A new week with new challenges

Yes, you are going to be subjected to Flylady once again.  Why, oh why, am I doing this?

For me, this is historically a bad time of the year.  Mood swings, not eating well…or worse…binge eating herald in the cycle of mania that possess me in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

I have great expectations that have nothing to do with the Charles Dickens book of that same name.  I am a “work in progress”.  I’m not beating myself up about this.  Each year I get better and better and the progress makes me feel good about myself, which in turn makes the mania less and less.

I am not alone in this struggle to live through the Holidays.  Like many other people, I don’t fully look forward to Christmas.  It is next to impossible (for me anyway) to be delighted with the real reason for the Christmas celebration of the birth of Jesus.  A person cannot escape the trappings of Christmas.  Grocery stores all over the US have been stocking aisles with candy, ornaments, small trees, and other bits of Christmas paraphernalia since October 31st.  Halloween is considered over and the next big sales push is, supposedly, the most joyous time of the year and the stores take advantage of it.

The craft and hobby stores around the US have been chock full of aisle after aisle filled with the bits and pieces of Christmas decor and projects to create for the home immediately after Halloween.  Going into these stores does not bring joy to my  heart when I see the overflowing shelves.  It brings dread.

This year my heart has been a bit lighter than in the past.  A real indicator of my progress through the morass of my mind.  It has been a battle and I have survived it and come out in a better place.

There are people with physical limitations that are under the Christmas “gun”.  Migraines, fibromialgia, Lupus, severe back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and other physical ailments that make housework nearly impossible to do.

For me it is disheartening to look around at my house and see all that needs to be done.  Not just the housework but my myriad of other tasks that demand my full attention as well.  I have a commission to create Post-It-Note Holders for a friend to give to his family for Christmas.  I have bookwork that needs to be done for our taxes.  I have a husband to feed and water.  Sometimes the enormity of the tasks I have to do and the time limit to do them feel like a heavy weight upon my soul and this causes me to physically and emotionally shut down.

Anthony (Tony) Robbins says “If you find yourself up against a wall then make a door and go through it”.  In the past I have confronted the wall and turned away because of the sheer magnitude of the wall.  This year, as in previous years, I have fashioned a door in that wall by following (sort of) the principals of Flylady.  15 minutes at a time.

This week she has challenged me by doubling up on the Cleaning Zones.  The Living Room, Front Entry, and Dining Room are to be done this week.  Yikes!!!

I got an early start on the Living Room because of wanting to put our tree up.  The bookshelves are all dusted and cleaned because of the foolishness of a few days ago 🙂  I am thrilled to say that the Master Bathroom and Master Bedroom are both clean and orderly, part of the Living Room is clean, and all has been done in 15 minute increments.

Lynn, are you sitting down?  You may need to make sure that Rod is close by just in case you will need him to steady you 🙂

I have two sections of the Living Room to finish this week.  One is around Joe’s recliner and I need to resuscitate an ailing and neglected plant.

Joe's recliner space

Joe’s recliner space

My poor plant is in the throes of death 😦  Months at a time with no water this strong plant still shows some life.

My poor plant

My poor plant

I need to dust and vacuum this area and make Joe purge his tables.  He has two of them and they are piled high with stuff.

Then it is off to my side of the room and the recliner, table, and curio cabinet that will complete cleaning of this room.

Near my recliner

Near my recliner

My curio cabinet

My curio cabinet

The entryway into our home has been neglected for longer than six months.  It has been well over a year since I have done much here.

Entry way

Entry way

Clutter and dust await me.

The foyer counter

The foyer counter

Tags I created last year in an attempt to entice someone to purchase Stampin’ Up! product from me.  They are all still sitting where I left them after photographing them  for my blog.

Last years tags

Last years tags

Still on the counter are the pieces I made using Stampin’ Up! products for a Valentine’s promotion.

Valentine items

Valentine items

Joe’s stuff and pieces along with the chemicals he uses to kill weeds and ants around our house that haven’t been put back where they belong.

More clutter

More clutter

The entry way needs some attention also.

