Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Setting Your Expectations

For those of you who do not know, I live with my husband, two daughters and our family dog, a big, happy golden retriever named Buddy. We're a dog-people kind of family. Living with a dog can sometimes be frustrating and full of surprises, like the time I came home to find the stuffing pulled out from my upholstered foot stool. But it can also bring much joy, like when I come home to find Buddy running to greet me with a wagging tail while trying to maintain his traction on the slick surface of the kitchen floor.

There are certain things that you come to expect from owning a dog. For instance, while I wouldn't be totally surprised, I would momentarily be taken aback if my 4 year old decided to lick my face. I say not totally surprised because this is not something that she hasn't tried or failed to accomplish once or twice. But it would be nothing for me to expect an occasional sign of affection of this type from my 4-legged friend.

I think nothing of Buddy jumping up on our bed to snuggle with the same 4 paws he uses to run after bunnies in the yard, kicking up dirt and grass along the way. But I'm sure I'd let out a horrified screech if I saw my husband on our bed with dirty shoes on...especially if it were Clean Sheet Sunday!

Likewise, one innocent, errant "mom hair" in someone's mashed potatoes and you'd think the whole meal was toxic. But they could drop their sucker in a pile of dog hair, half-heartedly wash it off and never think anymore of it.

So, it appears that some things are expected when you live with someone of a different species. Sometimes we have to look at organizing and keeping house the same way. And, let's face it, there's probably been more than one time you've thought your family was from another planet, or at the least that they were a bunch of pigs.

You have to expect that there are going to be times that your home doesn't always look like something from a magazine. You have to expect that someone is not always going to put things away. There are going to be days you want to hide the dishes. But, these are normal parts of everyday living. The joys of everyday living far outweigh the little inconveniences and those are the things that make you want to wag your tail.

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Copyright 2007, Christine Rice

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Christine Rice, Professional Organizer and owner of Organize It Today helps people discover "organizational enlightenment" with the help of her newest book, A Life Less Cluttered: Expert Secrets to Your Own Organizing Epiphany. Visit her website at http://www.organizeittoday.com/ to find out more about her services and products.