September 30, 2012

It's Gotta Get Worse to Get Better? Well, Kinda. (part 1)

Are you familiar with the phrase, it's gotta get worse to get better?  I was thinking about it a lot this weekend while tackling the bookshelf organization project that has been on my mental to-do list since before Katherine was born.  I believe the phrase came to mind about the time that the floor in front of the shelves was looking like this:

Organizing bookshelves was not looking even remotely organized!  With each shelf I rearranged, not only did I make more of a mess on the floor, haphazardly tossing books in to general category stacks, but I was faced with decisions about whether the book in my hand at the moment was worth keeping and how I'd organize the shelves once I had duds weeded out and firm categories established.

At one point I had to stop to get Katherine from her crib; returning to the project later was so disheartening.  Ugh!  Surely this task would never be complete.  I wanted to close the door to the room and walk away.  Forever.

That wasn't really an option, though, because we kinda need that room!  I had to persevere.  Despite the fact that it sure seemed worse (when I started there were far fewer books on the floor!) some progress had been made, and if I kept going, more progress was coming.  About that time, the truth hit me that although the room was messier, on the whole things were moving forward: logical categories were emerging, there was a growing stack of books to give away, a few shelves even had some books on them ordered neatly by height.  Getting better did not really involve getting worse, getting better involved getting to work.  Maybe the phrase should be it's gotta get uncomfortable to get better, which is similar to the phrase, no pain, no gain, which Colin reminded me of this evening.  So true.

Before I began the book reorganization on Friday, the shelves were OK.  They could have been left alone.  Yet while they were not too terribly arranged, there was such potential with all of those bookshelves, to have it look polished, make books easier to find, and to create extra space for some of our school things, by eliminating books we no longer want or need.

The shelves were OK, but there was such potential!

Where am I going with this anecdote about my glamorous life and supremely fascinating weekend task, you ask?  Well,  you'll have to check back tomorrow to find out!

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