Organize 365® Podcast

We’ve come to the downsizing & legacy stage of life. These are two different things, although I married them together about 6 years ago when I first wrote about this. Naturally people downsize, but I don’t think they always think about the implications of legacy. Some downsizing is based on your family of origin. A lot of people never get to legacy, but legacy can happen at any time. So in this podcast, downsizing isn’t because you are overwhelmed and want to live a minimalist lifestyle. I’m talking about downsizing because you don’t need this big of a house anymore. It’s a natural phase of life where you start to downsize the amount of possessions you have. Downsizing usually happens when you’ve observed or been through a very major life event; it changes your perspective on time forever going forward. 

Once you make the shift that people are more important than things, and that you want to spend your time with people instead of taking care of stuff - you start to let go of things on a regular basis. These cascades of downsizing happen 1) for the amount of house you want to clean and maintain, and 2) for the amount of stuff you want to clean and keep from the family of origin you have. This natural wanting to live in a smaller, easier to maintain house typically happens at the end of your 60s and into your 70s. The mental mindset when you have a life-altering event that makes you realize you’re not invincible seems to take place by 70. 

What is the purpose or job in this phase of life? For downsizing - it’s to continue to refine and curate the physical items you have around you that you still love and use and bring you joy in this season of life. For legacy - it’s to have around you the things that remind you of who you are, where you came from, the legacy you’ve put into your family and into the world. This is why I’m adamant about not having your memories in your storage room. If you love it and it’s part of your legacy - frame it, put it on a shelf, put it anywhere so you can see it. 

What is your capacity in downsizing & legacy? Over time your capacity will slow down, and you’ll really want to use your capacity to spend time with family and friends, do the things you’re uniquely created to do, not more housework. How do we use the physical spaces in our home? You purposefully choose to live in smaller dwelling spaces so the way you use those smaller spaces changes. What scaffolding or support do we need to make this phase of life easier and more productive? We need understanding, for the generations behind this one who aren’t there yet who won’t understand until they are in it, to listen to this podcast and think “yeah, that makes sense.” 

EPISODE RESOURCES:

Did you enjoy this episode? Please leave a rating and review in your favorite podcast app. Share this episode with a friend and be sure to tag Organize 365® when you share on social media!

Direct download: 589_-_Housework_70_Downsizing__Legacy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

I just knew in my heart of hearts that the Special Education staff was going to need support. Jayme’s building has ⅓ of the student population that qualifies for special education!! How was I going to give that support? Did the staff have the time? So I called Jayme and we decided on a Zoom class and I invited them to be my guest at my upcoming paper organizing retreat. The staff was excited to learn together and Jayme was creative in carving out time for them to complete the training.

On Zoom

The Zoom training kind of turned into a Q&A. The teachers felt prepared for the IEP meetings until Jayme pointed out that if you have to leave during the meeting (which happened often), then they weren’t prepared. So they all threw out challenges and reasons why that happened. It was impactful for me to understand the variables and complexities involved in the IEP process. It was a non judgmental conversation rather quite productive in preparing them, Jayme and staff, and me, for the paper organizing retreat. 

The Paper Organizing Retreat 

I enjoyed getting to meet Jayme’s Special Education staff and understanding their challenges. It was interesting to learn how much traveling they do and how many entities they are responsible for due to creating IEPs.  And not to mention that all of the IEPs have legal implications...at a Federal level. There are timelines and if one “i” doesn’t get dotted, the whole thing is invalid. I have been on both sides of this process and I know that the IEP meetings are emotionally volatile and the teachers need to be prepared with all the proper documentation. Not having a document or needing to get keys to access a document show unpreparedness and the teacher is perceived to be unorganized and unengaged. Jayme had a unique challenge that in the past her Special Education team had always been experienced and confident in “processing” IEP’s. That was not the case going into this school year. Jayme needed to know just as much as her staff going into this school year. This brought a spotlight on the checklist she THOUGHT everyone had seen and was planning on using. Turned out there were multiple copies, some outdated, and some teachers had not seen the checklists. So there was a new digitally optimized checklist that was created initially in analog as they conversed. They identified tasks that needed to be completed (with dates) before, during, and after the IEP meetings to keep everything legal and moving forward. This was brilliant for Jayme because she had the master and will have it now for her career. The teachers could get access to it and edit it to their process and responsibilities, AND it was all on one page!!

