Thursday, January 10, 2013

PAM YOUNG: All or nothing at all

 Make it Fun! 

[Gazette Blog editor's note: The Gazette is pleased to carry Pam Young's weekly column.  For more than 35 years Pam has been the “get organized guru” thru thousands of newspaper articles, magazine feature stories and radio and TV interviews. A frequent guest on Oprah, Regis, Today Show,700 Club, CBS Morning News and many more, Pam has guided and helped women turn their chaotic homes into havens of peace and order.]

By Pam Young
Gazette Contributor 

There’s a huge difference between a drastic transformation and change that takes place as gracefully and gradually as a baby turns into a toddler. But when we’re fed up with our old ways we tend to want an instant and dramatic fix. That’s what impatience is all about. Take weight for example, we want the weight to come off faster than we put it on. We get frustrated with a loss of just one pound in a week, yet if we gained a pound a week, we’d gain 50 pounds in a year. I don’t know anyone who’s done that and you probably don’t either.

If you’re like me, you tend to have that notion: All or nothing at all. When we want to get organized usually we’ve come to a place where every room is laced with chaos. When we decide to fix our finances it’s when the power’s been shut off or we max a few credit cards and sink into financial depression. When we want to lose weight it’s usually because we’ve let it go so long that our pants hurt and we’re scared to get on the scale. We’re not like the frog that stays in the water as it is heated to boiling and cooks to death, instead, we schlep along until we snap.

It’s after the snap that we typically make the decision to do something. We rarely think to be something. If you think, “I want to be happy in my body,” or “I want to be comfortable in my home” or “I want to be debt free,” all those thoughts will cheer your heart. If you’ve gained enough weight to have it be a major problem you probably barely know the healthy, happy you that’s under the fat. If you are overwhelmed with the operation of running a home and family you don’t know the peace that attends an organized and smoothly running household. If you are afraid to open your mailbox and your heart races when it’s time to pay bills, you are missing the constant joy of being debt-free.

There is this beautiful place between all and nothing at all and I love that place. It’s called grateful patience. It’s incremental progress and it takes being patient, kind and loving with yourself and celebrating the small stuff.

Be easy with yourself. Find a photo of you when you were a child and when you look at it see if you can imagine that child still within you because she (he)is. How could you be mean, impatient or unloving to that little one? Think how children enjoy life. I think we are meant to enjoy life and it should get better and better. You are in self-improvement mode or you wouldn’t be reading this essay. Celebrate that desire to be better and enjoy the in between of all or nothing at all as you become grateful and patient on your way to a better life. 

For more from Pam Young go to You’ll find many musings, videos of Pam in the kitchen preparing delicious meals, videos on how to get organized, ways to lose weight and get your finances in order, all from a reformed SLOB’s point of view.

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