Vitamin Roulette: Confessions of an Almost Lethal Messy

meme messy

(Becky, the Mama)

Least you think that because I’ve co-authored a book on the subject of self-care that I somehow “have it all together” — let me hasten to assure you (before others start volunteering to do so on my behalf) that this is SO not the case.  First, a visual: a couple of snapshots my daughter (and co-author Rachel) put together of my actual dishwasher after I loaded it (“drunk monkey style”) and one of Rachel’s dishwasher, the way she loads it (like “a lab scientist”).

These are actual pictures of how we each load our dishwashers. I can say this, at least: I am a FAST loader.

These are actual pictures of how we each load our dishwashers. I can say this, at least: I am a FAST loader.

Next, here is a little excerpt from Nourished, where I share a couple of my other potentially lethal flaws.

I’ve always found a measure of comfort in having lots of stuff around me, even when I sleep, like a pack rat’s nest.

I could list dozens of areas where I fight the tide of disorganization, but few have been as daunting as keeping pills, vitamins, and supplements in their bottles, something that unnerves both Rachel and Greg. We have several spots in the house where miscellaneous pills and supplements have spilled then mingled together, like jelly bean assortments. I always plan on sorting them out, one day, looking up the embedded numbers on the internet to figure out if a mystery pill is an Aspirin or Gingko or rogue cyanide. The other night Greg asked if I had a Tylenol in my bedside table. I opened the drawer and took a dubious look at the pharmaceutical collage rolling about and asked, “Are you feelin’ lucky?”

“Never mind,” he said. “I’m not brave enough for Vitamin Roulette tonight.”

He always double checks even when I give him a pill from a bottle, since the night I accidentally gave him a No Dose instead of a sleep aid—a night he recalls every moment of in vivid detail. My purse is another interesting place where pills and vitamins like to gather and do odd things. Rachel and Jackson were recently here visiting, and the adjustment to the altitude gave her a nasty migraine. “Do you have an Excedrin, Mom?” she asked as she rubbed her head.

“Just a minute,” I said, digging in my purse. “Ah ha! I do! Here you go.”

She took the pill, and a puzzled look crossed her face. “Mom, that’s a red M&M.”

“No, honey. See the E on the front? It’s ‘Excedrin.’”

“Mom, put on your reading glasses. See, you’ve got ‘the pill’ rotated the wrong way. Give it a quarter turn. See? It’s an M, and there’s a little chocolate showing where the red candy has melted in your purse, and is now melting in my hands.”

“My goodness, I’ve kept those three M&Ms in the zipper pocket of my purse for two months, sure they were pain killers. Whaddaya know?”

Besides learning that an “M” looks like an “E” when laid on its side, I have also discovered that if you put a few Tylenol PMs into a Ziploc bag and then the bag falls into a hotel sink , and then you accidentally turn on the faucet in the dark of night (and do not close said bag very well), in the morning you will have a blue Play-Doh-like substance that can also put you to sleep and cure a headache.

You might also ask me how I know that a fish oil capsule, warmed in the sun in the lining of a purse will leave it smelling like three day old tuna for weeks.

All this preamble to say, though I am much improved from my days as a teen and young mom—I still struggle. Organization is as sticky a subject as the console of my car.

act together meme

If you are curious as to whether or not I ever found my Inner Organizer,  you might enjoy grabbing a copy of Nourished and read “the rest of the story.” 

“In the scope of a happy life, a messy desk or an overstuffed coat closet is a trivial thing, yet I find – and I hear from other people that they agree – that getting rid of clutter gives a disproportionate boost to happiness. Gretchen Rubin

Nourished cover final


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