Creating Individualized Teacher Workboxes for Those Who Create IEP’s

Each teacher embraced the Teacher Friday Workbox®, but they realized they needed to customize it for the student population that they served as well as what felt good to them in an organizational sense. Also, it became obvious how much these teachers are on the move. Traveling between classrooms, meetings, and outside the building. Jayme invested in portable workboxes for the Special Education teachers. 

**Can’t wait to find out why Jayme got red slash pockets for each student??

EPISODE RESOURCES:

On the Wednesday podcast, I get to talk with members of the Organize 365­® community as they share the challenges, progress, missteps and triumphs along their organizing journey. I am grateful that you are reaching out to share with me and with this community. You can see and hear transformation in action. If you are ready to share your story with us, please apply at https://organize365.com/wednesday.

Did you enjoy this episode? Please leave a rating and review in your favorite podcast app. Share this episode with a friend and be sure to tag Organize 365® when you share on social media!


Sorry, I got a little long winded in that last podcast. But you know, the podcast where I talk about your 30s and 40s I can speak to you more authoritatively about because I have lived it. A lot of what I’m saying from here forward is speculation and purely observational. Some things you have to just experience to understand - like giving birth! Being in your 50s is so freeing because you realize that no one is paying attention to what you are doing. They’re worried about themselves, thinking about their own lives, their own dreams, their own hopes, ambitions, time, money, energy and capacity. Chasing who you are uniquely created to be and running after your own uniqueness and becoming as excellent as possible in the thing that you were gifted and created to do is like the rest of my life’s mission. 

In your 20s there’s so many possibilities - try it all. In your 30s, you need to be an independent adult. In your 40s you go ok, well…I tried a lot of things in my 20s and 30s and these things aren’t moving into the second half of my life so they need to be decluttered, not only physically but mentally. I think there’s an extended new phase of life here, I’m going to call it “Emerging Uniqueness.” Women today in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s have big plans, lofty plans. They love what they are doing and the impact they’re making. Your 50s are a Golden Window…a Golden Decade! If you had your children in your late 30s, this window will shift to later. So where you have your children (if you have them at all) does create where your fixed expenses and time constraints are going to be. 

The theme of the 50s to me so far and what I’m observing is that women aren’t done. We haven’t even really gotten started, to be honest. We want to be on the list - on the to do list. Like, we would like to be above the dog. Once you’re decluttered and organized, you have a lot of capacity for the unexpected demands on your time and your money because you know how to move things around mentally and physically on your calendar in order to create the capacity when needed. I think that adulthood is self care. It has nothing to do with bubble baths, spas or whatever. Self care is taking care of yourself. In childhood, your parents took care of you. In emerging adulthood, you’re in between your parents and taking care of yourself. Now is your time. 

What is our purpose or our job in this phase of life? Self care. Taking care of yourself and prioritizing yourself, in addition to everyone else that lives in your household. Planning - planning for you and what you’re doing next and continuing to dream - that is your purpose. What is your capacity? HUGE. Huge capacity, income, earning, time, and 50 years worth of knowledge. How do we use the physical spaces in our home? You understand time capacity now. You understand how limited it is, but also how exponential it is. So, just get your homework done. Once your physical spaces are decluttered and organized, you’re not in accumulation anymore - so it will stay maintained. What scaffolding or support do we need to make this phase of life easier and more productive? Once you’ve done The Productive Home Solution® and The Paper Solution®, what you need is Planning Day. Not only will Planning Days help you plan the next 120 days, it will encourage you, inspire you, motivate you, and hold you accountable to keep growing, reaching further, and dreaming about what is possible. Make a list of the things that you want to do, be, and have in the second half of your life…and then start going after it! 

EPISODE RESOURCES:

Did you enjoy this episode? Please leave a rating and review in your favorite podcast app. Share this episode with a friend and be sure to tag Organize 365® when you share on social media!

