Friday, October 3, 2008

Flying Lessons

I've succumbed. I can't stand it any more. I come in humility, stripped of my former arrogance, to Flylady for help.


I first heard of Flylady (http://www.flylady.com/) years and years ago on a homeschooling discussion board I participated in. Flylady is the answer to managing a home, a family, and a personal life. Flylady says that one of the reasons it is so hard to stay on top on housework and organization is because we women are perfectionists. We want to do it well and we want to do right, but since the opportunity for perfection rarely presents itself, we instead do nothing. And then we feel overwhelmed. And then we start to feel badly about ourselves, and say mean things to ourselves. And feel stuck.


Flylady wants me to fly.


I resisted Flylady because I told myself that I already know how to clean my house. My house isn't like those other people's houses. It isn't filthy or anything, just a little out of order. It could use some dusting. Some scouring. Some organizing. But people who come over think it's clean and tidy. It's really only me who sees where it isn't.


But, as it turns out, I'm the only one who matters. The condition of my home is a direct reflection of the condition of me. And I'm tidy enough at first glance, but I could use some deep-cleaning too. Some polishing up. Some TLC. Not just enough to get by. I give such extraordinary care to everyone else who lives here, and I let myself live off the scraps. I deserve better than scraps, I think. I feel happy when my house is clean and running in smooth order. I feel free and in control, and I want to feel that way again. It doesn't matter if my mess isn't as grand as someone else's mess. It's how I feel now compared to how I could feel that matters, and I know I'm falling short of the mark. I know the degree of calm that I'm capable of.


So, I joined Flylady yesterday. It's FREE! And it's slow, and easy, and positive, and cheerful, and nurturing. All things I could use right now to help me climb back on top of things. On Day 1 the only thing I had to do was shine my sink. With Flylady, it all starts with a shiny sink. Sounds weird, but she's right. How many mornings have you come downstairs to make breakfast only to be greeted by a sink full of dishes from the previous day? Nothing says cheerful like a shiny sink, it turns out. So, I followed the steps very carefully to have a clean, sanitized, shiny sink, and I instructed my family that no dishes are to be put in the sink. All dishes go straight into the dishwasher. The sink stays shiny. And Flylady was right! Just doing that one simple thing made me so happy, and so proud. . .and it was contagious! Because it lifted my spirits enough to fold the pile of towels that I'd thrown behind the couch when they came out of the dryer. And I liked the shine so much that I washed all the mirrors in the bathrooms. And cleaned the toilets. And when it was bedtime, I felt so good that I took the extra time to pamper my face, and floss my teeth after brushing, rather than the old, "I'll floss tomorrow" thing. I decided I was worth it.


And how pleasant to wake to a shiny sink this morning! Day 2? Get dressed, all the way, even face and hair. Not too hard for me, as I usually do that anyway. Keep the sink shiny. And who knows what else will naturally follow. Flylady will help me incorporate small routines, simple steps throughout my day, that will keep things flowing and orderly. I can't wait.


Suddenly, the mountain doesn't seem so steep.


I give you, The Shiny Sink:

10 comments:

Kimberly said...

One step at a time - that's the way! Good for you!

And you have such a pretty sink!

Sarah said...

Hmm...maybe I should pay a visit to flylady! I'm sure it couldn't hurt.

And I agree...such a pretty sink!

Abby said...

I don't know why it is..but it's true about the sink thing. I *always* feel better when my sink is sparkly and clean and *dry*. It's probably my favorite thing that comes out of cleaning and I always thought I was so weird for feeling that way about a sink of all things..but turns out, I'm not!

Perhaps I'll have to wander on over to that site as well.

Hannah said...

Hey Abby! I'm the same way. I adore having a clean and dry sink. Just one of my things.

Holly said...

Good for you!!

I flutter along with Flylady periodically. I hate wearing laced up shoes all the time though. I do like some of her ideas, so I've taken what I like and left the rest! There is something about the shiny sink though...

Misty said...

I have tried... and flunked out of, Flylady so many times...

Saint Holiday said...

I went into my kitchen and had a sinking feeling. I'd clean it, I thought, but my hands are always out of sync. I should sign up with the Flyguy; I keep forgetting to pull up my zipper. I love you.

Love,
The Ancient of Weeks

Josi said...

I love flylady! She really does just simplify everything and set it up in a way that you feel so dang successful. I've signed up three or four times, and have stuck to several things, but I could use a refresher of the daily things I need to be doing. And a shiny sink is so very night--unfortuantely mine is stained and beyond fixing, but it does look better when it's shined up as much as it can. My only complaint is the shoe thing--I just hate tie shoes. Everything else, however, is awesome. Thanks for the reminder and good luck. I like things tidy too and struggle when my house falls victim to the clutter.

Kimmylyn said...

I am SOOO off to check out this flylady stuff!!!!

Mom2My6Kids said...

I love flylady, though my husband spammed her so all her reminder emails go to my junk box now and get overlooked most of the time.