self sabotage

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!



Growth Opportunity

Today are you willing to face your past so that you can learn from it?

I know many of the factors and faults in my past and past behaviors and understand the compulsions that are driving my self-sabotage behaviors.  I feel like I’m in a pre-transition phase right now.  There has been much upheaval – materially, socially, emotionally, and relationally recently and as a result I caved into unhealthy and undignified “victim” oriented thinking and self-destructive eating.

What is one area where you have learned to do something differently based on your past experience?

Whenever I “relapse” in my thinking and behavior, I seem to spend less time staying stuck, because I’m more aware of what the underlying cause of the behavior and thinking is.  It is making me more and more cognizant of my own inability to change under my own power just because I want to change.  I’m becoming more ready and more willing each time to do the hard work and to let God be in control.  I look forward to the day when I am turning to HP first instead of exhausting my own resources before seeking and trusting God.

Please share your experience of applying the 12 Steps to grow through a growth opportunity. 

I continually struggle with steps 1 – 3.  Even though I know that I am powerless over my coe, emotions, and codependency with others, I still tend to exhaust myself on all levels trying to figure it out and power through on my own.  Recently, a situation regarding my adult son came up, that was completely out of my power to fix or remedy.  And for a little while, I tried to stress out about the situation, but really wasn’t able to much.  The people around me were stressing out about the situation and normally this is something I would have been completely preoccupied with and fretting over, eating over, and feeling completely guilty over.  But, after going through those things briefly, HP took over because I acknowledged that it wasn’t mine to deal with.  I hadn’t made the choices or decisions that created the situation.  I had other priorities and responsibilities demanding my attention that I was already not in a good head/heart/spirit space that I was not coping well with and this thing, no matter how much my mother’s heart was hurting over it, was not really my responsibility to solve.  So, I was able to, miraculously, just let it go.  A few days later, while sitting across from someone who it would never had occurred to me to ask for help in the matter on my son’s behalf (he’s not in a position to be able to ask himself) a voice in my head said, “Ask her.”  I hesitated, and thought of all the reasons why it wouldn’t work and why I shouldn’t ask, then decided to follow instructions and asked anyway, not knowing what to expect.  Without hesitation, thought, or reservation she answered positively.

All of this to say, that while it is still a continual struggle for me to admit my powerlessness and the unmanageability of my life, believe in a power greater than myself, and act on that belief by letting God take control, some of those first three steps are sinking in and having positive effect on my life and in the lives of those around me.