Tranquility, Thanksgiving, and Order In the Sock Drawer

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Susan Dromey Heeter and friend Trish talk organization.

Tranquillitas ordinidis is Latin for tranquility of order.  It sounds so lovely, tranquillitas. Tranquililty. Ordinidis. Order.

Susan Dromey Heeter

Susan Dromey Heeter

I muse joyfully on the tranquility of order on the same way I muse joyfully on someone who speaks French or Italian fluently; their ability is something I envy, their talents profound.

I am entirely joyous when I comprehend even a bit of French, a bit of Italian.  And I am entirely joyous when I have organized my sock drawer or can find my passport.

In researching this week’s Joyful Musings, I asked several people about the tools they use for organization.  My friend, Trish, gleefully showed off her closet – all with bins labeled and tools aligned. I am in awe of Trish’s tranquillitas ordinidis, simply the fact that she can find a screwdriver in less than a minute – a Phillips Head at that – is entirely impressive.

Trish recently updated her kitchen and with that massive project came the joy of having new places for storage, for order.  It’s entirely obvious this endeavor has brought joy, tranquility to Trish.

When I asked my world language colleagues of their tools for organization, I heard various insights. My colleague, John, declared he is “morally opposed to putting things away.”  Spanish Teacher, Greg, noted that although his socks never leave the laundry room, he can always find a pair as he only purchases black and white socks.  “All the same kind,” he remarked.  “That makes it easy.”

Fluent French teacher, Kim, remarked that when she’s wearing boots, she’d be hard pressed to find two of the same socks and frequently wears mismatched ones beneath her footwear.  And Kathy remarked that most of her laundry lands and stays on the couch – its locale making it relatively easy to get dressed, though not necessarily in an organized way.

And the beauty of organization, the tranquillitas ordinidis, is that someone’s organization works brilliantly for them but may not work for someone else. Kathy is always dressed, Kim always has warm feet, John, well, John seems to be faring quite well despite his moral opposition to putting things away.  He does seem to be able to show up, to be dressed and when I asked if he knew where his passport was, he did not hesitate. He’s ready to fly anywhere, anytime.  His bag may not be entirely put together, but, hey, he’ll make the flight.

As for me? I’ve been called many things but “entirely organized” has never been one.  “Organized mess” yes, “neat as a pin” well, no.  My spoons never line up perfectly in my kitchen drawer, my socks match occasionally and, yes, I do know where my passport is.

And that, my dear Joyful Musers, is all I need for tranquillitas ordinidis. May you, too, enjoy some tranquility of order this Thanksgiving.

Susan Dromey Heeter, a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white, debuts her new column “Joyful Musings” at InDepthNH.org. Dromey Heeter is a secondary Spanish Teacher at Dover High School and the mother of two teenage daughters.  Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.  Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards. She also writes about thrift shopping and all things frugal  in a column called “Budget Vogue” for the New Hampshire Union Leader.

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