Direct download: 588_-_Housework_in_Your_50s_-_NEW_-_Emerging_Uniqueness.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

This is the recap of Day 1. I was driving to Jayme to teach the first workshop for her teachers about the Teacher Friday Workbox®. I’d been having conversations with other schools about implementing the Teacher Program in their schools. I was shocked by the one thing holding them back. The honest feedback I was receiving was that they were afraid they’d be shedding light on how overworked the teachers were and they knew the staff was resentful and considering quitting. They were afraid that making visible all of the invisible work they do would give them reason to submit their resignation! 

You’re Not Alone And You’re Not Crazy

I shared this feedback with Jayme who laughed. “They already know they are overworked!”  Jayme’s staff had two reactions to the Teacher Friday Workbox®. Some (especially new faculty) were afraid to do it wrong. Jayme assured them if they were just doing something they were doing it right. And the others had epiphanies saying, “I’m not crazy, and I’m not alone.” Those teachers discovered through the Teacher Friday Workbox® that other teachers felt the same as them. And it was cathartic to visualize all they really did and it was no longer a mystery why they felt overwhelmed. Jayme encourages other schools to understand that each teacher will embrace it at their own level and that’s ok. At one point too, Jayme did the time circles with the teachers once again reinforcing that their time was spread pretty thin. 

The First Workshop

There I was with Jayme the principal, the assistant superintendent, and a room full of teachers. I couldn’t wait to hear all their feedback and realizations. But something interesting happened. I encouraged them to bring to light any issue within the building. This was another time they realized they weren’t alone in noticing the same issues. They were learning from each other. “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.” Maya Angelou. We discussed the different colored slash pockets and their use in the Teacher Friday Workbox®. The mental wellness of the staff providing for the students is so important. Now teachers had a designated place to place important documents. 

  • Red for behavioral matters like IEP’s, 504’s, things with possible legal implications

  • Orange for calendars and computers - maybe they wanted to print off something actionable from a parent

  • Yellow out of the classroom; like field trips or projects for parents who help

  • Green reimbursement but some use it for grading or lesson plans

  • Blue teams; grade level, building level, parent, IEP, meetings (record questions for next meeting)

  • Purple attendance

  • Pink THE TEACHER! PD, peer reviews, or maybe just happy mail to remind you that you are a good teacher and the kids love you.

Jayme noticed two awesome unexpected side effects. The teachers were now task stacking due to accomplishing tasks of the same color. And there was a trickle down of sorts where teachers could offer similar solutions to students to tackle their assignments. 

I Almost Turned Around

As I drove away recounting the workshop, all I could think of was the Special Education Team. They had no checklists and they were all new. They were new to the building, and most of them new to the Special Education Department. I knew they were going to need more support, so I arranged more time for the Special Education teachers. I do all of this in the name of teacher wellness, communication, and teacher retention!

EPISODE RESOURCES:

On the Wednesday podcast, I get to talk with members of the Organize 365­® community as they share the challenges, progress, missteps and triumphs along their organizing journey. I am grateful that you are reaching out to share with me and with this community. You can see and hear transformation in action. If you are ready to share your story with us, please apply at https://organize365.com/wednesday.

Did you enjoy this episode? Please leave a rating and review in your favorite podcast app. Share this episode with a friend and be sure to tag Organize 365® when you share on social media!

Direct download: Teacher_Podcast_5_-_Teacher_Pilot_Launch_Day.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

“What do you wanna get mom?” Is this the question you are asking your siblings? Are you starting to plan to get something for your mom for Mother’s Day? You know I’m all about planning and I have a great idea that could be the perfect solution to your gift dilemma. 

You’ll buy the $20 item…but will you gift yourself organization? 

We moms are where the holidays come from, right? And while you are shopping for your mom (if you are lucky enough to still have your mom), you’ll probably pick up smaller priced items you want. I know this because I am a mom, too. But will you gift yourself organization? Probably not. We have discussed before that this is not a line item in the monthly budget. So now may be the perfect time to put a Sunday Basket® or The Productive Home Solution® on your wish list and start dropping hints. While you love the flowers, now may be the time to say “enough with the flowers, will you please put that money towards organization?” Organization leads to confidence. Confidence leads to believing in opportunity. You’ll have time to explore those opportunities when you become productive as a result of getting organized. Could there be a better gift? I mean actually? Mental sanity - I think most moms long for mental sanity. 

