Fluidity within structure

I have said more than once that I love my job.  I was talking about it today and figured out part of the reason I enjoy it so much.

When I go to work each day, I know, to a certain extent, what I will be doing.  My job has a specific structure to it so I know there are requirements that I have to meet each day.  Within that structure, there are many different things that can occur on any given day, which keeps me interested.

If only I could figure out how to get that fluidity within structure going in the rest of my life.  The structure being imposed from the outside is pretty necessary for me since I don’t seem to be able to impose structure on myself very well.  I also think it’s why I love writing as much as I do.  I have the structure of the story, but within that structure, things can–and do–change.

Sadly, just having someone else set up a schedule doesn’t seem to work.  I guess my mind finds it pretty arbitrary.  I need to have a reason for the structure.  For my job, it makes sense to follow the structure because I am getting paid and it makes the job easier.  At home, although I know structure will make my life easier overall, I can’t seem to get past the inconvenience of doing the work at all.  The sad thing is that I hate the way my apartment is right now, but cannot seem to accomplish much to change it.

I am trying to decide how to change that.  My birthday is in a month.  I would like to be able to have friends come over the weekend before or after depending on other plans.  If I give myself until just before my birthday to get the place cleaned up and just plan to work for 30 minutes a day or something, I wonder if that would work.  Having a specific goal might help.  I know that having a specific date when someone will be coming to my home has helped my clean it in the past.  In three weeks, I am pretty sure I can get the entire apartment cleaned.

So that’s my goal.  I am going to take 30 minutes a day during the week and an hour each day on the weekends to work on the apartment.  The only time that will change is the days I do laundry.  I’ll try to do the cleaning those days as well, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it if I don’t.  I’m not going to plan what I am doing within the structure of working on the apartment, just that I will do something for 30 minutes.

Maybe that will be enough structure and fluidity to get this place cleaned up.

Since I want to keep writing as well, I need to work that into my structure.  I’ve started the story that follows the one I submitted and I am excited about it.  I might just put the same goal date on that story, even if the call for that story isn’t until July or August.  Yes, that should work.  🙂


~ by theartistryofthebipolarbrain on May 15, 2012.

8 Responses to “Fluidity within structure”

  1. Okay… FlyLady is brilliant if you need help with structure. I certainly do… need it, not do it. Check out http://www.flylady.net/d/getting-started/flying-lessons/ for the simple first steps

  2. I have the same struggles with imposing structure on my life. It sounds like you’ve set reasonable expectations on yourself, though, and that’s key to setting structure that’s doable, at least for me it is. Good luck with your experiment — trust yourself and don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip up here and there (sorry if I’m stating the obvious to you). You can do it!

  3. Im trying to structure my household duties right now. My son is bringing is girl friend who he is just moving in with and they are very serious to meet me this weekend. I am here by myself. You know, I try an keep the toilet clean, and I am pretty picky about the dishes. But I have to dust everything and get rid of all the pet hair ect. that do’esn’t usually bother me personally. All the while Im bleeding and cramping still. There is no one here to get me on the ball, so I have a hard time being productive too hun.

  4. I really can relate to this a lot!

    I’ve always found structure very important in helping me to cope with a job- I like the rigid guidelines and seem to be able to better motivate and discipline myself this way. I think school worked out so well for me because I loved the structure, as well as the content of the lessons (most days!). I loved being able to see I would have maths period 1, science period 2, art period 3 etc. I knew when a break was coming up. It worked so well.

    My first bipolar problems occurred when I moved away to university and lost this structure. I wasn’t able to deal with the unstructured time. For some reason I couldn’t discipline myself to work. I thought I was going mad or had ADHD or something!!

    I still have these kind of issues at home too- particularly with housework and doing things I want to do, but find challenging. I guess a bit of procrastination is fairly normal!!

    I’m starting to accept I will never be one for housework and as long as I keep the bathroom and kitchen clean, I just try to keep the rest as tidy as possible. I don’t need a stunning house, it would be amazing, but I’d rather spend my time doing other things!

    Think your plan of little and often is a good one. Good luck.


    • I sooo understand what you are talking about with college. Although I had symptoms from puberty, my first episode of suicidality took place when I was 21 and my parents moved away. I was suddenly in the dorms with no family support. And I definitely have the issues at hme. I function well at home, but can’t do anything at hoe. 😦

      I do want to work on keeping certain things done so I don’t have this overwhelming situation I have right now. I wish I felt comfortable enough to ask for help.

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