I love lists. I love making them and checking them off. I like to think (some might say delude myself) that they help me have a sense of control over my life.
I can get a bit crazy when I feel I don’t have any control, when I’m unorganized, when I’m not sure where things are, what I have to do next, or whether that pile of laundry is clean or dirty. Drives me nuts.
Being organized is a good thing.
It also has its limits.
I can spend too much time on getting organized and not enough time on the actual doing or being. Tim Ferris in his book the Four Hour Work Week calls this work for work’s sake otherwise known as busy work. For myself can spend too much energy trying to tie up loose ends and that’s where my carpet metaphor comes in.
When you look at a carpet that isn’t bound by a finished edge, how do you view it? Are those end bits lovely fringes that add balance and character to the overall carpet? Or do you see them as messy, as frayed and distracting?
Learning to see the fringes as a balance to the fray is a helpful life lesson.
A certain amount of mess is a good thing. It keeps us flexible as opposed to rigid, fluid as opposed to linear. After all it’s how penicillin got invented (check out The Perfect Mess for more information on that great story).
I can’t ever be completely on top of things, no matter how much I might try. If I save myself the belief in that hopeless goal, I can relax and settle in to life with fray and see it as fringe.