While I am away from home, with my truck driving job, my thoughts are of being home. When I am home my thoughts are of being anywhere else but here! Crazy? Yes.
I find myself full of anxiety and dread. The self imposed demands I put upon myself are many. My expectations are high. My “Perfectionism” delays action. The negative self talk is rampant and, seemingly, ceaseless. For the longest time I thought that I had to look over my shoulder for the “men in white coats” that would take me away. I feared the judgement of others that came near my home. An irrational fear that the postal person, delivering a package, would burst through the door with a white glove on one hand going from room to room showing me my failure. Or our neighbor dropping by, to have a chat with Joe, would admonish me for my housekeeping skills. None of these things happen….only in my head.
Getting started is a trial for me. Mainly I can think of many excuses NOT to do the job that needs doing.
- I don’t have enough time to do it all.
- I don’t know when we are going back out on the road and I don’t want to start then leave it half finished.
- Why do I have to do this all by myself?
- Where do I start?
- There is so much crap in this house.
- All those dang books of Joe’s!
- Just after I get the room cleaned he is just going to plop his crap on any flat surface.
- Why bother?!
- He’s going to be asking me what we are going to eat every 10 minutes and expect me to cook it.
The litany of excuses is probably familiar to you. In fact, I’m sure you have said some of these very same things. Maybe your excuses run the lines of….
- I have too many kids and they have so many activities we have to attend.
- I don’t have 5 minutes to myself let alone several hours.
- Just when I get started the kids will pick a fight with each other.
- I have a child that can not be left alone. Ever!
- I don’t want to have to do all this work then have it all messed up by my husband (or wife) and the kids.
Maybe you are unfortunate in that you are riddled with pain constantly and it hurts too much to take on the major task of house cleaning.
Maybe you have recently had surgery and are not physically able to do any strenuous work, and won’t be for the next six weeks.
Whatever the case may be, that thing you purchased many years ago or just last week that gave you such pleasure is now not such a pleasant thing to look upon. You are now experiencing “buyer’s remorse” because that special thing does not make you feel beautiful, healthy, or organized.
Marla Cilley, aka the Flylady, had a house packed to the gills with stuff and clutter. Her husband was a judge and she held a position with the city administration where they live. Marla lived in constant fear that the Mayor or a Councilman would come to her home and want to come inside. She was horrified by that thought. Try as she may to get a routine in place to clean her home she found nothing but difficulty at every turn. Frustrated, overwhelmed, and in tears Marla made the decision to just keep her kitchen sink clean for a week. You can read about her journey HERE.
Now Marla helps millions of women, men also, in getting control of their homes. Through her website and her gentle teaching she has made a difference in the lives of several women who were in imminent danger of having their children taken into Foster Care because they lived in filth and squalor. She helps people that don’t seem to have enough hours in the day for work, children, activities, cooking, and cleaning.
I found her site in 2005. Normally, I am an organized person. My life took on a momentous change when I became an over the road truck driver for most of the year in 2001. Faced with being gone from home 10 months of the year, having to be the only person with the ability to do bookkeeping, plus have the traditional role of cook and housekeeper heaped on my already full plate I rebelled in 2005. I had to make a choice. That choice was the bookwork. House cleaning was a distant second. Cooking and meal planning were not even on my radar. Being asked what was for breakfast, lunch, and supper on a daily basis made my head explode and I erupted like Mount Vesuvius.
I was really resentful of Joe from 2002 to 2005. His expectations of me to get the financial bookwork done in two months and ready for the accountant to finalize our tax returns, make all the decisions for feeding him, plus caring for the house was too much for me to continue internalizing. Plus he expected me to be ready at a moments notice to get back out on the road with him. Look, I’m good but I’m not THAT good!
Thanksgiving of 2005 I had a major conniption fit. Foot stomping, flying curse words, raised voice, arms flailing around, the whole three year old temper tantrum except for throwing myself on the floor and kicking my feet and crying in frustration. Joe was going to be going out by himself. I was staying home to get the bookwork done. Too bad if he didn’t like it, either.
January through May of 2006 I was home getting the bookwork done, cleaning the house, and being by myself without the company of Joe. Having guidance from Flylady to create a schedule for myself worked wonders. Two weeks into the routines I found the tasks of keeping up with the housework much easier. It didn’t take long for me to run amok, though. I would be up at 5:30 in the morning. Get a cup of coffee, get dressed, and begin the paperwork by 6:00 a.m. I’d work at it non stop until 9:00 p.m. then try to go to bed. The next day I would find out what the “Zone” cleaning of the day would be on the Flylady website and I would begin the cleaning ritual at 6:00 a.m. and keep going until 8:00 p.m. The next day I’d do paperwork all day long. Can you guess what happened? Indeed.
I crashed and burned.
Instead of getting my paperwork or housecleaning done I watched hour after hour of television. Got my days and nights mixed up. Depression had me napping during the daytime and wide awake at night. I could no longer focus on the paperwork because that required thought. House cleaning didn’t take much thought, just elbow grease. Joe would call and tell me of his trials and tribulations on the road and I felt guilty for leaving him out there to fend for himself. I was in a downward spiral, physically and emotionally.
By the first part of April I was back on track and the paperwork finally was finished and the house work was nearly done. I was so ready to be back out on the road the start of May that I welcomed the freedom I would have being away from home and the paperwork.
It took me several years to get a good plan working that would allow me to get some crafting tossed in the mix and survive the winter months without going bonkers. Or making my internet friends bonkers with my whining!
Now, after all that long winded gibberish comes my “User Friendly Tip”.
You can start the process “next year” 😀 after the holidays are over.
There is nothing wrong with you. You are not lazy. You are not selfish. You are not measured by the standards of anyone else. When you are ready to take the steps to get started guidance will always be there. The Flylady website is always available. You are the only one that can change your life and your home.
My next post will be about stepping into the clutter and getting started. Gearing up for “KEEP, TOSS, and GIVE AWAY”.
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve! Can you believe it?