Making Peace with the Things in Your Life

I have been reading a really fascinating books called, “Making Peace with the Things in Your Life,” by Cindy Glovinsky. I haven’t really heard her approach before. She talks about the balance of order and chaos. How if there is too much order, you stifle your creativity and have to break out. But, once you allow chaos too much reign you become overwhelmed and unproductive. She writes, “Many of the difficulties that we have with Things arise from a perspective that demonized chaos and idealizes order. This sets us up for failure and, worse yet, shame about failure.” A life with no chaos is a life of no growth or fun.Â

A perceptive illustration is in regards to gardens. We don’t want a garden with complicated shapes and nothing out of place. We would be afraid to move. But, we also don’t want a garden overrun with weeds and brambles. Instead a better goal would be an English country garden, nature roaming, but within reason. “nurture never forces.”

“Perfect order is both less feasible and less satisfying thatn sensibly and creatively contained chaos.”

Another difficulty in creating order is shame. When you start working on a pile, do you start picking up and putting away or do you mutter to yourself, “I can’t believe I let it get this bad” “I should have cleaned this a month ago” “This is horrible, a nightmare.” Or do you turn to blame.

She writes about certain negative thinking patterns involving the clutter that needs to stop if you are going to solve your problems.
1. Should statements “I should clean this floor on my hands and knees”
2. All or nothing thinking “If I can’t clean the whole fridge why bother with one shelf.” “The closet isn’t organized perfectly. It’s a mess.”
3. Mind reading – they may not be thinking what you think they are thinking
4. Discounting the positive – only noticing the one pile in a clean room
5. Personalizaion – blaming yourself
6. Blaming others
7. Labeling “sloppy” “pig” “walking disaster”
8. Horriblizing – saying things like “horrible”, “awful”, “disgusting”, “terrible”, “hideous”. “a nightmare”, “a disaster zone”, “I’ll never be able to…”

It’s time to “Do what you can.”


Leave a Comment