I don’t like real-life mysteries

I don’t like real-life mysteries. I’ll read fiction all day every day, cut my teeth on Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys, graduated to Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, Lord Peter and Nero Wolfe. I avoid the real-life stuff at all cost.

I’m reviewing some of my bookkeeping, which prompts this self-reflection. Worry about the client who cancelled because her child got sick and I haven’t heard a word since, months. Silence from the client who wants to move out-of-state and there’s a lot of work to do. Fear for the client who got kicked out of home by family. That client got an apartment, but I’ll never know what happened next. Guilt over the client I left at the end of the earliest, tiniest baby steps of a project because she wasn’t ready for the effort and I was just going to take her money without lasting effect. Gave her thorough recommendations for the next stages and tried to leave gently. Even more guilt over the client I left because the work we accomplished was undone time and time and time again and I couldn’t push the boulder uphill any longer – I wasn’t the right person to affect real progress. I gave that client referrals to colleagues, detailing their bios and qualifications so my client could make an informed choice about my replacement. I explained as carefully as I could why I was choosing to withdraw. I’ll never be sure I managed. Pain over the client who let me go for good cause – there are times when a heartfelt compliment causes harm, something I learned only years later while listening to a Brené Brown tape.


Working with an Organizer is an intimate process, even more so than with a doctor or lawyer. Organizers see everything you let us see, hear so much of what you need to say. Yes, we care.


About Lauren Williams

Lauren Williams, Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Virtual Professional Organizer®


  1. Lauren Buxbaum Kacir on February 6, 2023 at 10:15 am

    AMEN! To all your points.

    • Lauren Williams on February 6, 2023 at 3:55 pm

      Helping professions are hard, the balance between supportive and burn-out is so fine.

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