Date: Feb 7th, 2005 5:45:16 pm - Subscribe
Mood: Happy and Hopeful

I've not written because I've been beating myself up for still struggling to establish a real working routine that helps me get everything done that I need and want to do.

I get emails from FLYLADY. She's a woman who mentors people through email to help them get organized by establishing daily routines.

check her out at

I keep reading the emails and feeling like a failure, and then today I read one that I could have written myself:

Dear FlyLady,

My heart is overwhelmed with gratefulness to you. I had been "the
depths of despair", the black pit of my CHAOS. Then baby steps began
to help me lose the despair and are giving me joy---one small
accomplishment at a time.

Each day I read the wonderful testimonials. I have always wanted to
be able to have one of my own to send.

But I seem to be a slow learner, (or maybe a stubborn one) and I
started letting this thinking get me down... "How come everyone else
can make the changes and not me," and on and on, you know, the
stinking (and paralyzing) thinking.

Then came last week's testimonial from the new flybaby who, after only
one week was so totally with it. Well, I sat down and thought of why
I am failing and guess what I found out!

I'm not failing!

There are voices (and not only from inside me, either) who say "we can
never change," or "we aren't as good as so-and-so.," You know those
"dragger downer" thoughts which we need washed from.

So I did a sort of Count Your Blessings thing. Only it was a count
your accomplishments instead! And these really are blessings.

Here is what I found:

-We (almost) never lose our car keys any more. We have a key holder,
and over time have become consistent at using it. This is a huge
blessing, especially since we play musical cars with 5 drivers in our
home. The stress of lost keys is gone! (and good riddance)

-I (almost) never lose my purse. It has a place just inside the door
and gets put there. And put back there. Amazing. We said a happy
good-bye to that stresser.

-The kids have a backpack shelf where their packs (usually) can be
found. Hooray. A before-school stresser gone.

-The school lunches (all eight of them) are (normally) done the night
before, as part of my before bed routine. Wow. Better lunches and
less anxiety in the a.m., what a great thing.

-(Mostly) the clothes are clean, so the kids can actually lay them out
the night before. Gone are the frantic searches through the baskets
of clean (or dirty) clothes for something to wear. Whew, what a
relief, and blessing, to the whole family.

-I can (often) see the bottom of the sink, even though we have enough
dishes to run a full load plus a full drainer twice a day. How much
easier to fix meals!

-The table is cleared (almost always) after school, so we can sit and
enjoy a snack and tea-time, the kids and the mom.

-The phone book has a place where everyone knows to to find it and,
usually, puts it. That's a stress reducer right there. Small item
but we don't miss that stress, do we!

-We have zone-type chores so the children can all help and bless the
family in a routine job at a predictable time which has an end. No
more worries that they are the only one who ever does anything. So we
can see each other as contributors to the well-being of the family.
That's a good thing. And it gives them something to feel satisfied
about; Empowering.

-I have the start of a control journal, enough that I have overheard
family members say, with confidence, "Mom has that number in her
control journal," or some other equally satisfying remark!

-My Calendar has kept me out of many scrapes this whole last year!!!
I have remembered games, appointments, programs, birthday parties,
classes, and on and on and on.! Not so much mind clutter! My calendar
is my friend. Bye bye to the forgetfulness guilt that made me feel
lower than a snake's belly. Halleluiah!

Although I can't think of any more great routines we have going
regularly, and I still have so far to go to get rid of CHAOS, the
flings and boogies have made it take less time to clean up, even if it
still is a crisis clean.

And the timer is teaching us all to attack the task for a do-able and
finite time, which is decreasing our discouragement. Slowly, slowly
we are getting a more optimistic attitude and a "can do" mentality.

I realize now that since I am a sensitive and melancholic kind of
perfectionist, I have coped with the difficulties of my large family
by avoidance behaviors. Although people thought I didn't care about
my house, I cared so much that I really was paralyzed by so many
negative thoughts.

I am slowly----but surely---coming out of years long depression and am
seeing, especially through the routines and the uplifting
testimonials, a way up and out. A good way. A guilt-free way. A
joyful way. A clutterless way.

And, I am finding a way to do it! A routine way. A boogieing way. A
flinging and singing way. A fluttering and not bingeing way. A
blessing way to open my life and release my family from the clutches
of the clutter that so easily entangles us.

Thank you FlyLady,
A FlyBaby (from remedial class)
Who can't even think where she would be without your God-sent help

This phrase hit me especially hard. It is so ME.

I realize now that since I am a sensitive and melancholic kind of
perfectionist, I have coped with the difficulties of my large family
by avoidance behaviors. Although people thought I didn't care about
my house, I cared so much that I really was paralyzed by so many
negative thoughts.

Truth be told, I even use this blog as a way to avoid things that create anxiety for me. I can always find one more thing to do or read on the computer. It's my little escape machine.

On a very positive note, I'm making beads again! Not just ugly beads, but some really beautiful, creative beads. That makes me feel so much happier, and relieves some of the pressure I'm putting on myself to be perfect in every single way.
Comments: (2)

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anonymous - March 02nd, 2005
hey im new to this blog thing--- but u seem pretty interesting .. well bye

anonymous - June 07th, 2005
I can relate to what you have written. I am angry for myself for my procrastination, etc. I really want to be accomplishing more.

Sorry anonymous, this user does not allow double comments to be posted.