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Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making pro

Posted by Elisabeth_pinelake (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 10, 05 at 16:15

From my own experience, and reading through some of the other posts here, it's struck me that organizing is often not the real (or fundamental) problem.

In my case, my therapist is convinced I have adult attention deficit disorder when she listens to my accounts of challenges. For years I've been treated for depression, but now it seems like anxiety is actually causing some of the depression-like symptoms. There is always so much stuff to do running through my head that I just can't find a starting place, and although I know the questions "What is the best use of my time right now?" I simply can't find an answer and act on it - there are too many possibilities.

(Incidentally, I have started being treated for anxiety - my psychiatrist doesn't really believe in ADD - and I am incredibly better able to focus in just a week, and a lot more productive). So maybe anxiety, all that internal nagging, was the real problem, and disorganization and overwhelmedness were the symptoms.

And then there's Julie - now she's got a closet, but it's so dark in the room that she can't tell navy from black! There's nothing wrong with Julie, that's for sure. Other people are being used by their parents to offload the stuff they can't bear to get rid of.

I do get a couple ideas from every organizing book I read. The latest was to take my textile collection out of storage boxes and display it on shelves. And while I was putting it on a bookshelf (carefully filling each shelf to leave NO CAT ROOM, but of course one of them got herself up to the top shelf anyway and made a next by throwing down a few choice pieces), I discovered what I never noticed while this was all in boxes: I have some stuff I don't even want to keep! But I was able to keep on task (filling the books shelves) instead of going off to look for a box to load stuff into for a garage sale. One thing at a time. Next weekend I can get a box and pull out the ones I don't want to keep, AND make it more cat proof. So now, instead of sitting around in boxes, making me feel guilty because why should I have it all if I can't see it, yet out of sight is out of mind (much of it was collected overseas), now it's out where I can share it with others, and tell the stories. Plus, clearly there's some stuff that doesn't belong.

I also got rid of an old bed frame and some miscellaneous stuff, off to the thrift shop. I finally am going to give up on some modular pieces that I was conceptually wedded to, but which never quite worked. I think I've had them 15 years. They are comfortable, but honestly they are crowding my space.

I have several suits, jackets and skirts that go to charity, and some others for a consignment shop - things that are perfectly good, and some I paid a lot for, but they never made me feel great when I wore them. They are scheduled to go next weekend.

And I have a huge stack of plastic storage boxes that are EMPTY! I can see the tablecloth on the dining room table for the first time in at least 6 months (the last time I cleaned up for a big party). Or rather, I can see the cat hair on it. OK, there's a huge pile on the ironing board.

Things don't look great yet, but just the feeling of making progress keeps me feeling more energized.

Elisabeth


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

Hi Elizabeth,

I think you are correct that for many of us there are underlying problems. Since you've read here, you know many of us use the Flylady system and she has said repeatedly that a good percentage of her followers have battled depression, etc. as well as abuse.

I believe my packrat tendancies are learned behavior, but my mom is definately the emotional packrat growing up in the Depression and having nothing. I've noticed that it's been easier for me to relearn some new behaviors than some of my local Flylady friends how do have the emotional ties.

Sometimes I feel really stupid that I need my control journal sitting out there, listing for me to make my bed, empty the dishwasher, etc. but hey, this works for me and it has just really changed my life and my enjoyment of my home.

Congrats on getting going and the more that goes out the door, the lighter you will feel. Or at least that's the way it works for me.

Gloria


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

Elisabeth,

Everything sounds normal to me! I do my best decluttering when I'm in a bad mood and tend to be ruthless.

Great job on the progress! It always seems slow going, but once the outgoing bags and boxes start to stack up, you'll feel ever better about it!


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RE: Underlying dysfunction and organizing challenges - but making

Elisabeth - there is so much truth in what you say, and many of us here feel that kindred link....like you, I am feeling so energized by the changes I AM making, even if to someone else, it would seem I am second cousin to a snail.

Blessings.....

Vicki


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

Elisabeth:

Interesting idea about anxiety vis a vis ADD. If you are comfortable, would you mind elaborating on your doctor's approach to your situation? Are you taking medicine? What else are you doing?

And yes, Flylady does say those things. God bless her heart for sharing her observations in such a gentle, non-judgemental way.


