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!

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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!


And we’re off…

After spending way too much time yesterday to figure out how to create the slideshow, include the video, and keep the word count below a thousand, as well as reacquaint myself with the FlyLady, I finally got to sleep around 1 a.m.ish.  Not surprisingly, to me anyway, my bleary eyes popped open around 6 a.m. and the pain and heaviness of fatigue made themselves heard, loud and clear.


I look at my phone to confirm the time and am reminded that Jerry sent me a couple of texts before I went to sleep that I had chosen not to reply to when I got them.  I made that choice because I knew that if I did, I wouldn’t get to sleep until much, much later, if at all.  I reread them. Nope, still not ready to deal with them.  He and his co-driver seem to have problems every weekend, through absolutely no fault of theirs, in being assigned and keeping loads that would keep them rolling and earning.  Jerry’s stress and anger levels over this most recent weekend are understandably approaching blow-out levels.  The thing is, when he gets like this, he starts sending me messages about wanting to quit.  This generally sends me into anxiety and panic mode and I start an internal dialogue that starts denigrating him, catastrophizing the situation, and triggers the depression & fibro symptoms.  Since I have a plan for this day and whether he keeps his job or not, he’s still coming home, I opted not to go there just yet.

With eyes only slightly less bleary and the heaviness of the pain and fatigue slowly seeping away, I open the fb mobile app on my phone and start reading some of the offerings from other bloggers and find a couple that help me reframe my thoughts and release my feelings of anxiety:

  • Behind The Curtain from Dena at The Blog That Faith Built ~ A wonderful reminder that if God and Jesus love me as I am and where I am, then I should take note and walk in that love.
  • LML (Come join my movement) from Melissa at The Bright Side ~ Another wonderful reminder: no matter what is happening to trigger the negative feelings or emotions there’s a reason to Love My Life, and
  • The Sleepy Little Angel from Adriana at Be In Your Body ~ A wonderful little tale about the divinity in each of us.  I found myself breathing deep and being refreshed.

And now I’m off to work my plan for the day!



Where to start?

In the beginning was…chaos and clutter!  On more than one occasion I have confessed to being like Oscar Madison from The Odd Couple.  It is not an exaggeration and here are the pics to prove it!

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First order of business, get the cleaning done and set a routine for keeping it up!  To that end, I’m going to revisit the FlyLady.

“Clutter is also stealing your precious time! Clutter cannot be organized. It can only be eliminated!” ~FlyLady

I DEFINITELY need to learn how to ELIMINATE the clutter!

FLYing means Finally Loving Yourself. I want you to have what I have: peace of mind, pride in my home, and a passion for living.

I dipped my toes in to FLYing in 2011, but I was still too caught up in my stress addiction.  That’s about the only thing I can think of to call it. Anyway, I’m ready to start FLYing again ~ not just as an expression of finally loving myself, but also as an expression of love for Luna who deserves to grow up with structure, boundaries, and most importantly a mom who is present and engaged.  It’s also expression of love for Jerry, despite his flaws he is doing his very best to provide for our family and the few days a month that he gets to be home with us should not be consumed with the chaotic energy from the clutter.  Since I know how stressful it is for him to be surrounded by the chaos and that it is a trigger for his agitation and negativity, and I want to have that home time be as pleasant as possible, I owe it to myself, as much as I owe it to him.

There are 31 Beginner Baby Steps, one for each day of the month of July . . . but I only have five days before Jerry gets home.  Therefore, my plan of action for the next four days is to do the baby steps, AND do major work each day toward getting the apartment ready for Jerry’s homecoming.

Monday’s Plan

  1. Get up and get dressed to the shoes!
  2. Get Luna’s clothes and things ready for school
  3. Get Luna up and off to school
  4. Come home, turn Music Choice tv onto a rockin’ 80’s station
  5. 15 minutes getting laundry ready
  6. 15 minutes in the kitchen
  7. 15 minutes in the living room
  8. 15 minutes reading/editing project for my friend (This is my treat for me)
  9. Eat something
  10. Repeat steps 5 – 8 until Kitchen, Living Room, and Laundry or done or 2 p.m. arrives, whichever is first.
  11. From 2 – 4, I can focus on blogging: reading and writing before it’s time to pick Luna up from school.