Now, this is a touchy topic because some people vehemently dislike order or at least claim to, yet there are numerous examples in our everyday lives which are dictated by order: Language, numbers, time, line-ups, roadways, petals on a flower, TV channels, the court system, sports, construction of buildings, maps, government, etc. to name a few. While I expect some of you might be able to argue against some of my aforementioned examples, I think the fact of the matter is that society in general is based on order and without it, we might be looking at a situation similar to the book, “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding. (Gee, finally a chance to reference a school-based piece of knowledge which, at the time that I was ‘ordered’ to study it, I’d have thought there would have been absolutely no use for reading it, but here I sit three decades plus later, proven wrong.) Anyway…I believe Golding’s famous tale to be a fair reference whether or not you wish to believe it.
Even as I look around our livingroom right this very minute, there is a sense of order to the placement of our furniture, the lines in our hardwood flooring, the slats of our blinds, the brickwork on the fireplace, the railing to our basement, the stairs, and once again, the list goes on just based on the physicality of this one room. It is kind of flabbergasting if you really begin thinking about ALL of the orderly things that are around us as well as the way in which we conduct our lives. No wonder some of us strive to avoid it, buck it or at least try to escape the notion of it, whenever possible. The idea that we are, in a sense, ‘controlled’ is a little bit stifling, isn’t it? Even for someone like myself who has come to quite like a sense of predicability/routine. By the same token for those don’t enjoy it, it lends an explanation as to why some choose to give up their everything to become bush-bound like Christopher McCandless who met an unfortunate demise far too young, a thrill-seeker such as Evel Knievel who attempted to defy all kinds of odds, or an extreme sports enthusiast like Travis Pastrana who dares to try anything once. When you consider the lengths that some will go through to avoid some degree of ‘order’, it is clear that it doesn’t always work for ALL of us ALL of the time. But, I dare say that it appears to be more important than we might first consider, especially when you think of the seven billion people that inhabit this planet presently.
As a youngster, I wasn’t always great at creating order in my own environment. My room, for example, was a constant mess. I saw no need to make up the bed, put my toys away or hang up my clothes because, in my egotistical reasoning, I would just be using them again anyway, so why not keep them handy?! ‘Oh dear!!’ In retrospect, I can see how my attitude would have driven my mom right nuts, as I have now adopted her need for some sense of orderliness, with respect to things especially. Ironically, I am now infamously known for my sense of organization, particularly in my career life, and thankfully, it has become one of my well-known attributes as it is what has kept me sane for the past twenty years. (Needless to say my mom, and dad, are both a bit shocked at this 180 degree transformation…years too late, in their opinion.) The truth is that without my ability to keep things at least somewhat neat and tidy, I can honestly say that I don’t think I would still be doing what I am doing for a living, since I am responsible not only for myself, but also for twenty to thirty other little beings at any one given time. (Yikes! Not an easy feat by any means, as I am sure most parents will attest to in that looking after one or two is difficult enough at times.) Luckily, I also derive a personal sense of satisfaction from doing so, and that is what makes it all ‘doable’, so to speak, as keeping track of the paperwork alone on a day-to-day basis is a monumental task.
What I find entertaining, however, is how I seem to go about getting organized. I am sure that someone out there can relate to the need for becoming so disorderly in order to become orderly. Does that make sense?! When I am tidying up, everything ends up everywhere, which is not necessarily atypical of the way most people do it (creating piles, discarding stuff, etc.), but my need to begin ten different things at once might just be a little unorthodox. Why it is that I cannot seem to start one task and finish it before beginning another, I am not sure? I am always well-intentioned and often promise myself that ‘this time will be different’, yet it never comes to fruition that way. Afterall, putting one thing away usually leads to a drawer or space that also needs sorting out, which leads to another ‘putting away’ of a second displaced item from that drawer/space into another not-so neat box or cabinet and so on and so forth until literally eight or ten different things have been ripped apart from which the contents are added to the mounding piles, here, there and everywhere. As a known perfectionist, this can all be a little overwhelming to deal with all at once, but I am not sure that I could tackle the task of organization any other way. It’s what I do. And, strangely enough, it always seems to work out, albeit it might take a few days. (Bless the patience of others around me who often trip or are left to skirt around my never-ending array of things.) At the end of it all, though, there is a great feeling of accomplishment and that feeling of ‘a fait accompli’ becomes the precursor for wanting to take on more of the same. Well, in due time anyway:-)
Should you happen to disagree with the first part of this post, and one’s innate need for order, I know that you cannot argue with the word ‘order’ when used to conjure up food/beverage from your favourite market, bar, coffeehouse, restaurant or fast-food joint. On that note, I’d like to order up a ‘mama’ burger (no cheese), small fries and small root beer to go, please?! Just be sure to assemble it all in the right order. Ha! ha!