The entryway

The entryway

As for the Dining Room……Joe has the table right now to work on projects that need doing on our work trailer.  He has taken over that flat surface and I’m not going to be touching it 🙂

The dining table

The dining table

I think I will sit here and admire the shiny Christmas balls that sparkle with the light.  Carissa says I’m an ostrich that gets distracted by shiny things 🙂 and she is so correct.

Shiny Christmas balls

Shiny Christmas balls

Or maybe I’ll be mesmerized by the shiny trumpet 🙂 for a while.

Shiny trumpet

Shiny trumpet

Maybe I’ll just talk to Santa.

Santa

Santa

No.  I’ll save those for later tonight.  I’ve got to get the timer set for 15 minutes and get busy and about my day.  Speaking of getting busy.  The missive of love my husband left for me….

Love note

Love note

Has been cleaned away along with the remainder of the dust and clutter on our entertainment center and book shelves.

Dust is gone

Dust is gone

Today’s post is for those of you that feel, as I once did, that 15 minutes at a time of cleaning is a load of “horse pucky”.  When you think of your home as a whole the task is overwhelming and quite daunting.  Pick one spot and do what you can in that spot only for the 15 minute period.  Attack the clutter first and leave the dusting, washing, and vacuuming for the next round of 15 minutes.

If you so desire, designate one hour of the day to do your housework and keep it to the one hour period.  No longer than the hour.  Each 15 minute increment of that hour you only work in the one area you have chosen.  15 minutes to clear the clutter.  15 minutes to dust or wash.  15 minutes to vacuum or sweep.  The final 15 minutes to put furniture or objects back in place.  Then go about your day.

Be kind to yourself during the craziness of preparing for Christmas.  Let us make this Christmas a truly joyous time.  Not so much for our families but for ourselves.  Let’s begin to put the childhood wonder back into our hearts this year and daily shove the Grinch out the door 🙂

This does not mean to attack the entire room if you have a lot of work to do.  Just one section of the room at a time every day until you have finished your work.  Take it easy on yourself and know that  you are making improvement one day at a time.  Soon you will be happy in seeing the progress you are making and the load you have put upon yourself will be greatly lessened.

Let’s put a smile back on our faces and in our hearts 🙂

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About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

9 responses to “A new week with new challenges

  • Maureen Mathis

    Some items in the photos look like they could “find a new home” and may not be of use to you in the near future. Could you set up 3 boxes somewhere in the house and use one for things that you think could “go away and not really be missed” and when Joe has a chance and is interested in looking at the items, he can look at them and put them in one of the two other boxes that are for “store in the house” or “ready for adoption”. It’s difficult when two people have to make those decisions, and it’s really difficult to get both parties to perform this task at the same time, and be in the best frame of mind to thoughtfully consider the need for keeping things v the available storage at hand at the time. Available space is really an issue for us all, and our decisions to keep or donate things should take that into consideration.

    The area I need to be working on right now is the closet I share with Charlie, and you have helped me make some of those decisions easier. (Most of the stuff that needs to find a new home is mine, so I won’t need to check with him – he’ll do the happy dance if all of it were to just disappear! THAT should make my job go faster!) Thanks for the help!

    • Message In A Fold

      A lot of the stuff in the photos are of no use to me. Joe has taken over and spilled his possessions from one end of this house to another. Whatever happens to be in his pockets gets dumped out on the entry way counter or the table. Joe has been working out in our storage shed to get that organized. He’s been to Lowe’s several times to purchase more metal rack shelving. When he works on a project – “Honey Do” or just work – where he puts stuff down is where it stays. I have not got after him all these years to put his stuff away. I think it about time that I do 🙂

      I’m so glad that I have helped you in your task of working in your closet 🙂 Let me know how it works out for you 🙂 Both you and Charlie can do the happy dance when you are finished. Who knows, you may just find that long hidden sexy dress he loves to see you in and sweep you off to a night of dinner and dancing 🙂

      Love you Big Sis 🙂

  • gardenpinks

    Finally able to catch up on the blogs of my bestest friends and see what is going on. The rib is starting to heal, yes it was definitely a broken rib. Apparently some people can break their ribs by sneezing! Who knew???? Breathing, especially deep breaths, and sitting down have been painful and uncomfortable at times and lying down has been agony and then trying to find a comfortable way to sleep has caused some sleepless nights. Hey ho it will soon mend 🙂

    You know Leslie I think you are the bravest lady I know! What other woman would not only take photographs of the untidiest areas of their home but put them up on the internet for the whole world to see?? Not me that is for sure!