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

I'd also like to add something that I realized recently. I was speaking to a friend who thinks that she's 'cleaning impaired' and I realized that her cleaning issues were like my cooking issues.

I can and know how to basically clean. My mother was a packrat but the Queen of Clean (and still is). I struggle against clutter because of it, but I certainly know how to clean baseboards with a rag and a toothbrush. My friend woudln't know where to start. She's completely intimidated. Her mother wasn't a cleaner, so neither is she. It wasn't really modeled for her.

My friend can really cook. Her mother was good at it. She's even better at it. She can do things like put olive oil, garlic and onion in a pan and THEN decide based upon what is in her kitchen, what is for dinner. That sort of thing blows me away. I could never be like that. I'm a utilitarian cook that follows recipes. Somedays it's really tough to make it through dinner for me. Having picky children doesn't help.

So part of this is learned. Not just the packrat stuff, but the organization/cleaning stuff. If we are not taught, there is a large gap in our personal education.

I'm not saying that there can't be underlying psychological or physiological issues here by any means. I AM saying that sometimes a cigar CAN be a cigar. Or that it can be more than one thing operating at the same time.

I think that organization can be learned but like cooking, there are those of us that are utilitarian and there are those of us that are imaginative and talented. Like home decorators, they can see a solution to a problem that others might be stumped at.

But we can all learn to cook a chicken, even if we can never work at a gourmet restaurant. We can all learn to dump some of our crap, and store it even if all of our containers aren't lined in linen and labeled in calligraphy, ala Martha Stewart.

And if some of us need some professional help as part of the way to get there, then fine.

I just wanted to point out that just because we can be bad at or have issues with certain aspects of homekeeping, that doesn't mean that it's pathological. It might just mean that we have things to learn. Some of us more than others.

Even with what I do know, I know that there is a lot more for me to learn. I'm being met wtih issues that I've never seen before. I never had to deal with seasonal clothing, living my life in a place with mild seasons. What the hell is winterizing anyway? LOL Blowing out my sprinklers? Yeah, the first time last year. Bringing in terra cotta pots because they explode when they freeze? No one taught me that one. I learned when a large pot exploded on my front walkway last winter...

I've never had a basement.
I've never had this much space.
I've never parked a car into a garage. (Californians use them for storage! LOL)
I never had much room, now I need to learn about buying furniture and things like shelving units. My concpet of space is exactly the opposite of what I have now. I'm used to very little, now I'm overwhelmed with too much.

How do I get to those high ceilings? How do I clean those halfmoon windows that I can't reach? What do I do with all of these wood floors? What the hell is a humidifer anyway? LOL

And don't get me started about gardening, moving from zone nine to zone 5b...

Why should anyone think that they can move into a home and somehow through osmosis, be expected to automatically know what to do with it? Especially if you have space issues, large or small? You have an idea as a solution, unfortunately that would mean that you have an extra room that doesn't exist in your home. Or the idea that you have won't work, like that piece of storage furniture that won't work in that room full of windows? Or the funds don't exist to work your plan.

There IS a concept of 'home science' and homekeeping. It's not something that we should expect to know just because we're female. That's like saying that because a woman gives birth, she knows how to be a mother.

It's all a learning process with some of us starting at different places than others. It's partly a talent issue, with some of us taking to it and others of us who will merely go through the paces. It's a balancing act if we have a job, children, spouses and other responsibilities.

We all know of people that seem to be perfect at it and that is intimidating. But one thing that I know about women is that we're all human beings and we are all not perfectly talented in all areas. For every woman that is standing in a perfect home could also be one that slaps plastic food into the oven because she wouldn't know the first thing to do with a roasting pan. Or how to not plant a tulip bulb upside down. Or couldn't add oil to her car or change a tire if it were flat.

I can get bogged down in psychological issues and it can manifest itself in my housekeeping. My husband lost his job after he moved us all out of state. I had no desire to leave my state, my home, my community so it was a large shock to my system. I was homesick, but not terribly so. Not until my DH lost his job just before the holidays last year. Then I can tell you that I was honestly situationally depressed. And didn't care about my clutter piles and my stupid boxes that I didn't unpack...and then decided not to unpack because we might move again and this time it might not be paid for by the company.

