Thursday, May 20, 2010

OK, so I need a confidence boost

I am by nature a fairly optimistic creature. People don't believe that because I am also by nature a hole-puncher, and all they see is how I poke holes in their wonderful plans.

But in all actuality, my hole punching is a true sign of optimism. I mean, really, the guy who invented the parachute? He was supremely confident in the plane's ability to get off the ground in the first place. That, my friends, takes optimism. He saw a problem, solved it, and moved on. He didn't say, "Hey, flying's dangerous and you shouldn't do it."

My approach to life drives The Husband insane. This isn't a unique reaction, as it also drives The Sister insane and The Co-Workers insane and, well, just about everybody. Except me. In the end, people do grudgingly say, "Well, hey, you were right, and that made all the difference."

I believe, truly, to the depth of my soul, that any problem has a solution. And when my confidence falters, I chant my mantra: I graduated Magna Cum Laude, and I can fold a fitted sheet. I can do anything."

That fitted sheet business is something to be rightly proud of, if I do say so myself. It took me years to figure it out. I kept trying and failing. Finally, I hit upon the solution: I would carefully unpack a new, still-in-the-pack fitted sheet, and see how the factory did it.

It was amazingly, head-bangingly simple. Some years ago, people asked me my method, and I took some pix. I'm sharing my system below. You can tell from the loud, cyanotic cabbage roses that these pix are very old. I can assure you: my bedroom comforter looks far different now -- and, er, the room is messier.

So what is it that powers you through bleak moments? Am I completely alone in relying on pathetic little triumphs to serve as a means to say, "Oh, yeah, I can SO take that mountain!"


Toby Speed said...

Yippee! Sheet-folding instructions, complete with photographs! I love it. I am posting a link to this on my Facebook page, Cynthia. (Are you on FB, by the way?)

Being organized as far as tasks and files powers me! Sounds dumb, but I really like having up-to-date files on EVERYTHING. It makes me feel like I can move forward and take some risks.

Mary McDonald said...

That? Is amazing. lol. I have never been able to fold those things and usually just bunch them up and toss them in the linen closet--and shut the door really quick before they tumble out.

Misty said...

You are one wild and crazy chick, Cynthia. You gotta be an outlining, ducks-in-a-row type to get a post like this and I gotta say, I dig it. Keep on foldin', Cynthia!

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I LOVE the how-to directions. :) Thanks for teaching us the secret method.

Hard times never last. That's what I always tell myself (usually over a glass of wine.)

Linda G. said...

Wow. So deceptively simple. Why didn't I think of it? All these years I've been avoiding the problem by washing the sheets & putting them immediately back on the bed. No folding necessary. ;)

(Sure, I have spare sheets for emergencies, but why drag them out before the current ones are threadbare?)

Nate said...

Where do I start?

On optimism: I'll remind you that Murphy was an optimist. I too live my Life in a near-constant state of contingency planning for the worst-case scenario, and no, it's NOT an endearing trait, buy hey, I'm a pilot! But even I don't pretend that makes me an optimist! (How's that for hole-poking? )

On tackling tough problems: seems to me the lesson here is that if you can just conceal the true problem (rounded elastic corners) cleverly enough (folding them under into a deceptive straight edge), you can make it APPEAR to be solved, when in fact it's just lying dormant until some smart-alec peels back the layers to expose it again!

Now, I ask you: who da (OCD) man?

Awesome post though, Cynthia - are you sure you're not an uber-successful Wall Street CEO just keeping that immense problem-concealing ability hidden under a sweet, innocent disguise?


Tory said...

Hi, Cynthia! I found your blogsite from twitter, and what a day to stumble across it! For years, I've struggled w/ folding a fitted sheet. Now, four kiddos later, I am up to my chin with messy linen closets. Well, not anymore!

Thank you so much for sharing the pics. I couldn't help but giggle at the rosette comforter! My mom had one very similar.

If you get a spare minute, I'd love for you to check out my blog. I plan to update as soon as I get off your blog.:-) Have a great Thursday! Tory

Stephanie Thornton said...

