A few years ago I caught a sweet movie on television; the movie was called “Last Holiday.” Queen Latifah plays the lead, Georgia Byrd. Georgia is a clerk in a department store in New Orleans. She is a passionate woman, loves her food, sings in the church choir, follows the rules and takes direction from her toxic boss. She has a crush on a co-worker, and through an interesting chain of events she ends up getting diagnosed with a brain injury with less than a month to live. It’s the kind of movie that catches my heart every time I see it—I’ve watched it several times.
Georgia keeps a diary/journal with notes, recipes, photos, dreams and assorted motivational articles. She calls the journal “Possibilities.” I often think of Georgia’s journal when I work with clients to help them achieve their organizing and decluttering goals. I love hearing about what their possibilities are and putting a plan in place to help them turn their possibilities into their reality.
So what are your “possibilities?” Are you dreaming about making your current home more habitable and safe for you to age in place? Are you hoping to begin entertaining your bridge group in your living room again? Do you want to clear the extra bedrooms so that your friends and relatives can have a sleep over? Are you hoping to move south to a warmer climate but can’t get out of your way with your clutter? Do you dream of entertaining for an upcoming holiday? These “possibilities” can become your reality.
There are some special lines from the movie, for example:
“I’ve been waiting my whole life to do something like this.” Sound familiar? What about “Fate changed everything.” Or, “Next time we will laugh more, we’ll love more, we just won’t be so afraid.” (This one is my personal favorite!)
What’s my point? What does a movie from 2006 have to do with organizing and decluttering in 2017? Lessons learned are ageless, and as I learned from Georgia’s journey, there is always hope and the opportunity for growth and change. She sees beauty in everything where others just take it for granted. If you watch the movie, you will completely understand my reference to “Don’t that ceiling ever just make you wanna cry?” I knew exactly how Georgia felt at that moment!
We all have our doubts, our setbacks and challenges in life. It’s how we deal with them that makes us unique. Georgia took her diagnosis as an opportunity to squeeze a lifetime of pleasure into a four-week period. Yes, I know it’s just a movie but this one really touches my heart. In spite of all the negative in her life, she takes a bold step to move forward and enjoy herself, and in doing so she opens up her world of “possibilities.” And you can too!
Spoiler alert… Georgia’s doctor realizes that his equipment was defective and his diagnosis was incorrect. Georgia was not dying in a month, but as a result of her taking action to enjoy what little time she thought she had left she ended up working with a world-famous chef, telling off a congressman who let her community down, provided motivation to some women she met at The Grandhotel Pupp (pronounced “poop,” which makes Georgia smile) and finding love with her secret crush at the store. To find out more and see the gorgeous visuals, you must watch the movie.
Link for movie on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aWt84NA8vM.
Happy “possibilities” organizing!
By Eileen Bergman
Eileen Bergman is a professional organizer, a proud member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD). Eileen is listed in the resource directory for the Hoarding Disorder Resource and Training Group. Eileen may be reached at 973 303 3236 or [email protected].