This last year has been tough. I'm trying now to get back on track. I still have the learning curve to deal with...but I know the difference between not doing something because I'm bummed out and not doing something because of my ignorance and intimidation.

Sometimes it's one or the other. And sometimes it can be both.

Either way, I still have a pile of crud to deal with.

I open the windows, turn on the music, grab a broom and start to move. Regardless of whether or not my psychological stuff is manifesting itself physically in my environment, or if it's simply a matter of having too much to do...or it's a question of my ignorance...

I still have a pile o'crap.

Okay, the only way out is THROUGH. Whether it's a pile of stuff, or something in my psyche.

For me, the only real underlying issue for myself is not quitting on the solution, regardless of the cause.


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

Why should anyone think that they can move into a home and somehow through osmosis, be expected to automatically know what to do with it?

Oh, wow, -- I realized this one when, after about 7 years of homeownership, I realized I didn't *really* know how to take care of a home. I was still mostly acting like a renter. Thank goodness I didn't own a house, just an apartment.

There IS a concept of 'home science' and homekeeping. It's not something that we should expect to know just because we're female.

And knowing about cars is not genetic to men, either. I realized this one when my DH-to-be asked me to teach him how to clean the bathroom--and his questions were as basic as "do I use a cloth, or a sponge?"

But also I can see that if you're depressed, or feel bad about yourself, taking care of your surroundings will be hard--or NOT taking care of them will be a way to punish yourself.


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

Talley Sue which is it, a cloth or a sponge? Interesting post Elisabeth. You struck a cord with me. I think cleaning and cluttering is, in part at least, a learned response. I can't cook well. Was never allowed in the kitchen. I can't clean well. Everything I cleaned was not good enough, and was redone by my xmom. I'm not particularly a pack rat, I just don't know how to throw things away. I was not taught to clean, but rather through verbal abuse and neglect was conditioned to be anxious, depressed, and to avoid things and people. The treatments and therapy for my problems haven't worked well, so I still freeze up with what to do in my home and how to do it. Just do it is a fine philosophy, but the question of just do what comes up over and over for me. I still don't have the answer, and my anxiety grows. The one thing that has struck a cord with me in all the lurking I've done here over the last 4 years is picking up 15 of something at a time, or discard 15 of something at a time. I only ever get to 7 things, and don't do this very often, before I short circuit, but that is progress for me. Now if I could figure out how to do some of the cleaning more regularly, that would really make me, and my family, happy! Maybe I should try to clean 15 inches of floor and counter at a time.

Yeona


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

Smom40 brought up some really interesting points.

As a teenager, I had no interest in the Home Ec classes and took business classes instead.

It shows.

LOL


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

Talley Sue which is it, a cloth or a sponge?

the funny part, Yeona, is that it doesn't really matter--maybe a cloth is best bcs you can launder it, but you can tackle the sink and tub w/ a sponge if you want.

I'm sorry to hear how much you were discouraged from doing things as a kid. I hope you can start to take comfort in the fact that we're all just faking it.

"good enough" is good enough--and like learning to write the letter "s" or to play the piano or to plaster a wall, cleaning is something we get better at as we go.

As we get involved in it. start to see our home through "cleaning" eyes often enough, we learn how to observe

Of course, you have the added challenge of having been taught that "good enough for Yeona" is not "good enough"--that's probably the toughest thing to break through.

I have that problem too, and my mom was not particularly hard on me.

I think the "it was never MODELED for me" is a big part of smom40's point--kids mostly learn by osmosis, not necessarily by direct instructions. And, that IS where we learn our attitudes.


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

cupofkindness, I am on medication. I have also just been diagnosed as having sleep apnea, which saps energy during the day and may be contributing to migraines. So I have just started using a machine at night that forces air in so I don't stop breathing for too long, and I think that does give me extra energy. The meds take care of the tumultuous thoughts which get in the way of productivity. If you want to discuss this more, email me as eshieldsga@yahoo.com - I don't really want to say more on a public board.


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

Elisabeth I for one am glad you shared your experience as much as you have. If not, all of us, especially Smom and Talley Sue would not have responded and given others here some comfort in our problems. Thank you.