And maybe you get it for your mom. There is no age where you are too old to start organizing. And really, it’s kind of a gift for you too. You know as well as I do, that at the end of the day you can gift her organization now or do it yourself when you settle that estate. You two could be getting organized together. 

How will you tell your child’s teacher “Thank You” this year? 

It’s also the time of year when the class goes in on a gift for the teacher. It’s possible their teacher may not know what it is at first. But once they realize the gift they have received??? Let me just tell you, on the Wednesday podcast there are some episodes coming up where once teachers got their hands on the Teacher Friday Workbox®, they actually ended up using it as a Sunday Basket® for home. Teacher’s value organization. Help your teachers to free up mental chaos at home this summer. Free up their time this summer so they can focus on their families and aspirations, and then they can return to the classroom refreshed. Who knows they may even grab the Teacher Friday Workbox® to stay organized at work, too!  Did you know that office supplies are a teachers’ love language? 

What is included in The Productive Home Solution®?  

  • The Productive Home Solution® Playbook

  • Online 52 Week Course with modules, worksheets, videos, and more

  • Online Community via our private app

  • The Productive Home Solution® Private Podcast

EPISODE RESOURCES:


Did you enjoy this episode?
Please leave a rating and review in your favorite podcast app. Share this episode with a friend and be sure to tag Organize 365® when you share on social media!

Direct download: Coffee_Chat_-_The_GIFT_of_Organization_-_Teachers__Mothers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Well, let’s dive into our 40’s. What I’ve observed in these decades as you move through your 20’s, 30’s and 40’s to 50’s is if you can imagine driving a stick shift car where it doesn’t automatically cycle to the next gear, and you’re driving in second gear and you need to shift into third gear but you don’t and the car is whining. That’s kind of how we are at the end of every decade - we’re whining. We’re not ready to leave this decade because we don’t know the next decade and it makes us a little nervous and apprehensive. 

For decades, 40 was midlife. That’s no longer true. Until your 40’s, the answer to every organizational productivity problem was buy something, acquire something. Acquire the knowledge, the physical thing, the person. In your 40’s, everything is about letting go. Letting go of what is no longer serving you, letting go of future hopes and dreams that maybe have not materialized. This decluttering happens in every single area of your life in your 40’s. The process of making the decisions about what is staying and what is going is where the new capacity is unlocked. Organize 365® is set up to walk alongside you, provide community, co-working, and all of the lessons that you ended in order to get your home organized because once you do that all the way through, we’ve touched all the stuff and made decisions - it is so cathartic. So in your 40’s, your organization is a lot about your mindset and making your physical space match the next decades of your life and the person who you want to be. 

What is our purpose in our 40’s? We are surviving - surviving in carpooling and driving, with limited time and financial resources. The purpose is to really move from just being an individual contributor to society, to figuring out what is your family, your ideals, your values. What is our capacity in our 40’s? This is a decade of constraint, capacity is limited and that is great because it requires you to push forward. If you have children, you become insular because you have to. They are humans that are growing so fast and they are depending on you. How do we use the physical spaces in our home in our 40’s? You will probably remodel some spaces, maybe more than once if you plan on living in your home long term. You’ll do bigger renovations in your 40’s than you did in your 30’s. What scaffolding or support do we need to make this phase of life easier and more productive? You need to learn the skill of organization. That’s where The Productive Home Solution®, The Paper Solution®, and The Sunday Basket® come in. Those products were designed to teach you and walk beside you as you really embrace who you are and what you’re uniquely created to do, and how your house will be organized and function for you. The essential thing I want to add to this phase of life are the Planning Days. They are a key differentiator in your 40’s, because you are deciding, you are making decisions and there really is no one guiding your thought process through making these decisions. What  do  you  want  to  see  manifest  in  the  next  four  months  in  your  household?  How are you going to do that? Let's look at all the constraints on your time, on your money, on your business, let's look at the role that you're playing, how many people are in your family. Let's look at all your household responsibilities and your chores. What's your plan going to be for laundry and dishes and meal planning and cleaning? 

There’s so much time on the other side of 40. If you can use the time in your 40’s to get yourself organized, then when you do have the time in your 50’s it’s amazing. Can’t wait to tell you about it next time. 

