Get Organized

A place for everything and everything in its place. A time for everything and everything in its time. That’s about getting organized. First, the ability to define and then, the will to adhere to thedefined. Once you experience the joy of organizing things around you and living an organized life,only then will you know how much of a price we pay for living a disorganized life. Once you getorganized in life, you never look lost and you have less stress.

The parents bid a nervous goodbye as their daughter was going to travel alone, first time. She was going to celebrate Christmas with her grandparents at Goa. For Natasha, it was the excitement of flying alone at sixteen. Her ‘Project Alone to Goa’ was drawing a lot of attention from her relatives and she liked it. It wasn’t celebrating Christmas with her grandparents, but the adventure of flying alone that motivated Natasha to make this trip.

With a boarding pass that read ’29B’ in hand, chewing her bubble gum, Natasha walked through the aisle with arrogance that’s exclusive to the teenagers. She knew that her parents, hated the very sight of the bubble being blown, but that was the very reason she liked bubble gum. It helped her get on other people’s nerves effortlessly. It always got her the attention she wanted. She took ’29A’ and started negotiating in her own mind. She would request whosoever the seat was allotted to, to sit in ‘B’ so that she could enjoy the view from the window. Her mind kept guessing at people who walked through the aisle. How much unnecessary work our mind does? ‘This old man must be the guy’ thought Natasha looking at a middle aged man whose eyes were riveted on the 29th row. To show her displeasure at such adult company, she blew another bubble looking in his direction.

The man smiled at Natasha, and quietly occupied ’29B’. Some adult behavior (AB) – not negotiating with a child for his window seat – not common behavior though. People fight for their seat in an aircraft/train/bus, even if it’s just 80 minute flight, as if they own it. Within minutes, the flight was in mid air. Natasha kept alternating between looking through the window and glancing at the man seated next to her. To put the kid at ease, the man stretched his hand out and said, “Avyakta! Are you travelling all by yourself…brave little girl?”“I am Natasha,” she replied. “You are both right and wrong. I am brave but I am not a little girl. I am sixteen…” Avyakta broke into laughter and then added, “I am sorry dear. Anyway, how does it feel to be travelling alone?”“It’s exciting,” Natasha replied. “I’m enjoying this journey alone. I am going to my grandparent’s place. How about you? Why are you going to Goa?”

Avyakta replied, “I am an architect. I am doing a beach villa for one of my clients in Goa. Natasha, what do you want to become in life?” Not having got a reply from Natasha, Avyakta assumed that perhaps the little girl wasn’t enjoying his company or the topic of discussion. So he decided to leave the child in her own space. Again, simple but Adult Behaviour. Natasha broke the silence. “I like beautiful buildings. Is that your main job – to create buildings that look good and different?”Avyakta took a sip from his lemon juice and said “My job is two-fold-one- to define the space, two-to dress both the interiors and the exteriors. To the naked eye, the excitement is about the way the interiors and exteriors turnout. Personally, the greatness of an architect is characterized by his ability to define spaces. Am I making sense to you?” “No,” said Natasha emphatically. “It’s interesting, but I don’t follow you. What do you mean by defining spaces?” “Well let me see if I can explain this in a way that you can understand,” Avyakta said. To communicate at the level at which the other would understand…again, an Adult Behaviour.

Avyakta said, “To put it simply, space definition is” ‘A place for everything and everything in its place. Take this breakfast tray, for example. A place for the main course and the main course in that place; a place for the bread and the bread in that place; a place for the butter, a place for the jam, a place for the juice and a place for the water… and everything it its place. If it was kept in any other way, you couldn’t have kept all of this on this tray…. a place for everything and everything in its place. It’s all about organizing in the most optimum way.”

Avyakta added, “A bigger place is not necessarily the solution. I suggest that you bring about a simple change in your lifestyle after you return home from your vacation. You’ll see how much it can change your life. Decide where you want to leave your footwear. Make a decision and ensure that you will not leave your footwear anywhere else, under any circumstance. Divide your dressing table by defining clear spaces for the comb, the powder, hair bands, deodorants etc.. in the space that is available, define a space for everything and ensure that you keep everything in its place. Divide your wardrobe; even, define spaces for your uniform, casual clothes, daily wear etc… Rearrange the folder in your computer…use distinct and easily understandable names for your folders & files and organize all your files within those defined folder. You’ve decided to keep your cycle keys in a particular place; that’s where you will keep them. No more the drama of searching for the keys every morning. No more creating a pandemonium in the house to search for you Math notebook. Natasha, once you experience the joy of organizing things around you and living an organized life, only then will you know how much of a price we pay for living a disorganized life. Disorganized people look lost all the time. Even if an architect like me can define a place for everything, it’s you who has to maintain everything in its place.”

Avyakta added, “Natasha, this applies not only to space but also to time. Getting organized is all about defining a time for everything and doing everything within that time. A time for exercise, a time for studies, a time for friends, a time for the family, a time for sports, a time for television, a time to go to sleep and a time to wake up…A time for everything and everything in that time. There will be less wastage of time, better utilization of it, a better balance to life, and above all, a lot more will get accomplished. Natasha, I can carry over the same explanation to every possible resource. Getting organized is all about this; first , the ability to define and then, the will to adhere to the defined. An organized person is his own architect, and we can and should be our own architects for every resource available to us –space, time, finance etc…”

The flight began its descent. Natasha popped another bubble gum into her mouth, fastened her seat belt and closed her eyes. “As all that you’ve said is beginning to seep in, I feel I should thank you for making a big difference. You could have so easily been indifferent to me and travelled in your own space. Thanks for taking the effort and the initiative to make this little girl feel respected. Maybe, He, the architect, decided that me in 29A and you in 29B will travel together today and I will benefit from it. I will not let your words go waste. I still don’t know if I want to be an architect by profession, but I will definitely be the architect of my own life. I will live a highly organized life.”

“It was a pleasure travelling with you. God bless you! In whatever you wish to do, wishing you most and more…Can I borrow a bubble gum from you?” Avyakta took a bubble gum from Natasha and popped it into his mouth and tried blowing a bubble, but in vain. He looked a little embarrassed, while Natasha beamed a smile that made the already beautiful girl look even more beautiful. Children love it when adults do what they like. Another adult behavior from Avyakta… it’s not that he wanted a bubble gum in his mouth; what he really wanted was smile on Natasha’s face.

On the road, It is never the question of whose mistake ; but ,it is the question of whose LIFE !On the road, if you want to be alive YOU have to make the adjustments. The responsibility of ‘ not hitting ‘ and ‘ not being hit ‘,both are yours and yours alone. Blaming makes no sense. Similarly, in the road called Life, in dealing with the traffic called relationships, it is not the question of whose mistake, but it is the question of whose life .In relationships two , if you want happiness, You have to make the adjustments. Here too, blaming makes no sense.

Your life is your responsibility.