I do agree with smom's idea of things being modeled for us. I also think that the old maxim, Monkey see monkey do and continue doing is also a part of the equation in learned behavior. Talley Sue your idea of faking it is good also. I think I can fake it for about 20 minutes a day, so far. I do 2 loads of dishes in the dishwasher a day, and cook supper every night except on Saturdays, so I fake that fairly well. We have to eat something, on something, and preferably with something, like a utensil, lol.

Yeona


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

internal nagging: those 2 words really struck me. I'm my worse enemy and I nag myself constantly.

I manage to do pretty much everything I'm supposed to but I always have that feeling that I should be doing something else, something more, I often have the feeling that I am forgetting something important.

Hence, I am never totally satisfied with my accomplishments; people tell me I'm too much of a perfectionist, leave good enough alone.

I find it hard to take time off and not work on any project; just live and let live.

We live in 2 homes; downtown during the week, suburbs on weekends, I also manage a small art gallery; now dh things we should rent a cottage for the winter to get away. I'm tempted to try it and see if I could " just be" once I would be at that cottage in the mountains.

No project staring me in the face waiting to be worked on.
It's a scary thought; reading all the above comments, I'm thinking I'm addicted to never being organized enough, always striving to do better, declutter more, etc...

This thread is making me think that being perfectly organized is an unattainable state/goal.

I'm just aimlessly babbling here but it's made me take a step back and realize that I might be striving to be perfectly organized but such a thing does not exist.
I'm going to try and reflect on what my underlying disfunction is.....


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

"This thread is making me think that being perfectly organized is an unattainable state/goal. "

Can you define that, mithcdesj?

I have a pretty loose definition. A place for everything and being able to find what I need, get where I need to go, not forget things and being able to prioritize my time.

Organized doesn't have to "look" a certain way to me. I'm not out after the Martha look with everything with cute, neat labels. It only has to meet our needs.

I also separate cleaning from organizing. I was pretty sick six weeks ago. Nothing much got done for two weeks in the cleaning department. The floors sure needed some attention, but because of the household organization everything kept running smoothly. No running out of clothing, no dirty dishes piling up.

My mom's house was always clean, but very disorganized. You couldn't find a bowl in the kitchen without moving 10 things. She could never find what she needed, so like Marie, we were the house with 22 pairs of scissors tucked all over the place. She's 88 yo and still lamenting that she just has to get down to the basement and go through that stuff. I've heard this all of my life.

The underlying disfunction is the perfectionism. Some unobtainable standard set by us, in our minds, which we aren't going to reach. Really, who ever had anything perfect?

Gloria


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

Who ever had anything perfect?

I did - or pretty much so. That was when I lived by myself, didn't have overly much "stuff", and no one ever messed up anything but me. But - that was yesterday and that's not now.

Sometimes I really strive to get back to that 'perfect' status 'cause frankly I LIKE it. Order makes me feel safe and secure (however demented that seems).

However reality is I have a long-haired kitty, a somewhat long-haired puppy and a DH, none of whom ascribe to my "neat & tidy always" program. Sigh. Noone wipes their feet when they come in nor do they take off their shoes and leave them at the door. DH cooks often but is very messy while doing so. And I could list many more frustrations which keep me from my "perfect".

However perhaps these irritations also keep me from obsession with perfection? I've never known anyone (to my knowledge) to choose not to come to my house due lack of order/neatness or cleanliness.

Perfectionism is, to me, a huge handicap. And, again for me, it's some kind of makeup for a feeling of inadequacy or 'not good enough' of self.

Amazing the power ones psyche can have over one's life.

Then there is the "new challenge" of having DH home 24/7. I won't even go there but I do keep looking for a forum on this. :-))


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

The underlying disfunction is the perfectionism. Some unobtainable standard set by us, in our minds, which we aren't going to reach. Really, who ever had anything perfect?

That sentence rings true to me; it makes me realize that I'll never be finished and have the whole house(s) perfect; my home is tidy and clean but I always have a running list of extra projects to do that never get done ( mostly paperwork, photos ) but are always what I'm hoping to be finished with in some time....

