ben franklin and the quest for divine order

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I’ve been doing a little side project: working through Ben Franklin’s list of Thirteen Virtues, one month at a time. (You can read more about each virtue at a cool website called

My guy Ben (yeah, I’ve got a thing for him) created his system to “develop his character” and because he strived for “moral perfection.” Uh…I don’t aim…I’m just looking for a little self improvement. Which is why I thought his Thirteen Virtues might be a good thing to practice.

I just completed Month Three: Order.
Here’s what happened:

Ben explain Order as this: “Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.”  That should be simple, right?

I’m pretty orderly in my habits and routines. And my time? Managed like a total Time Lord. My checkbook? Balanced to the penny. Yeah, I’ve got this down.

Except I don’t.

I confess that I am as cluttery as it gets. I have too much stuff. Not hoarders-worthy, mind you. I’m neat and clean. But my weakness for books and lipstick is pretty bad (ironically, I have a bunch of books on clutter). My stuff is nice ‘n orderly but it’s still too much. And then let’s not forget my artist husband. Try living with an artist who loves to collect horror films and also likes to upcycle found materials. We’ve got every art supply known to man and plenty of toys + gadgets too.

I vowed that I would not buy one more book. Not one more bit of makeup. I would go through my stuff and clear a bunch of this overflow, read every book that is still unread, and make sure everything is perfectly put away.

Except it didn’t happen.

I was too busy. I even failed the “let each part of your business have it’s time” because I’ve been working ten hour days. (This is busy season for tarot readers.) And I bought a new cookbook plus two new makeup palettes. UGH.

So there ya go.

Ben would be utterly disappointed. But you know what? I’m not going to beat myself up over this. I will make a better effort next time. And perhaps not start this decluttering/order process until I’m out of my busy time of year.

What I learned:
I’m far from perfect or “moral perfection”.
How I intend to carry this virtue forward into the rest of my life:
Even though my quest for order was an epic fail, I’m still going to work at it. Perhaps it may be best to adjust my expectations. Maybe my version of order might be totally different than good ole Ben’s.

Order & Tarot – your affirmation for the month:

Every day, I do my best to create order in my life.


How about you?
Is it time to introduce more Order into your life?
What would that look like? Where will you begin?

If you’d like to join me as I continue my journey through Ben Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues, feel free! This month (December) I am working on Resolution. Which may mean resolving to get this clutter under control once and for all! Ha! Uh…probably not. I’ve got other things that need immediate resolving over here.

I hoped you enjoyed this backstage peek into my nerdy little side project.
I’ll leave you with this quote from my homeboy B-Franklin:
“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”

Yes indeed. Improving your character when you’ve got a load o’ vices (even if those vices are simply lipstick addiction), requires vigilance. Whether you’re trying to declutter your home, organize your schedule, or buy less things, there’s always room to improve. Just don’t scold yourself too hard if you don’t meet perfection (I’m sure even Benny boy wasn’t infallible.) There’s always another day to keep on keepin’ on.


Tiny hippos and mudras and talismans – I always hope for the best.

Other stuff:

Giving adult antipsychotics to a toddler?  YES. This is happening.

Tara Gentile has opened the doors for the mother of all entrepreneur conferences: Quiet Power Strategy – The Summit.  If I didn’t have a schedule conflict (tarot conference), this is where I’d be next year!

Let them eat gluten-free sugar-free kale cakes: Nigella Lawson on special diets as a mask for eating disorders. Preach, sister – and pass the cupcakes!

Get your card history on: I adore Mary K. Greer and love this post on Old Gypsy Fortune Telling Cards.

Caitlin Matthews gives a tarot history lesson over at Mental Floss.

My friend Dr. Suzanne Gelb has some stellar advice: 20 career boosting steps you can take before New Years Eve.

I hate getting my pic taken and never know what to wear.  Style guru Elsa Isaac lays it down: what should I wear for a photo or video shoot?

Zeus the bullmastiff does it HIS WAY.

Curious about the Enneagram?  Pace Smith has this simple guide to help you understand it. (I’m a 7.)

I am SO making this miso soup thing soon.

Sabrina Mellado is making her own tarot over at Rookie.

Prince has had a lot of hairdos. This chart will help you to keep track of them all.

Sancti-mommies, food crusaders and the rise of entitled eaters.  I’ve known some of these women and I’ve seen their kids go off the rails on sugar binges as soon as their backs are turned. Forbidden food is always the best.  Heh heh….

Mary Weiland writes a heartbreaking note following Scott Weiland’s death.

No longer big in Japan: emojis.

Gala Darling got a boob job – and wrote all about it.  A great post to read if you’ve ever thought about getting one.

A must read: when both of your children are transgendered. Very powerful story.

Thousands of rape victims around the world have to go through grisly, unsafe abortions.  But Obama could change this with one swipe of the pen.

Honored to be featured on Alexandra Franzen’s holiday gift guide along with all these other nifty suggestions!

From Gabby Bernstein: How to detox from judgment.

This is at the top of my wish list: Filofax 2016 Saffiano A5 PU-Leather Organizer Agenda Gold Limited Edition with DiLoro Jot Pad Refill 022507

While I’ve been tempted with those Kitchenmaid ads, this hand spiraler might do the job just as well: OXO Good Grips Handheld Spiralizer, Green

My husband wishes we were vegetarians. This looks like it might be his dream cookbook: The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook

I’m obsessive about skin care. Intrigued with this book: The Little Book of Skin Care: Korean Beauty Secrets for Healthy, Glowing Skin

My favorite skin care products are Paula’s Choice, hands down. They are the BEST. Paula Begoun just released this new book: The Little Book of Skin Care: Korean Beauty Secrets for Healthy, Glowing Skin

Curious about this virtual reality thing: Samsung Gear VR – Virtual Reality Headset (Good thing I don’t own an Samsung or I might be tempted to buy it!)

Interesting read: A Narco History


What I’m Grateful For:

The Container store just arrived in my hood
My version of “order”
Planners galore
Sweet mail
Podcasts with friends
Chicken sandwiches


Soundtrack for 12/12/15: On The Regular by Shamir – Addictive!

Rock on,


© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2015

pics from Flickr commons and personal collection

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