Okay, so I've never really managed to fold a fitted sheet correctly. But I can do a lot of other things!

I'm usually pretty optimistic, but I'll tell you- this writing business is like an emotional roller coaster! Ah well- such is life!

Lickety Splitter said...

I love your "can do" mantra! I'm gonna make my own as soon as I figure my "middle part" out. I got the first and last part down, all I have to do now is figure out what I can do that is as magical as fitted sheet folding!

My mantra is usually "I'm fine, and everything is perfect. I'm fine and everything is perfect. I'm fine and everything is perfect." Yep, its three times the one line.

Jamie D. said...

I like to think of myself as an "optimistic realist"...which is basically what you're describing here. My general philosophy is that everything will work out, as long as we take A, B, C, D, and E (which everyone seems to forget) into consideration first. I figure there's no point in moving forward without having a good view of all the potential obstacles (so I have a plan for moving around/over/under/through them).

People are usually either in awe of my mad control-freak organizational/planning skills, or absolutely horrified at the structure I impose on myself. LOL

That is a lovely sheet folding job, for sure. Excellent work! :-)

Lola Sharp said...

Well that was... freaking awesome!

I operate under the Mary McDonald plan.

Happy Weekend!! :)

Tawna Fenske said...

I'm going to go refold every fitted sheet in my linen closet now. You are my idol.


Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I'm doing good if it gets stuffed in the closet and doesn't just lie on the floor, looking for a purpose.

Remembering things we figured out/dow well/have already accomplished is key. I can never remember, which is why it's handy to keep the hubby around. He does a nice job of reminding me, when I can't remember.

Sarah said...

Woooow! Seriously, mine always use to end up in a ball or something!:P

Cynthia Reese said...

*blushing at all the compliments*

Toby, I am on FB, but it is mostly abandoned. I find Twitter more suited to my ADD self. And I'm impressed. I'll fold your sheets if you'll organize my files!

Mary, that was my approach for years. But when you're 4'10" and stubborn, it doesn't take much to be buried under a pile of bunched up fitted sheets. They grow, the rascals.

Misty, I'm just a touch OCD. JUST a touch. ;-) And this is the first time that I have EVER been called a wild, crazy chick. I shall be sure to tell Linda G.

Karen, I love your saying! Am penning it into my memory for comfort!

Linda G, did you see that Misty called me a wild and crazy chick? *preens* I tried YOUR approach, too, but it drove me crazy to see a naked mattress.

Nate, Nate, now I'm going to fixate on how those rounded corners are lurking within my neatly folded stack. Spoilsport!

Tory, I can't imagine a linen closet big enough to hold linen for a family with four kiddos. I am GLAD to be of service ... will hop on over to your blog un momento.

Stephanie, I can tell from your blog that you're one smart-as-a-whip cookie, and with all that going for you, you can probably charm someone else into folding your fitted sheets!

Lickety Splitter, that's me, Mrs. Can-do.

Jaime, we must be soul-sisters. We problem-solve as though we are bonded at the molecular level!

Lola, you ought to have seen my mother's expression the first time I showed her my technique. She mumbled something about getting my psychiatric help.

Tawna, I shall expect photos to back this up!

Susan, if you ever need reminding, just holler my way. You have many, many accomplishments!

Sarah, mine did, too, for many years, with me weeping copiously atop the heap.

Paul C said...

Enjoyed this post. We all need a confidence boost and a mantra, including folding fitted sheets. One of my mantras is 'Let it go.' Don't let ego get in the way of having a great day.

Nishant said...

I'm usually pretty optimistic, but I'll tell you- this writing business is like an emotional roller coaster! Ah well- such is life
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muffintopmommy said...

OMG! GENIUS!!!! GEN-I-US! Wow. I so admire your tenacity! Mine are just all bunched up...but not for long. And wow, now that I see it, I'm like, why didn't I think of that???? Thanks!
p.s. You need to take this show on the road. You could probably make money with this knowledge in your back pocket!