{03/03/2012}   Learning to let soup cool, notebooks and cuticle picking

Heat up soup, pour into bowl, take a spoonful, burn tongue, numb taste buds, finish soup, not notice what flavour it was.  That was how I consumed soup, until the other day.  I am my own self help book in 2012!  The other day, I heated soup, poured it into a bowl, left it for over five minutes, started consuming it, could taste it and knew it was carrot and coriander.  Result!  I don’t really like soup though.

For the first time ever I sort of subconsciously made a new year’s resolution for 2012 to be my year of organising myself.

I have already blogged-on-about my new-found obsession with To Do lists, but adding recreational things I want to do to those lists has been a revelation.

Being a huge fan of notebooks for all occasions, I now have a notebook dedicated to packing lists (it’s also my To Do list book).  I worry that I will one day pack only what is on my list and I will forget something hugely important.  But to date, by cross-referring to previous packing lists, I have not forgotten anything.  A few years ago, for a one-day work trip I hadn’t written that I needed a suit (I don’t write clothes lists except when out of the ordinary clothes are needed).  I knew I’d forgotten something.  I had no suit.  I arrived in Frankfurt geared up for a suit shopping session only to find the job had cancelled, no suit required.  Phew!

I have also finally realised that when I get stressed I get really wound up and usually give myself a headache and excessive huffing and puffing in disgust.  I am now making a real effort to remain calm.  And it’s helping.  A short while ago, due to a computer glitch, I lost c20 pages of edited work. Instead of swearing, ranting and ringing work to rant, I didn’t even bother trying to retrieve it (odds were I wouldn’t have been able to), I just got the original unedited bit and cracked straight on with re-doing it.  I lost a lot less time and sanity by going about it that way and I felt unexpectedly pleased with myself afterwards.  I also think it’s true that smiling in the face of adversity is a lot healthier and more productive than shouting and stressing.

I am also trying very hard (not so successful with this one yet) to, for example, see a pile of stuff that needs sorting and just do it instead of looking at it and thinking, “I must sort that” every day for about a week.  Often more than a week.  I left my dining table covered in piles of stuff for about three weeks and every day it was there it troubled me.  Had I done it on the day I piled it up, I wouldn’t have had it niggling me for three weeks.  As a child, my bedroom was a tip.  I am still working really hard to get out of that horrible habit.  I love having clear work tops and tables, particularly as I am someone who has a lot of stuff.

Another thing I’m trying to do is make arrangements with people instead of, “Oh, we must sort a day to meet”.  Vague suggestions of a plan rarely materialise.

My biggest hurdle, it would seem, is stopping the destruction of my cuticles from chewing and picking.  When my hands aren’t busy doing other things, they are picking at my cuticles. I have tried painting on that foul stuff.  It stops me nibbling them but makes picking more frantic.  I have tried putting plasters on all fingers around the nails but then I pick the plasters and it all looks and feels unhygienic.  Plus a few people thought I was a drummer (?) so I felt quite deflated on telling them the plasters were to stop cuticle picking.  I cut my nails as short as they can be cut but about two days later, I can pick with them again.  I have tried applying cuticle cream every time I want to pick them but the cream isn’t as easy to get out as it is to just pick them.  I have tried the psychological approach whereby my mum often points out that if you keep picking you will get callouses around your nails and your fingers will look grotesque.  But they already look grotesque from where they’re picked to redness.  Help!  Any suggestions gratefully received.  My life of order will seem so much more ordered if I can control the cuticle picking.



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