Progress, Planning and Perfection

July 2, 2012 09:45 pm

It’s been almost 16 hours since I woke up this morning and I must say, despite the depth and intensity of the physical pain I’m experiencing, and the whiny, fussiness of the pre-schooler in my bed, I must say this day has gone swimmingly!  I was both more productive than planned and less so…how in the world does that happen?


Let’s begin with the progress report: The kitchen and laundry were my two successful skirmishes against the clutter and dirt today. I established a beachhead in the battle of the living room, but still have an uphill battle if I’m to rout out the clutter. All that said, it’s amazing how much de-cluttering of the entire apartment happened merely by getting the laundry and dishes done! All of this happened in approximately 4 – 4 1/2 hours.

  • The Kitchen ~ All dishes washed, dried, and put away; the kitchen counters, stove top, and microwave surfaces sanitized; and per FlyLady’s day 1 Beginning Baby step, the sink is shiny!
  • The Laundry ~  Two large loads gathered, sorted, treated, washed, dried, folded/hung up and put away!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So, how did I get so much and yet so little accomplished?


Yesterday I created a plan for tackling the cleaning in the kitchen and living room, as well as taking care of the laundry.  It was a good plan.  I’m glad I had the plan.  It gave me structure, a starting point, and a goal.  All of these were good things.  Because of these things progress was made.  However, the plan wasn’t perfect and I couldn’t perfectly stick with that plan due to a variety of factors.

  1. Physical Stamina ~ the fatigue and pain of fibromyalgia may not kill me, but it certainly slows me down and requires me to adjust almost any and every plan I make.  So, I had to take more “rest periods” than planned.
  2. Relationships ~ as far as I’m concerned people take priority over cleaning, especially if it’s people in my close family circle, like Jerry.  Since he had an incredibly frustrating and upsetting weekend AND we don’t get to see each other except 4 days every 4 weeks or so, when he reaches out to me, I need to respond.  Since I’d already put off responding to him last night and early this morning, I had to ensure that I made myself available when he wasn’t driving during the rest of today.
  3. Distractions & feeding myself (figuratively) ~ (read: The Internet) I did wind up spending considerably more time online today than I had planned.  However, I also spent considerably less time online than I have been without having a plan (that is partially why the clutter built back up after my last cleaning frenzy a couple of weeks ago).  The thing is, the community and network of friends I’m engaging in are what’s motivating me to make these changes and put in the work.  So, during some of the necessary extra rest periods I blog surfed.  I also decided to work on creating a place inside of the WANATribe for Bloggers.  So, there is a social network blog tribe called Bloggers Unite! I created it about 8 hours ago and already have 14 members.  I’m so excited! So, while I did spend quite a bit of extra time online, it was time spent pursuing my passion for meeting new people and  building community around what I’m learning I absolutely love to do: BLOG! That’s got to be worth something, right?
  4. Wrong tools ~ I have a kitchen timer that has a very loud, buzzing, distinctive ring that can be heard through the music I listen to when cleaning and just doing whatever it is that I’m doing.  I didn’t know where that was and I decided to use the timers on my phone and on the microwave, neither of which could be heard when the music was on and I was focused on the kitchen and laundry.

In the past, not sticking to the plan had the huge potential of sending me into an internal negative feedback loop.  However, one of the blog posts I read yesterday is from a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist I’ve been following for a while now, David J. Miller.  Creating failure from success – 9 Ways to Self-Sabotage, reminded me that doing that to myself is a form of self-sabotage and so is seeking the unattainable “perfect.”

FlyLady knows this too:

The voices that you hear in your head keep telling you that you are behind and you have to get it all done now. We are going to quiet those negative voices that are beating you up constantly and replace them with a loving, gentle voice that tells you that you are not behind and you can do this one BabyStep at a time!

The first baby step was to shine my sink and the second baby step was to get dressed to the shoes. Step 3 is to explore the FlyLady’s Big Tent site.  This is kind of like a command and control center that can be used to see what’s on the Flying agenda of the day and week, as well and a place to get organized with calendars and planning.  This is not something I’m ready to fully utilize yet, but I did check out the Tuesday agenda for FlyLady and I think I’ll adapt it to establish my plan for day 3 of my challenge.

See? I’m already learning to let go of my need to perfectly follow what seems to be the perfect plan. It’s the progress that counts . . . and I’m rockin’ & rollin’ right along!



  1. I knew you could do what you needed to do to put yourself in a better place;-) I know over-medicating can be easier if one has a lot of pain and problems, but please be careful that the “God moment” you experienced was given to you by someone attempting a 12th step rather than by a doctor who knows you and your physical and mental health too..