I've been married 31 years and have always strived for a certain level of perfection , I'd like to be able to get up one morning and say: " What shall I do today ? everything is so perfectly organized in every area of the house, I'm free as a bird !!! "

I think I have to stop shooting myself in the foot, I am my worse enemy. I strive for something that does not seem to be attainable.

I'd go into therapy to figure this out, BUT I DON'T HAVE TIME,
lol......


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Personally, I'd rather do things with my kids & dh than worry about the "perfect" house. I knew someone when the kids were young that would put her kids in high chairs in front of the tv so they could mop, vacuum, and have the "perfect" house. No thanks. I guess it's all what you think is perfect - clean house or happy family?


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

Well, my mom was well-organized and we had to share the cleaning, cooking, etc., so it's not that I didn't have a model. I'm just a completely different person from my mother. She and my grandmother could (and did/do) have lots of things around without any of it being disorganized or messy. But what works for them doesn't work for me.

My biggest hurdle was getting over the idea of disorganization and clutter as a personality disorder (in part because I just couldn't do what worked for others). I've had to (try to) find what works for me. One thing I learned from a book with a title something like "No More Messies" was that the pursuit of comfort and beauty is inspiring, while the pursuit of order and storage solutions isn't. And I really am more motivated when I can think of ways to make things look better without just boxing everything up in a panic and putting it out of sight when company's coming.

The anxiety is related to perfectionism - not that I sit and think "my house has to be perfect," but all the implanted ideas that make me define "perfect" as a certain kind of order. Now I can accept the idea that I can have people over for dinner without the house looking like my mother's. My friends come to see me, and most of them are perfectly comfortable and have a good time even though House Beautiful is not going to feature my home anytime soon. In fact, last time my parents visited, I invited people to dinner, and both my parents were busy making things look like their house while I was cooking! My father threw my "to be sorted" papers into the trash. At that point, I sent them out to the porch to sit with orders not to move until the guests came. But I admit, having my parents come is perhaps the toughest, because their standards are so different.


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

mitchdesj wrote:
I'm tempted to try it and see if I could " just be" once I would be at that cottage in the mountains.

I think you might--but not if you feel like you OWN it. So don't rent it for a whole season!!

I discovered, while visiting a friend who was staying at a summer rental house for a 2-week period. We only stayed for 3 days, but it was VERY freeing! No big chores, no projects. Just tonight's dinner and dishes, and a quick clean-up of the bathrooms, kitchen, bed linens, etc., at the end of each week.

No clutter, bcs it was a summer rental house w/ exactly the right stuff for renters. Only enough pots&pans, only enough games&puzzles.No a lifetime's and family's worth of detritus.

I didn't think I'd like it, but I love it!

HOWEVER...my in-laws have a "country house." And when my MIL goes up there, she spends the whole time doing laundry, cleaning, etc. It seems like a LOT of work for her--she never does anything fun while she's there.

Perhaps it feels more like "playing house" because it's not her regular house. But I know from going up there w/ her that I could never stand it. (I can't stand it now, and it's not my summer house!)

Note that part of why she just does housework is that there's almost nothing else to do when they go up there. Not gardening (even though they've got nice land & sun for it), not touristing, not attending plays, not riding horses. NOTHING. (and of course, there's no cleaning service that's going to come and clean up behind her--it's her house, w/ all her extra stuff in it)

When we went to that summer-rental place on Cape Cod, we went to the beach, the children's theater, a local museum, an art gallery, another beach. And, we had enough people that playing cards or putting together a puzzle was fun, too.

So, if you don't want to feel like you're in a place that you have to "take care of," don't stay too long, and be sure there's plenty to pull you outside of the house.

Elisabeth, wow, aren't you glad you discovered your dad was throwing your stuff out? I'd have parked him on the porch, too! I'm very lucky that my own style is not so different from my parents', and EXTRA lucky that even if it were, my mom would not make me feel crummy or imperfect because of it.

RJVT, I'm ready to strap my kids into high chairs when they're home--not so I can have a *perfect* house, but so I can have one that isn't continually getting WORSE!


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

"The underlying disfunction is in the perfectionism"

Wow! Does that hit home with me! Very few people would look around my house and label me a perfectionist. But in truth, the feeling that I'll never get it perfect is what often paralyzes me. So I don't even start because it's too overwhelming. How many good times have I missed--having friends over for dinner, or inviting other moms over for coffee--because my house isn't perfect enough?


