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: