Fast forward to the last few years, and she has turned into the most incredibly amazing woman. She is an FBI agent, and is part of a very exclusive "team" therein which I will not specify out of her need for anonymity, she had the sense to request assignment to sunny Florida, met and married her wonderful sweet husband, has a beautiful house with an amazing backyard pool "oasis" in a fabulous neighborhood, and they now have two absolutely priceless twin baby boys in their lives.
She has always been the pinnacle of organization. When we shared an apartment for a year after college, her area was always spotless and just so, and I used to drive her literally UP THE WALL with my much sloppier habits in comparison, especially when it came to leaving dirty dishes around. Later, after the birth of my son she came to visit and she and my mom spent an entire afternoon trying to organize my house with all the new baby stuff and getting the nursery set up while I napped off my stressed out and sleep deprived haze. The things she/they did definitely helped get a better handle on things, too. About a year later when she again came to visit we had just gotten through some really rough family-wise illness in the middle of the winter, and it was so tough on us we were in a bit of a funk. She pulled me together and suggested that no matter what kind of chaos I was undergoing and trying or not able to keep up with, that if I would just make the bed every morning and keep the bedroom tidy, at least that would be one restful spot on the house and it would gradually spread. Organization is key to mental restfulness. Do you know that to this day 4 or so years later I have made my bed every day since? And gradually, as we've gotten a better handle on things, and especially as our house is in currently in "showing" condition, it truly is a reality that tidiness=peacefulness.
So, now that she is a new mother of twins, I had told her I would visit her as soon as she wanted/needed me to pay back the love and support she had given me as a new mother. She's sounded pretty together this whole time on the phone, even with the boys being born early and spending a month in the hospital. So, here I am to visit, and I am stunned: even with having two new babies in the house, in addition to 4 cats and a husband, she has it completely together. And I mean, COMPLETELY. There is not one speck of dirt and not one thing out of place. The kids rooms are organized, the play areas are organized, the kitchen is tidy and immaculate, and even though she and her husband are juggling the pair of them and frequent feedings, etc., she absolutely puts every single thing in its exact rightful place the second she is done with it. Their house looks like it could go on the market with 15 minutes' notice, no exaggeration!! In addition, she has lost enough of her baby weight that if I hadn't seen pictures I'd never believe she had given birth recently, never mind that they were twins. She is completely put together, too, with cute hair and makeup. The house in in perfect shape, as well, no projects "waiting to be done", she does all that kind of stuff immediately, and she knows how to fix everything from plumbing to electrical work to carpentry to cars. I am totally in awe. She is relaxed, happy, and efficient. It truly makes me want to better myself as a person and live my life like that, with a perpetually organized and efficient life. At a healthy weight. Something to strive for, with an example of how seemingly easy it can be!