Vail Daily columnist Linda Stamper Boyne: Dress for the success you seek
Vail, CO, Colorado
My mom would never let me wear sweats to school. Her motto? Dress sloppy, act sloppy.
At the time, I hated that motto, especially in high school when I had an away basketball game and didn’t get home until close to 1 a.m. and had to be to school by 8 a.m. But now, I have to agree with her.
And I think it extends beyond my wardrobe to my environment. Last weekend, I was having a sloth day. You know what I’m talking about. That day when there’s so much that needs to be done that you slide into overload and can’t seem to get anything done because the couch won’t let go of you and the remote is stuck in your hand. You recline sloth-like, doing nothing. It’s OK. It happens to all of us at some point.
Anyway, when I finally stood up and looked around, after the head-rush passed, I saw that my house was a mess. Not a hoarder kind of mess, or lady with 30 cats sort of mess, but it was just in disarray, in need of a serious straightening, cleaning and organizing. My house was sloppy, so I was acting sloppy! Doesn’t it just bug you that my mom’s always right?
I find it fascinating how much our surroundings influence our attitudes. My house was a disaster, so I was unmotivated and unproductive. Same thing happens with my desk. I can’t write if I’m surrounded by clutter. Cluttered desk equals cluttered mind.
Just last week, a friend called me from work to vent, telling me he was completely overwhelmed, had so much to do he didn’t know where to start. Knowing all too well that feeling, I asked him what his desk looked like. Not surprisingly, it was a mess.
Channeling my mother, I told him that the road to success is not paved with failure, it’s paved with very organized desks. Clean up that desk and you will reap the rewards, I told him. He did and was able to fly through one of the seven “to-do” lists that he unearthed in the process. An organized desk equals an organized, productive mind!
Sometimes we just need a fresh start in order to re-energize. Life offers you the opportunities from time to time and if you pay attention, you can make the best of them. Last year, life tossed one my way when The Man Formerly Known As My Husband moved out, taking with him a whole bunch of furniture and other stuff.
For quite awhile, the empty rooms, vacant shelves and bare walls stayed that way. I moved nothing in to fill the emptiness, spending my time instead in the rooms that remained largely untouched, ignoring the sparsely furnished areas.
But eventually, I started looking at the things I had and the possibilities in those empty spaces. I began re-imagining my house. I rethought each room and considered what it could be. I moved furniture from one room to another and actually swapped two rooms’ traditional purposes, turning the living room into the dining room.
I changed the complexion and energy of my house completely. Now I have a home that fits me and feels like me. And with the exception of the occasional sloth day, it has restarted me and keeps me focused on what’s possible.
Repurposing can do wonders for the psyche. It can give you an entirely new perspective on something old. If we change the way we look at things, we can be more creative, more productive, more successful.
Shedding the old concepts of what is supposed to be, how things should be according to others, is freeing. It gives us the opportunity to metamorphose into what we want to be, what we’re meant to be.
And if our rooms are clean and we’re dressed well, the possibilities are endless!
Linda Stamper Boyne, of Edwards, can be contacted through editor@