EPISODE RESOURCES:

Did you enjoy this episode? Please leave a rating and review in your favorite podcast app. Share this episode with a friend and be sure to tag Organize 365® when you share on social media!

Direct download: 587_-_Housework_in_Your_40s_-_Survival.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

By now I’m guessing most of you have heard the evolution of the Sunday Basket®. The Sunday Basket® organizes the invisible tasks of home life, right? And with a teaching background, I also know there is a lot of burnout. The Teacher Friday Workbox® is designed to organize the invisible tasks of teaching. So what if, just what if, an entire school would launch a pilot with Organize 365® and they could feel supported and organized? Jayme was the principal who raised her hand and said I want to try this with my building for my teachers. 

A Spark of a Conversation

Normally on the 4th of July people are spending time with their families and celebrating the holiday, right? Not go getters like Jayme and I; we were chatting about the opportunity of a Teacher Friday Workbox® pilot.  Much to my surprise when I proposed a call, Jayme agreed. Our excitement for this pilot was ignited and put into action immediately. Jayme showed up in her minivan and we loaded it with workboxes for her building. She had 13 teachers come immediately to pick them up. There were teachers who knew what Jayme had been doing with her Teacher Friday Workbox® so they knew it worked and wanted to get started. More grabbed their workboxes after a meeting, and then more after the first training. 

Too Much New to NOT Do The Pilot

Jayme was explaining to me some of the things she was expecting about the new school year which included new teachers (most of whom were new to special education), a new assistant principal, and more responsibility for her needing to be involved in student behavioral correction. I chuckled and knew with all that change and newness, the Teacher Friday Workbox® was going to save her 2023-2024 school year.

Are Your Teachers Ducks? 

Have you heard the analogy of ducks looking calm on top of the water, but paddling like crazy under? Think of your teachers. Most are doing the same and that’s what leads to burnout. They don’t want you to see they are paddling so fast under water. The real trouble is when you see it - they are headed for burnout for sure. These are teachers who do not have an organizational solution in place. It would be ideal that the teacher understood the Sunday Basket® before embarking on the Teacher Friday Workbox®. But this time, we had to light the fuse due to the time of year. We initially found some of the teachers were overwhelmed with being new to the Organize 365® ecosystem, making visible the administrative tasks of a teacher on index cards (or some did a hybrid with sticky notes), and learning how to color code their work. When you clean up their mental chaos - you get teachers that will stay in their positions longer. 

We Owe It To Our Teachers

I understand that the pressing question with all expenditures within the education budget boils down to “How does this affect the student?” Let me just say, a teacher with less anxiety, more mental bandwidth, and one that feels supported is best for the students! There is a school supply list for students; this should be on the school supply list for teachers. But there is no line item for organization, honestly, at home or in the workplace. I want to see all educators free up time and mental space for employment retention and a happy home life.

EPISODE RESOURCES:

On the Wednesday podcast, I get to talk with members of the Organize 365­® community as they share the challenges, progress, missteps and triumphs along their organizing journey. I am grateful that you are reaching out to share with me and with this community. You can see and hear transformation in action. If you are ready to share your story with us, please apply at https://organize365.com/wednesday.

Did you enjoy this episode? Please leave a rating and review in your favorite podcast app. Share this episode with a friend and be sure to tag Organize 365® when you share on social media!


Welcome to our next installment of our phases of organization, our phases of life. So here we are, in our 30’s. We’re going to assume from this point forward that you are living independently and separate from your family home. I coined my own phase of life years ago (thanks Rhonda for the reminder!) for adulthood - accumulation. When you leave your childhood bedroom and you are living on your own, you realize you don’t own anything. Every time you decide you want to do something in your 20’s and 30’s, you end up going to a hardware store. 

As you progress through your 30’s, the amount of discretionary income you have goes to negative. You usually don’t have any discretionary income by the time you are at the end of your 30’s. Same thing with your time - it goes to negative. How do we go from having some discretionary income and time to lacking both by the time you turn 40? In addition to accumulating supplies like a ladder, hammer, nails, etc., you accumulate other things. Also during your 30’s, you accumulate other people;a significant other, children, or pets. But this is why it’s hard having developmental stages for adults - because not everyone ends up with a significant other, kids or pets. There are so many different variables, different possibilities. You get to choose. You get to decide what your life is going to be like. 

