Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Revising our Lives

In business, there is a principle known as 5s. Those S’s stand for sort, set to order, shine, standardize, and sustain. The longer I know about them, the more I am inclined to incorporate in them into all parts of my life. Not only are they about getting rid of things we don’t need in business, or in our closets, but they can also be about getting rid of things we don’t need in our lives or our writing.
More and more, I want to have only people in my life who are good for me and things that help with the positive forward motion I so need. I have begun to sort the good for me people from the not so good for me, and I am purging the latter. The older I get, the less willing I am to spend time, effort, or energy on people who do not have my best interest at heart. The good Southern girl in me wanted to balk at this idea, initially, but then I realized that what Southerners do the very best is authentic hospitality and friendliness. Yes, we will bless your heart all day long before we’ll say something outwardly rude, and we might even invite you to our parties out of a sense of obligation instead of true desire. But, both of those instances can be written off to manners, good raising, I think. They aren’t actually about friendliness. Sorting not worth it to me people out of my life leaves me much more time to enjoy the people I love and who love me. It helps me focus my energies on being a better friend and a better person, which helps set my soul to order, which makes me smile. We’d all rather I were smiling.
Since the 5s’s are really about revision, it occurred to me that I could apply them to my writing as well. Again, I can do without people who want to just criticize to tear me down. I can send them to the recycling bin as easily as that empty Ben and Jerry’s pint container from last night. Maybe someone else can remake them into something more useful. I can also separate my words from myself, realizing that a just because I’ve written a beautiful sentence, it doesn’t have to be the sentence for that paragraph or poem or paper. I can sort it away, too. I can standardize my writing practice, bring more discipline to it. Once I see it begin to shine, I know I will be able to sustain it. After all, I love shiny things.
So, readers dear, what do you need to revise? How can the 5s’s help you?


Kelley said...

Oh, where to start? Where to start?

Liz Fichera said...

Amen, Sister!

I'm on a "less is more" kick myself this year. I'm hoping it sticks.

Katrina said...

I've been working on this priciple more and more over the last year. I think the older I get the less willing I am to deal with foolishness. It just annoys me and makes me less nice, and since I'm not THAT nice to start with, that can be a problem ;)
Good Luck!!!!
Just jump in. Start wherever you start. There is no beginning, no end, no right place here. Just go.

Tina said...

I'm trying to apply this principle to my girlchild's room -- we can get past Sort. We keep getting into Side-tracked and Silly. But we're determined.