makes it a perfect day for a pity party .  My fingers are sticking to the keyboard as I’m writing this, and I was forced to drink iced coffee today.  I’m pretty sure that entitles me to some sort of crabby rant about first world problems.

I am the worst sort of disorganized.  I’m the hopelessly Type B person who yearns to be Type A.  This leads to all sorts of interesting conundrums where I try to plan for things, but inevitably fail.  I stash small packets of food in my purse and car and then forget about them.  When one of us finally does get hungry, no one is allowed to eat said item because it’s probably been in my purse for two years.

I have a bigger bag that I sometimes take with me, which a friend affectionately termed the Tardis, and the Tardis is even worse.  Since I normally use a very small purse, I don’t really know what to do with it.  I’m usually reading a book or a magazine and that goes in.  However, beyond sunglasses, a book, and personal hygiene products, I have no clue what people put in very large purses.  (I only have one kid who’s still in diapers and I typically leave that stuff in the car; it’s easier to change her there anyway.)  The Tardis usually ends up half-empty, and since I’m not used to carrying it… I often forget it, and have to trek back for it.

I’m extremely jealous of people who are Type A, especially this time of year.  As I’m trying to organize for the upcoming school year, and plan my kid’s birthdays and their parties, it’s always apparent how inadequate I am at both time management and organization.  I make lists, but then I lose the list or procrastinate.  I try to plan, but all it takes is a broken fingernail to throw me off track.

I’ve been on the non-plan plan for most of my life in almost every area.

A few weeks ago, I was telling a real-life friend about this blog, and he asked me what I planned on doing with it.  Would I sell advertising space?  What was my goal?  I basically just stared at him.  Ummm…  My basic plan was to write until I got tired of writing.  I figured if it became necessary, I could delete posts and pictures for privacy.  However, I never had any great master plan.

My mom is very Type A, so growing up I was expected to be neat and orderly.   Even as a toddler, I would complain.  “But Mom, I’m just going to get all of these toys back out tomorrow.”  She made me clean them up anyway.  If not for her, I would probably be a complete slob as well as entirely disorganized.  As it is, I’m basically a secret slob.  Once you open a drawer, all the tasks that I avoid suddenly appear.

When we go on family trips, I basically just heave everything into suitcases and hope for the best.  Later, when I realize I forgot toothpaste and my son’s lactose pills, I go to the drugstore and buy more.  Also, I never volunteer for things… because I’m well aware I’ll forget long before the actual event.  And the worst part is that it only seems to get worse with age.

When I see moms who bring their own tiny forks, thirty bibs, and personal autoclave to restaurants, I giggle hysterically.  I giggle because I know their kids will probably throw all of it onto the floor…  And those are the moments where I’m happy that I didn’t spend four hours packing a diaper bag.  (There are some advantages to being Type B.)  Of course, they probably also remembered to bring sippy cups… which is where my crazy jealousy kicks in.

On the plus side, I have extremely low blood pressure.  Also, because necessity is the mother of invention, I’m good at improvising and adapting.  I don’t want to plan anyway, so it’s not that difficult to go with the flow.  I just wish I could have some sort of life secretary, planning everything out for me.  And as long as I’m wishing for things, I’d really like some homemade cookies and working air conditioning…

How about you?  Are you a planner by nature or more of a figure-it-out-as-you-go sort of person?  If you are a planner by nature, and live in the NY area… Oh, never mind.  I’ll just muddle through.  It’s worked so far.

Also, if you happen to have a really large purse, what the heck do you put in there???

P.S. The fact that she’s a white collar criminal only makes me even more jealous.  Damn her!

P.P.S.  If you wish to join in the pity party, go visit The Hobbler.

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33 Responses to Oh, the Things I Could Do If Only I Were More Like Martha

  1. I’m definitely a planner. In fact, my therapist says I need to chill out. Ha! In her face, not going to happen. I plan, even to the point of annoying most people because I know that I’m doing something the last Sunday in April of next year.

    I used to not understand it, but now I know it’s partly because my childhood was so unplanned and chaotic.

    That being said…my daughter definitely doesn’t take after me so I know it isn’t genetic!

    • I totally want to start seeing your therapist, but I want the appointment right after yours! Then she will be forced to say one thing, and then an hour later say the exact opposite. If nothing else, the confusion could be fun.

      Oh, and it’s definitely not genetic or I would have been born with a to-do list glued to my hand!

  2. El Guapo says:

    I can plan or wing it. Prefer winging it though…

    As far as your purse, like I tell my girl, If you’re going to big, go big enough to carry the bodies in it.

  3. I still have to write my pity party post. This is a good one, Lovely. I’m fairly Type A, but even I have my moments of spacing out. I do carry a large tote bag, though. I have pretty much everything in there, with a particular place for everything. However, it doesn’t mean I’m more productive than you are, I’m just more anal.

    • Nope, you’re probably more productive. Maybe it IS the purse. Maybe if I had a large purse, organization would come easily? Or it would just be large and full of things I don’t actually need. Hmmm…

  4. The Hobbler says:

    Love your pity party! I am just like you, except no more kids in diapers. I even put reminders in my phone for every hour, so that I could actually get stuff done. That was about a month ago. They go off all the time and I ignore them. Never have followed it. I won’t delete them though, because if I would actually follow it, I would get tons of stuff done. I keep thinking…well, maybe one day…

    • Oh, no, I would never delete it either. I’d keep it with the intention of motivating myself… but really I’m better off asking my husband to remind me about important things. He’s not really Type A, but he’s more so than myself.

  5. sagescenery says:

    I’m a very routine person, with sticky notes, lists, lists, lists, & more lists, then rewrite the lists…I drive myself crazy…but as a teacher, I’ve just learned to anticipate everything…and I hate clutter…just can’t function in it!