What is our purpose or job in our 30’s? Our purpose is to fully embrace independence from our family of origin. You are going to firmly establish your household and take on the responsibilities of that fully. What is our capacity? In the beginning you’ve got some time and money, but by the end it’s very constrained and maxed out. You’re trying to find a release valve, so to speak. How do we use the physical space in our home in our 30’s? This is when your home will do the most constant reordering. Your kitchen, kid’s rooms (if you have kids), and living spaces will constantly be updated to fit how you’re living life in your 30’s. What scaffolding or support do we need to make this phase of life easier and more productive? Number one you know will be the Sunday Basket®. You need household administration support - this will be your time to have a CEO meeting with yourself. The Productive Home Solution® is perfectly designed for people in their 30’s. The 2 binders from The Paper Solution® that are the most important in your 30’s are the Household Operations and Household Reference. 

EPISODE RESOURCES:

Did you enjoy this episode? Please leave a rating and review in your favorite podcast app. Share this episode with a friend and be sure to tag Organize 365® when you share on social media!

Direct download: 586_-_Housework_in_your_30s_-_Accumulation.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Now that you know a little bit about Jayme and her background in educational instruction, let’s move on to the responsibilities she’s had in different roles. Jayme has gone from assistant principal, where she barely left the building, to being the principal, where she was off campus frequently for personal development. But she has yet to be the superintendent! 

Assistant Principal

First thing Jayme pointed out that was so interesting is, in different states, different geographical sections of school are called corporations or districts. And because we have previously learned that Jayme was a counselor, she added that not all schools have counselors. Did you know that it is common for each counselor to have 250-300 students assigned to them? I know Abby and Joey really valued counselors in their schools. It’s her previous title as counselor that makes it a natural strength as the assistant principal to be the liaison between the parents and staff. As assistant principal, Jayme was used to doing whatever her principal needed as well as overseeing special education needs within the school, IEP’s, RIT, attendance, behavior and other miscellaneous responsibilities. 

Principal

Jayme never had to worry about a budget as an assistant principal. Once she stepped into the role of principal, she found the magical money tree…not so magical now that she was in charge of it! She also found herself out of the building frequently for personal development. Thankfully her superintendent is great at communicating educational opportunities for her. Jayme is also the initiator of activities and signs off on them. One of the things that really impressed me upon a visit to her school during the pilot was Movie Day. This is the day before school breaks for Christmas. Jayme and I really talked in detail about the actual details of the day. I was so impressed with her organization and the fact that the students expect and understand the system of that day! If you want to sit with your friend who chose to drink Sprite then you better put a request in for Sprite too! A great takeaway from this conversation is that planning leads to expectation. Expectations are kind of like structure in this situation and that makes people feel safe knowing the next thing that will happen. And because of this organization and planning, her parents trust her to organize annual trips to DC and NYC.

Superintendent

This is the top dog, if you will, the CEO! We talk about invisible work. When you do it no one really notices until you don’t! And the public facing role of superintendent is very much like this. No one notices until they don’t attend an event. This person also faces the budget that Jayme has become familiar with multiplied by the number of schools they’re in charge of. When Jayme’s school had a massive renovation, it wasn’t the groundskeeper that was reporting to the educational community what the progress and funding was, it was the superintendent! Sure, there are people supporting him in large projects, but ultimately he reports the good and the bad. When a superintendent makes a decision, there are multiple factors they are considering not just the population from one building. This is a very public, almost political, position due to reporting to the faculty, public, board, even the state!. 

Enough background information… Next episode, we’re going to share how this whole pilot got started with a bang over the 4th of July weekend!

EPISODE RESOURCES:

On the Wednesday podcast, I get to talk with members of the Organize 365­® community as they share the challenges, progress, missteps and triumphs along their organizing journey. I am grateful that you are reaching out to share with me and with this community. You can see and hear transformation in action. If you are ready to share your story with us, please apply at https://organize365.com/wednesday.

Did you enjoy this episode? Please leave a rating and review in your favorite podcast app. Share this episode with a friend and be sure to tag Organize 365® when you share on social media!

Direct download: Teacher_Podcast_3_-_School_Leadership.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

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