Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Next Step

There's a lot going on here in paradise at the T Lazy 7 ranch in Aspen, Colorado! It has been an amazing off-season, with plenty of spring cleaning. My mom is kind of an organizational whiz, and as soon as the snow melted, she got started.

A friend of mine is up here working as a handyman, and she's got him building shelves all over the place. Even in my room.

This is kind of a monumental event for me, I know it seems silly, because what's the big deal, its a closet!

But here's the big deal: organization is important. Especially as training intensifies. We are a year away from regional tryouts. One phase of this project is ending, the next is beginning. Theoretical commitment to a five year goal is one thing. 11 months to the first cut means its time to put all that theory into practice. I've spent three years laying a foundation alongside a bunch of other people who are working toward the same goal, or who dedicate their time towards helping us all improve.

Its time to have ironed out the kinks. Its time for the training and the life balance to flow together. Its time to soul ski.

I have a short list of the things that may impede me from working most efficiently; things that may block my ability to learn, or disrupt how efficient I can be with my time.

The top thing on that list? Organization. With my calendar, with my money, with my gear, with my clothes, with my bills, with my clients, with my kids, workflow, time management, and on and on.

The problem is... its expensive to get organized. I've been doing my best over the last four years as I've moved four times, three of those with my kids, and we've been in cramped quarters, with no good computer, no shelving, no storage, no workspace. Its been really hard.

Couple that with the fact that I'm not great at staying on top of the details, because I spend so much of my time generating projects, its hard to complete them. Once I get on track with one, its easy to stay with it, but budgeting my time so that that project doesn't come at the expense of having all the paperwork filled out for Ethan's camp and that my car gets registered before the 16th, and the paperwork for the divorce is still moving along...

My little sister has an amazing AMAZING work flow business called "Untangling the Ball" where she shows people VERY simply, how to never ever forget anything, without any lists, piles, or filing. Its incredible. I've been through her seminar twice, and I am ITCHING to transfer over to the system. She is very patient, and works through using the system with you once a week until you get it, or as needed, she does it over Skype, and so the daunting seems possible. She's done it for a bunch of people, including the City of Salt Lake. (If you are curious about this, leave a comment, she reads my blog and can give you her contact information. Its phenomenal, I kid you not.)

My problem to this point has been that my inbox, my desk is so out of control that it will take me a week of dedicated practice and time to transfer over to the system. As SOON as I do it, my life will be easier, and so will the lives of people I work with and play with, because I won't forget stuff.

The other issue has been that if I have $100, I can't spend it on a bookshelf. I don't have a budgeting issue right now, because my priorities with money are so very clear. There is so little money, that its very basic. Which, in a way, is great. I am learning from square one, and my kids are learning with me. I don't mind being broke, for those reasons. I think I'm learning some pretty valuable lessons about possessions, and want and desire, consuming, and living within my means.

But it would be nice to have a bookshelf. Even if its a board propped up with bricks. Which I've done. Or milk crates, which I've also done.

So my mom gets in the swing of things here, and she hires my friend to come out to the ranch and work on some stuff. Suddenly, this huge pile of boxes that was in this lovely closet is my dedicated gear closet. Its full of shelves. She's telling him, put some hooks all over so she can hang her backpacks. Make sure she has room for all her gear, so she can sort it and take care of it well, so its easy to use and not in a pile.

And now, suddenly, I have this closet. Its simple, the whole thing is three extra shelves and a bunch of hooks, nothing fancy, but its done something to me. Suddenly, I'm organized. Suddenly, I feel possibility as I step forward, this feels like a fresh page, like a spring board. Isn't that silly?

My backpacks are hanging on the wall and my hats and goggles are separated in boxes. I have a space that is just mine, for the first time in a very long time, no one is going to move things, or box things up to make space for other more important things, or put more stuff in there with my things. I can put stuff in here and go away, and when I come back, it will look just how I left it. I can count on finding the things I am looking for as long as I put them in their dedicated space. And OH YES, I'm gonna label those shelves. I can't wait.

I feel suddenly hugely empowered to take control of some of the other aspects in my life.

I wonder how many other things in my life could have this kind of profound effect with little effort? What if I had I walked down to the scrap heap and borrowed a saw and ripped some of these boards and put them up myself months ago? I'm not berating myself that I didn't, but I do know that I chose not to. I do know that I thought that getting that closet organized was beyond my financial and time constraints.

And now I know that if I'd spent a week on it myself, I could have done it. So NOW, I'm looking around for things I can do, perhaps in a non traditional way, to free myself a little more, so the wheels spin free.

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