    1. Thank you, the God moment was actually a moment with God and not me taking someone else’s thoughts or advice about my circumstances. My reality was and is that I have enough energy and stamina to get through each day and take care of myself and my family to the best of my ability. If I choose to expend that energy in crisis and panic mode because I’m scared and worried about not having insurance or receiving services, then that keeps me spinning in my negative feedback cycle and triggers all the symptoms of both the depression and the fibromyalgia. So, learning to accept me as I am now and live (emphasis on live) within the context of my current circumstances actually frees me on so many levels that I have a better chance of moving forward rather than spinning my wheels.


      1. Sorry to have sounded a bit bitchy…I get that way sometimes when it comes to 12-step programs that people choose to screw around with;-) I should have known better with you.


        1. As far as I’m concerned you didn’t sound bitchy. It seemed like you made that comment out of a combination of true concern for my well being and based on some negative personal experience you have had. It came across as cautionary and protective.

          One thing that the “recovery culture” has taught me is to assume innocent motive and don’t take it personally, even if it feels personal. It makes life easier and keeps my stress levels lower than they used to be.



  2. You’re right, planning makes all the difference – I’m trying to plan more, when I don’t, things normally don’t work out so well…


    1. Lena,
      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I’m sorry I didn’t reply to this sooner, the response I’ve been getting since joining the Ultimate Blog Challenge has been a bit more than I expected and I’m also working on a social networking group for bloggers called Blogger’s Unite! at the WANATribe. The response to that has been startling and crazy as well, so I’m a bit swamped at the moment. Enough of that.

      I think that there has to be a purpose to the plan and if the the purpose is still served whether the plan is followed perfectly or not, then we need to give ourselves the space to realize that the point of planning isn’t to do the plan, it’s to follow the purpose behind the plan….hmmm a topic for another post? Thanks for that.



  3. I think you have done really well to finish what you have managed to do. Planning the day out for me never seems to work though. I sort of give myself a rough idea and then I try to get as much done as I can but with the strong meds I am on I can get tired really quickly and sometimes they even knock me to sleep.
    Every little step is one closer to the goal!


    1. Not to make light of your situation, but, care to share the meds? I could use some sleep. Seriously, I understand exactly what you are saying. There was a time, a little over ten years ago, when I had insurance and between the medical doc and the head doc, I was on so many meds I carried my own portable pharmacy. That experience and the fact I haven’t had consistent medical coverage since then, plus a God moment when I was told I’m provided the energy and strength I need for the day and I can spend it over medicated and trying to convince the world I am sick, or I can do what I can to take care of myself and my family, means I’m wary of a lot of meds.

      Thanks for reading, commenting, and taking the time to offer encouragement. I really appreciate it.



  4. No kidding- a monkey would be cool! I can’t imagine trying to be a single parent with Fibro. It’s so hard with my husband and kids (fortunately my daughters are old enough to help out and had a break through recently in terms of understanding why I’m not always able to do everything they’d like). We have pets (4 dogs & 2 cats), but the kids do some of the work with them and they bring equal parts of joy and frustration. But the last thing you need right now is more to do when it’s already so hard to do things to start with!


    1. It has certainly had it’s moments. I have two adult children, who don’t live with us and they got raised not just with me having the fibromyalgia, but a whole host of other mental/emotional issues that have been in a negative feedback loop with the fibromyalgia for the past 20 years. This is, yet another, attempt by me to move beyond those things. But, the journey is what’s important, not the destination.


  5. I also have Fibromyalgia and have found that carefully planning the day ahead helps me get more done. My husband surprised me today with a house cleaner for 2 hours a week, who will help with the things I am not able to do as often as needed, like scrubbing toilets and floors and so forth. I’m pretty excited because it means I will be able to keep from overdoing things while trying so hard to maintain a household with a family and pets. I’ve also learned that it is best to let some things go and try not to worry about the unimportant things, the people in our lives really are more important than the housecleaning! I look forward to checking out more of your blog.


    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. My body is definitely unhappy with me at the moment. Sadly, I’m basically single parenting it except for four days a month. I know I need to pace myself better, but it’s a very difficult thing for me to do, as I think my depression cycle definitely has it’s manic moments, without ever going into hyper-mania. It’s one of the many reasons why I don’t want pets and am grateful our housing doesn’t allow pets, only assistance animals. Now, if I could get a monkey that could do housework…



Your feedback, thoughts, and input are appreciated.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s