Waiting….

Waiting….

What does waiting have to do with organizing? 1.      If you plan your waiting time well, it won’t be so frustrating. 2.      Nobody plans to wait, most people wait to plan (pithy aphorism, no?). 3.      The surprise of being forced to wait is part of what is so irritating about it. 4.      Waiting can’t be altogether eliminated; we all get stuck sometimes. When you find yourself in a waiting situation, how can you survive calmly and without resentment? 1.      Acknowledge the reality, “Oh, we get to practice waiting.” 2.      Concentrate on keeping your voice quiet, well-modulated, and with a pleasant expression on your face 3.      If children are with you, play any number of equipment-free games (e.g. “I Spy,” “I’m Going on a Picnic and Bringing…” with each person adding one item and repeating all the items said before, mental math appropriate to the age, fingerplays) 4.      Say Tehillim 5.      Write postcards to friends and family just because, or as a friend of mine does, write postcards to unknown children in an orphanage in Israel 6.      Have a small handful of mail with you to sort or respond to 7.      Take turns listing things for which you are grateful 8.      Make a grocery list 9.      Plan for the next event, holiday, or meal 10.  Build flexibility into your schedule so that you won’t be unduly stressed while waiting 11.  Keep a ziplock bag of Cheerios in your purse just in case 12.  Use hand lotion 13.  Clean the contents of your purse 14.  Write a thank you note (keep blank ones in your purse just for this occasion) – did anyone do a favor for you? Give you a nice smile? Compliment you? 15.  Quiz each child on family facts...
A Conversation with a Teenager: Not a Contradiction in Terms

A Conversation with a Teenager: Not a Contradiction in Terms

So many black garbage bags filled with assorted belongings lined my bedroom floor, that, at 16, I had to run down the hallway, take a flying leap over the doorjamb, just to land safely on my bed. Every so often, my father would enter my room, at his own risk, and gather up whatever detritus laid between his feet and the floor, stand the bags up like soldiers, and make his retreat. So, no, I wasn’t always this organized. I know I was not alone in this experience. Fortunately, it’s not genetic (or it skips a generation – my father’s desk never held fewer or more than three freshly sharpened pencils, a fountain pen, and an ink blotter). A certain young lady of my acquaintance agreed to be interviewed for her tips on keeping organized while attending high school. Let’s begin… Her room is always organized, but not always clean (most days, it is). Her desk has a shelf designated for homework supplies (textbooks, literature, pens, pencils, calculator, white-out, looseleaf paper). Her dresser divides her clothing by type and whether it’s designated for weekday or Shabbos: weekday tops, folded with a plastic folder so that everything is uniform and vertically stacked, every item easily seen. Each stack contains either long sleeve shirts or shorter sleeve shirts, with a separate pile for sweaters and a bin for shells folded into smaller squares. The closet contains uniform skirts and Shabbos clothes, divided, along with sweatshirts, jackets, vests, and dresses. Motzei Shabbos is chosen to make the week’s To Do List with tasks broken down into small increments to be able to check off items easily. Her forthcoming week...