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

beache,

You would be a great candidate for Flylady, if you haven't tried it. Your post sounds like her homepage.

www.flylady.net

Gloria


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

having my parents come is perhaps the toughest, because their standards are so different

Elisabeth, I could tell you HORROR stories... I can laugh now, but I sure wasn't laughing then.


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

Oh, Julie, do tell! I am thinking of inviting my parents for Christmas. The house has been fixed up a lot since they were here before, but I need to know this happens to other people! Actually I am looking for another place for them to stay in my neighborhood - I have 7 cats, my mother is allergic, and anyway she will be horrified by the way they won't obey her rules about cats!


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

Elizabeth,

Just tell her you, too, have very strict rules for cats.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stray cat rules thread


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

Elizabeth,

Could you just rent a local hotel room for your parents for the length of the stay? My mom started doing that when she moved into her townhouse. She said too many old bladders competing for the bathroom at night wasn't fun. She also added that the visits really went better because everyone would have time for themselves and their normal rountines, even in a hotel room.

Maybe a dinner at your home for a few hours, some time to look at the holiday lights and then to the hotel. Maybe you could even contain the kitties while your mom is in the house and present the idea as one so she won't have so many allergy problems while visiting.

My own mom has never come into my house started doing anything, but my MIL was a pretty poor houseguest. I would get in a load of groceries and she would have to go buy what she wanted. She was always doing the laundry, which I hated. She and her sister would literally take over my kitchen.

We ended up having to establish some rules. I cooked for the first 24 hours to prove I was the alpha female in the house. Then I just ignored them because it was worth the fight. The biggest problem was they just really didn't know what to do with themselves if they weren't cooking or cleaning. I know they would have been major PO'd if I had come in and taken over their kitchen.

Gloria


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

Susan, thank you! I haven't been to the pet forum in a while.

It may come to a hotel or B&B, but there are a number of vacant houses in my neighborhood for rent. I've got on my to-do list to see if it would be worth it to the owners to rent one of them for a week. I live in Georgia, and they will probably need heat (though occasionally we don't - we had a 70 degree New Year's Eve a few years ago). Mostly people leave the electricity on so they can have lights on in the house to look like someone's living there, but if the stove & water heater & furnace are gas, they probably wouldn't want to do it. Also, I might find someone who needs a housesitter.


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

Another option might be to hire some help and have them do all the work while you and family act like tourists in your own town. Just tell your parents you want to have a real holiday with them, which includes little or no work. They might love it and want to do that every year. Of course you'd still have to get through the nights with them. Maybe hire help and rent them space.

Yeona


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

My parents now stay in a hotel when they visit. They hate my house and I think they got tired of complaining about how it is too small, too old, too whatever. We are all happier this way.

My parents wouldn't put a vase on a table without calling their decorator, and I have no interest in having my interior "designed". And we LIKE the squeaky screen doors that slam because we could always tell when one of the kids left the house (my dad "fixed" them once when he was here even though I asked him not to, then we had to "fix" them back to squeak and slam after they left). They both enjoy entertaining me with narratives of everything that's wrong and needs to be attended to.

I grow weary of trying to justify why we live where we live (WE LIKE IT HERE) and why we have no plans to demolish the kitchen (it needs it, we just have no plans to do it), and why we aren't moving to a bigger, newer, better house, etc. and why we don't have expensive furniture and luxury cars and big screen TV's (those things just aren't important to us).

I'm getting depressed just thinking about it. You know the old saying about keeping up with the Joneses? My parents are very disappointed that I have no interest in keeping up. My sisters do, but I don't. I always feel like the family outcast. Pretty stupid!


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RE: Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making

Talleysue, thanks for your observations about the cottage, you're right on the money, I know it too well ; we have it for 4 months. I've told the family that I'm doing this for them and if it were up to me, we would NOT have rented it. I did not say this to be a martyr but to express my view. DH was adamant about the fact that he would be less stressed if we had a country place; he would exercise more, relax more, etc..

Thankfully, it's a busy touristy area of the laurentians, and our place is close to everything, yet on a quiet crescent....

This thread is uncovering many interesting points.....


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