MUSEUM OF MODERN JUNK: Overwhelmed and Freaking Out. Normal Stages of Change.

Don’t be alarmed.  Where you see overwhelming work that is impossible to attack, you will soon change your vision.  There are people who take a class in classical music and suddenly their ears are opened to a whole new world of music, opera,   modern and traditional classical, jazz and ballet scores.   I remember taking a class in ornithology (birds) and suddenly birds and their songs were everywhere!  How could I not see them before?  This entry is all about finding that new eye and getting ready for change.   Take a moment to read about change:

This quote comes directly from Wikipedia and I put it here so you do not need to search around for it.  I also jazzed it up a bit to make it more fun to read.

Stages of change
(from Wikipedia retrieved on 11-18-2014)
In the transtheoretical model, change is a “process involving progress through a series of stages:”[25][27]

Precontemplation (Not Ready)-“People are not intending to take action in the foreseeable future, and can be unaware that their behaviour is problematic”
Contemplation (Getting Ready)-“People are beginning to recognize that their behaviour is problematic, and start to look at the pros and cons of their continued actions”
Preparation (Ready)-“People are intending to take action in the immediate future, and may begin taking small steps toward behaviour change”[nb 1]
Action – “People have made specific overt modifications in modifying their problem behaviour or in acquiring new healthy behaviours”
Maintenance – “People have been able to sustain action for a while and are working to prevent relapse”
Termination – “Individuals have zero temptation and they are sure they will not return to their old unhealthy habit as a way of coping”[nb 2]
In addition, the researchers conceptualized “relapse” (recycling) which is not a stage in itself but rather the “return from Action or Maintenance to an earlier stage.”[25][nb 3]

 

These images from Wikipedia, Hoarding, accessed on 11-18-2014.

These images from Wikipedia, Hoarding, accessed on 11-18-2014.

Now take another look at this kitchen.  Think about the pre-contemplation stage.  You are not ready to make change, and you are perhaps not even aware that you need change, but you probably are becoming aware as you are looking at this blog!  Take a look at this photo and see if we can get you past the pre-contemplation stage to the contemplation stage.  This is not your kitchen, so it might be easier to look at and really see.  We are trying to get you to the next stage so you can see the clutter, and be aware of your own desire to change.  So, like all good scientists, let’s look at this and document what we see.  This is called data collection:  observe and document.  It helps are mind to see more deeply and if we see more deeply, we understand and can create questions to be answered.  No need to identify specifics or impress anyone because this is not a test.

Do you see any pots or pans in this photo?  How many?

Are there dishes in the sink?  Is the sink stuff with dishes only or stuffed with stuff?  Are there papers near the stove top?  What do you see?  Are there other flammables near the stove?  Some examples include plastic, oils, cardboard, paper bags, and even metal pots if left on the burner too long!

Do you see fire hazards?  What are they?

Is this kitchen actively being used?  What evidence do you see?  Is someone using this stove top to cook greens?  Is there a coffee maker in there?  What kind is it?  I agree, it looks like a Bialetti to me!

How many spice bottles do you see.  Does it look like there are more than one bottle of a single type of spice?

Where is the box of Quinoa?  What the heck is Quinoa?

How many plastic bags do you see?

Do you think that this sink is usable?  

Do you think this kitchen smells good?

Do you think anyone could get to the sink or the oven without stepping on clutter?

How many paper bags do you see?

Fine.  Done.  It is not your kitchen.  So how do you feel?  Overwhelmed, motivated, excited, bored, hopeless, embarrassed, suicidal, primed for change, eager to learn?   Take a moment to really think about your feelings.  What concerns do you have for the person who uses this kitchen?  Are you afraid of microbial growth and sickness, allergens and asthma, chronic cough?  Are you afraid of fire hazard?  What about the open food containers inviting pests and contamination, even poisoning?

Coming next:   Some homework to get you into the contemplation stage and beyond!

 

 

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