    I think you are doing a marvellous job and Maureen is right perhaps a good purge is now needed. Speaking of which I did what thought was a good purge when we first decided to put the house on the market but I now realise that there is still too much junk. I have made a promise that in the New Year I will be far more ruthless..we have been here nearly 39 years and have hoarded so much. I also need to convince Rod that he needs to go through all his tools and get them collected into one place and decide what needs to be scrapped and what really needs to be kept. He did make a start on this earlier this year and had three big plastic bins to put his ‘definitely keep’ tools in but then he started to use said tools and now they are scattered to the four winds again 🙂 I think this is a very common trait amongst men…use a tool, dump it and then spend several hours at a later date looking for that tool. Of course we are not like that at all 🙂 😉 🙂

    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    • Message In A Fold

      My poor friend 😦 I’m sorry you have been so miserable with your broken rib. Good to know you, and your rib, are both on the mend. When it finally quits hurting you will be sleeping to make up for all the lost sleep. Hey, how about a NAP? 😀

      I don’t know about being brave to show my dirty house, maybe more like a bit daft. I thought long about this Flylady thing and thought there might be someone else in the same predicament as I am in. A dirty house and other responsibilities. I figured that if I could show the progress I’m making in the tiny bits of time then, maybe, it would get someone else to take the step and get started.

      Man, you don’t know just how much I want to purge. The problem is the stuff is Joe’s. My worldly possessions are in my craft room and my clothes. Having grown up in households that thought nothing of going through my possessions while I was at school and getting rid of most of my things. Consequently I’ve developed the habit of not being materialistic. EXCEPT for my craft room and supplies.

      Wow!! 39 years in the same house. That boggles my mind 🙂 There is a woman from YouTube that I used to follow. She has a Facebook account that I keep in touch with her goings on. She has gone through her home, mostly because the roof caved in on them during a really bad rain, and began clearing out her house. She puts pictures of items up for sale on Facebook and has had a lot of success. The larger furniture items she has sold at a couple of garage sales she has held.

      Men and their toys 🙂 Play with them and leave them just anywhere 🙂 I had to laugh at your bit about Rod getting his tools in a bin then started using them and now they are scattered hither and yon 😀 Poor Rod 🙂

      You get well my Friend. I’m glad you are resting between craft fairs with Ruth and your mad dash to make Christmas cards.

      Love you – Leslie

    • Maureen Mathis

      That lethal sneeze is just as crazy as my husband breaking a couple of ribs GOING FOR A PING PONG BALL! We got the kids a ping pong table at Christmas a few ago, and set it up in the garage to play, and boy if a ping pong ball got loose, you’d have to go through a lot of JUNK to try to find it, so HE REALLY wanted to return a particularly good shot instead of having to look for the ball. Apparently, he stretch so hard, he broke his ribs!

      • Message In A Fold

        Poor Charlie!! That ended the Ping Pong competition, I bet. My goodness, you had to have been quite busy over the next few weeks trying to help him do everything he had done by himself before. Sitting in a chair, standing up from a chair, trying to find a comfortable spot to lie on and sleep, lifting and carrying anything over 6 ounces.

        Poor Maureen!!! now that I think about it 😀 Does the sight of a Ping Pong table send Charlie in the opposite direction? 😀 Thank you for sharing that bit of Mathis history 🙂

        Love you Girlfriend

      • Maureen Mathis

        Yes, sadly, it ended his ping pong career…..!

      • Message In A Fold

        Poor Charlie :-(. Career ending injury. Whatever will he do now? 😀

  • gardenpinks

    You would never expect to break a rib so easily….I can say I know someone who broke ribs playing ping pong ball now 🙂 Thanks for sharing that Maureen 🙂

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