Friday, August 15, 2008

The Problem With Mary...

Okay, so my sisters, my mom, and I went to Women's Conference last year and we went to this class on how to get organized. I'm sitting there listening to this woman go on and on from her well organized outline--bored to tears--looking at her neat little lists that she keeps and all of the chore charts she's lovingly made, and how she keeps her house sparkling clean with her cleaning schedule, etc., etc., etc... You get it. And all the while I'm thinking, are you kidding me--people actually do this???

Then, the lady that was teaching the second half of the class stands up. Not only does she not have a powerpoint presentation, she just has one paper of notes in front of her. She proceeds to tell us that when they called her to ask her to speak on this subject, she almost fell over laughing. Then, when she told her friends about it, they laughed as well. She told us she had no idea how someone as unorganized and scatterbrained as herself was supposed to give a talk on how to get organized.

She proceeded to compare organization to the story about Mary and Martha in the scriptures. She said it was really easy to tell who was a Martha and who was a Mary. If Mary and Martha both receive the same assignment--decorating tables for the ward Christmas party--they would go about it in completely different ways...

Martha would get right on the assignment--after all it is October, and Christmas is right around the corner. She would send around sign up sheets the next week to see who has a creche they would like to display. Of course she would bring her creche as an example--she knows right where it is in her beautifully organized box of Christmas decorations. She would follow up weekly with those who volunteered, to make sure they didn't forget. She would lovingly wash and iron each tablecloth with care and weeks before the event she would be ready to carefully decorate each table. She does a beautiful job, and the tables turn out lovely.

Mary, on the other hand would handle this differently. She gets the assignment in October--but thinks, Christmas is so far away, and I really don't have time to worry about this now, I have to make my child's Halloween costume for the school carnival--which is tomorrow. October, then November come and go with several projects to keep Mary's mind from even thinking about the Christmas party. Finally, 3 days before the party, it dawns on Mary that she doesn't even have a Sunday left to gather creches for the centerpieces, she will have to start calling people... Now Mary knows not to call Martha, or anyone like Martha in her ward. They would be completely annoyed at having to do something at the last minute, and at her not being prepared ahead of time for this event. So she calls other Mary's in the ward that she knows, and when she falls short on the number of creches that she needs, she calls family members, even though they live 30 min. away. Not all of her family members are Mary's--but family members have to help you anyway--they are related to you. Mary drives all over town to find the creches she needs the day of the party, then spends an hour digging through her own Christmas stuff to find hers. She hangs the tablecloths in the bathroom to steam them while she showers an hour before the event is to start. Then she shows up at the church, and throws the tablecloths on the tables and is lucky not to break any creches in the mad dash to get them on before Martha shows up to the party--(15 minutes early of course)! The tables still turn out great--even though Mary is very sweaty, and has to go in the bathroom and towel off.

Okay, so at this point in the talk, I am rolling on the floor--FINALLY--someone who is like me! You see, Martha can't understand why everyone can't just do things like Martha does. And trust me when I say--I have TRIED so many times to be Martha! Mary would LOVE to be like Martha! I have read books, taken classes, printed out lists, and charts from the internet--and I just can't make it work--it's just NOT my style! The point that this woman was trying to make, which I appreciated, was that the outcome was the same. As long as you are able to get things done--it doesn't much matter how you get to that point, as long as there is a good outcome.

The problem with Mary, however, is that when you wait until the last minute to get things done--your life is just plain stressful. I have a million things to do tomorrow--(well, today now), and now that the day is almost here, I am sitting here blogging because the level of anxiety I am feeling is not allowing for much sleep! I always have these days where I feel like my heart might jump out of my chest because I'm feeling so anxious--(isn't there medication for that??). The other problem with Mary--is that when she's feeling anxious and stressed about something--she might have a tendency to take it out on her family--especially her husband. So honey, I'm sorry. I know it's hard for you to understand how my crazy mind works--and how time and time again I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get things done! I know living with me is crazy, and unpredictable, and chaotic a lot of the time--and I appreciate you so much for putting up with my craziness! I couldn't do this without you!

For those of you who are Mary's--welcome to the club! This was some advice for you at the end of the talk:
1. Write important stuff down on your hand--that way it won't get lost.
I have already blogged about that one!

For those of you who are Martha's--please have some compassion on us Mary's--we are truly doing the best we can!


Kathy P said...

Oh boy can I ever relate!! I am so unorganized and always feel crazy -- just trying to catch up with life. Too many times, my sweet hubby has to shelter himself from my craziness. I figure if I keep trying different organizing techniques, eventually, one will have to work... right?

Natalie said...

Tami I just love you. I can always count on a good laugh from you blog posts. I love your perspective on life. It is very refreshing.

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