Flylady:My New Self Appointed Guardian Angel.
I need help. It’s that simple.
For the past month or so since the season ended at the theatre, I’ve been working part time at several different jobs and I’m making definite though not rapid progress towards building all of my dreams. I am grateful for each gift along the way, regardless of size.
This weekend, I made my first JAF Bags and Cases Netbook bag sample. I’ve already figured out a lot about how not to do things. It’s nice to narrow it down.
My progress though, has been significantly slowed down by the fact that I can’t think. Alright, obviously I can think. In fact, I can think of so many things all at once over and over that I’m spinning in circles like a bit of a lunatic (or maybe a total lunatic) . What I am accomplishing is only a tiny portion of what I’m capable of… which if I’m being honest is a lot less than I need to. My mind is like a tornado full of ideas, plans, lists of things I need to get to but I can’t seem to calm it down enough to find some order. Add to that the lack of structure from not having a full time job to go to, and things just don’t seem to get done. After all, there’s always later.
To Do lists have started to depress me. They are really nothing more than monuments to my lack of focus. I should label them, Things I’m not likely To Do instead.
I’m constantly looking for a solution to this problem. I know that meditation helps immensely and it is something that I’ve been missing in my life for most of this year so far. Unfortunately, meditation involves sitting still which has been nearly impossible not to mention that adding things to my Things I’m not likely To Do list is at this point, less than helpful.
Marla Cilley, the Flylady uses a step by step system for getting a chaotic life in order. One small new habit at a time. Her system is genius. It works, but like all systems, it only works if you use it. (No kidding!) Years ago, I discovered Flylady and she became a hero of mine pretty quickly. I then passed the link on to my Mum, another SHE, which stands for; Side Tracked Home Executive and we flew together.
For a while I got a taste of the peace that comes when things in your life are in order but it didn’t last. I’ve started over many, many times and have been successful for weeks, and even months, only to slip back into old habits. I’ve realized, that my multiple failures over the past years have led me to stop trying too hard. I’ve been working on accepting myself as I am in each moment regardless of my housekeeping skills, but acceptance doesn’t mean that there is no chance for growth. It’s time to grow now.
My apartment is a mess and I never seem to be able to catch up. Physical clutter is cognitively disturbing. Clutter + ADHD = CHAOS
CHAOS in the Flylady world stands for Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome. This is what I am suffering with at the moment. If you don’t believe me, come over and knock on my door. I might answer it, but I won’t let you in. We can talk in the hall, after all, you came to see me right?
I would bet that it would seem to your average BO; Born Organized person, if I were to let them in the door that I am basically a lazy undisciplined slob (which would be why you can’t come in). Why else wouldn’t I just pick up after myself, clean things when they need to be cleaned, follow some sort of routine?
That would be because no matter how much I want and crave routine, it is one of the hardest things for my brain to stick with. They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Flylady says it takes a SHE 28 days… experience is telling me, that I might be extra special. I don’t know how long it takes my brain to develop a new habit because I have stuck with new habits and routines for much longer than 28 days, and yet, nothing ever seems to become automatic.
For example, a few years ago, I moved in with an obsessive-compulsive neat freak of a boyfriend and turned around 180 degrees for ten months. By the way, this felt fantastic! Living with someone who is neat helped me to remain aware of my own habits and it was easy to be mindful about what needed to be done. It is easy to see that that book doesn’t belong on the kitchen counter when there is nothing else on the kitchen counter. Unfortunately, I still have a nasty habit of forgetting little things, like picking up my socks so this wasn’t nearly enough for him. I left, solving that problem but sadly 10 months of new habits didn’t stick and here I am 3 years later writing about the fact that I can’t keep my small apartment organized.
I’ve been pondering this for a week or so. I realize that in the past when I have tried to get back to using the Flylady system, I have jumped in too quickly trying to do everything overnight. After all, I understand the system, I know it works. Why not just go for it?
Because I get easily overwhelmed and unable to keep up, which makes me feel bad, which makes me quit. That’s why. It may have taken years, but I’m finally getting it. (I may be a slow learner, but I’m still a learner).
This is how you start to FLY, another of Flylady’s many acronyms. This stands for Finally Loving Yourself which is something I can get excited about. I can get excited about just about anything, which often leads to more spinning around in circles, but this is a motivator.
The plan is you start with adding one small new habit per day. This shouldn’t be hard. One small habit, not 31. If I can just remember…
Yesterday was Day 1: Go shine your sink. Sounds small and not all that helpful, but it works. The first basic thing. Keep your kitchen sink clear, clean and shiny. Day 2: Get dressed to lace up shoes. Get dressed, fix your face and hair and put on your shoes. Even if you don’t plan to leave the house.
Yesterday, I told my Mum about my plan and with great combination Mum/Flylady wisdom she reminded me that I only have to do one thing. Shine my sink and that is all. Just do that she said, and don’t worry about the rest.
“That’s right Mum,” I replied. “But in order to shine my sink, I first have to be able to find it… ”