    My son’s friends just pick up & go to the beach…no preparation, no sunscreen, no food…just spontaneous…I’ve never done that in my life…so it’s good for him to see the other side!

    But, I love laid back people like you…maybe you can teach all of us how to go-with-the-flow!! Ha!

    • We also keep sunscreen in the car, but I long to be olive-skinned and not need it! (My daughter and I are both vampires.) Teachers do always seem to be unusually well-organized. I think it must be mandatory for that profession!

  6. I am a planner. I write lists. And I’m organised. I pretty much always know what we are supposed to do and when, and we are rarely late or no-shows. Everything gets written in the family diary so that everyone knows what they’re doing and when (necessary with 6 kids). I do bake, and cook most of our meals.

    BUT I am also a very messy person, so the house is rarely tidy (but normally clean :-)) I am totally up with the kids playing with their toys the next day and therefore not putting them away, I hoard pictures and bits of paper and cardboard and old birthday and Christmas cards for unspecified craft projects. I wouldn’t do a week’s meal plan if you paid me to (well, if you paid me enough I suppose I might but I wouldn’t stick to it!). And I’m pretty relaxed. Because if I have a plan and know what is SUPPOSED to happen, then when things turn pear shaped (which they inevitably do) I can adjust accordingly.

    What I would really like though, is a stay at home wife. Or to clone myself so that one of me could be at home while the other one earns money and so that I could get three children to three different places at the same time and have a tidy house. I eagerly wait for science to catch up with my dreams…

    • I too dream of having a wife. She doesn’t need to be a SAHM as long as she’s willing to do lots of (free) babysitting. However, it’s essential that she be terrible at baking. I have zero resistance for baked goods.

      I actually think that with six kids, organizational skills are non-negotiable!

  7. I think I am a B+, neither a A or B personality–but I hate planning–because it is a lot of work and you usually don’t go with the plan
    I plan immediately ahead for things I know are going to happen — but this planning for the future baffles me, cause it always changes
    My husband plans for the future – we have all kinds of stuff – a marble bath cabinet, two fans, a stainless steel over the stove microwave, a wine fridge, material to finish our upstairs — and it has not happened yet. We have had some of this stuff for years. So I only plan and spend money for things I know are going to happen. That is my rant–I am finished now–and yes I do love my husband–just not his planning.

    • Yeah, that’s one of my issues with planning as well. How often do things actually go according to plan, especially with kids? There’s the essential stuff, but those things are few and far between.

      My parents had their renovations planned from the get-go. They were closing off windows from the very beginning because they were planning an addition… even though it didn’t happen until five years later! Of course, given the costs, it’s a good thing they did have it planned out.

  8. I love planning but I’m disorganized too. Contradictory, no? You will probably never change but I agree that it’s not easy to forgive yourself for “shortcomings”. Good for you for being a free spirit.

  9. Carrie Rubin says:

    I’m hoping the fact that I carry a small purse will redeem me from my admission about my disinterest in all things Star Wars on another blogger’s post. But as for being type A or B? I am more A than the first letter of the alphabet. But my blood pressure is surprisingly low.

    • Ahhh, but the big purses are better for face-hiding. I learned this from my days as a Hollywood celebrity wannabe. You spend all day at LAX and whenever someone looks directly at you, you pretend to hide your face. If nothing else, it’s fun for confusing people…

      I could actually see being Type A as being low-stress, but you’d have to be very good at it, a natural. For me, even thinking about it raises my blood pressure…

  10. rebecca2000 says:

    Oh I am somewhere between. It depends. Like lately I have been writing a lot so I am type B but I have been type A before.

    x,
    Becca

    Lady or Not…Here I Come

    • I’ve wondered if the writing doesn’t contribute to it too. Because my writing always comes to me randomly, and I’ve never figured out how people manage to have scheduled writing times…

      • rebecca2000 says:

        Right. I will wake up in the night with an idea. The more I write the more my brain wants to continue to do so. I sleep less and less. Even the name of my blog came to me in my sleep. I woke up and knew it was time to start. It was weird.

        x,
        becca

  11. Fresh Daily Bread says:

    I am one of those planners, who flies by the seat of my pants. In other words, at any given moment, I’ve planned 40 different ways to spend it and just go with what works. It’s a trip going on vacation with me because I research everything to death and can be ready to do anything at the drop of a hat.

  12. dockfam says:

    I feel that I MUST plan well ahead of time. I like to know what’s going on in advance and TRY to be organized but like you — it doesn’t always happen that way. I’m forgetful and sometimes just down right lazy. I’d love to think I have everything under control but I commonly have that “deer caught in the headlights” look, especially during my kids’ school year. I have extremely low BP too…the docs have said it’s a wonder I’m not dead.

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  14. Tessa says:

    I have the huge handbag/tote bag thing going on. My bag includes the little purse I am supposed to be carrying per my chiropractor, orthopedic doctor, etc. It is too small though so I throw it in the big bag and take it out for a few occasions. And I have everything including the kitchen sink in there (I carry a water bottle and when one of my friends laughed at me, he stopped laughing when I produced that bottle when he actually needed some water). I have an umbrella that I never take out when it is raining as I hate carrying an umbrella. At times I have items such as screw drivers, empty plastic grocery bags, and I have even carried food for lunch while working. I don’t have young children so no diapers anymore. 🙂

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  17. I do believe we are kindred spirits. I like to tell myself I’m a planner and truly, in my head I can build myself up to all kinds of Martha Stewart-y levels but the reality of it all is I’m the most disorganized procrastinator I know AND what’s worse than that is I really don’t even care. I could spend all day planning and being all list follow-y but then I may miss out on something great that I wouldn’t have missed if I wasn’t doing the list so yea…I like being chaotic. Works for me. Most of the time.

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