This I Believe

Alison - Seattle, Washington
Entered on October 12, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

This I Believe

I believe in structure. Structure reassures me that life is not completely random. I believe in getting up before noon and going to bed sometime. I don’t have a paying job right now—I was a CPA. I think I like spending time alone, but I feel like I am floating so I hang on to the structure in my life. I like going to church on Sunday. That the liturgy is structured too makes the day an anchor for me. I like taking weekly classes. Work provides structure, but it takes so much time. My sister suggested I get a no-brainer job. I told her the “brainer” jobs pay more.

I’d better go to the gym. Going to the gym gives structure. Meals give structure. I think I heard that Norwegian farmers used to eat seven (or maybe it was it five) meals a day. They must have really needed the structure.

A housecleaning schedule would help. Structure helps cut down on decisions and frees the mind and body energy for more creative endeavors.

I went to the gym and I do feel better.

It is kind of weird not to have a job right now. I’m starting to get a little sludge brain about it.

Roads are structure. It helps if addresses are predictable. Random roads, like all those Princess Anne roads near Virginia Beach, can drive you crazy. Is God my GPS? I don’t know how any one can get around Virginia Beach without a GPS. Even with structure, I get a little out of control feeling. I wonder if that is my obsessive-compulsive disorder. Does everybody feel so at lost without a list, a semblance of structure? How much list making, how many routines, are too many?

Structure gives the illusion of having the chaos under control. My compact discs are sorted by genre and alphabet. It makes it so much easier to see what music I have and avoid buying the same recording. A couple people, besides me, probably don’t have an i-pod. I alphabetize my spice bottles, though that one doesn’t matter so much since I mostly use the old standards—salt and pepper.

Structure helps me get out of bed and through the day, and then through the week. The months and years are still a little difficult. Words, sentences, and paragraphs help me, but I break the rules sometimes.

In closing, I believe in structure.

Next on the list—grocery shopping.