Thursday, October 4, 2012

CHAOS Theory take 2

The first step to recovery of anything, including CHAOS, is to admit there is a problem, then take small steps toward changing your attitude towards it.  It doesn't happen overnight, and we all will struggle through it because we forget that we DESERVE a calm home environment with clear and tidy surfaces (including the floor). With some of us its not whether we deserve it or not, its the re-teaching ourselves to not just put an item down wherever or walk past an item 100 times without picking it up;  it will be forgotten and then will become part of the scenery as 'invisible clutter', the kind where the mess seems to appear out of nowhere LMAO!  That happens to be the one concept i'm working on this month: "Put it away, Right away, Right now".  Fly Lady has given me a launching point to figure out where MY personal weaknesses are, so i can work on them.

Yes, Fly Lady is about routine, its about 'do it now', its about using your timer, and about making daily routines and plans.  Sometimes we forget that these are supposed to be OUR OWN routines and plans...and the perfectionism of following the Fly Lady system to the letter is what makes the Sad come out in some of us.  If you are feeling hung up on something or overwhelmed by one small part of the guide, maybe it's time to take a good look at it and figure out what about it is holding you back (just don't over-analyze ..).  It wasn't designed to be perfect, it was designed to grow and evolve with each person who takes up the Fly Lady Challenge.  My home has gone from a Mess 90% of the time, to Mess 50% of the time.  I have made the schedule mine so it works for my family and helps involve them so i don't feel so alone.  I have taken steps to eradicate clutter by eliminating surfaces i can just drop stuff off at.  I couldn't have done it with a smile if i had never found Fly Lady.

I urge you all, if you are reading this, to get up.  Forget about 'fire drills and hot spots' for one moment, forget about Morning Routine and how much of it you haven't 'finished' (especially if it's taking you more than 15-20 minutes to do).  Take a moment to just breathe, and stretch, maybe grab some water.  You can re-claim your home, and make it yours again, one small step at a time.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ego in the Heart of the Home.

 I could be sitting here crying because its not one of my best days fighting my back and strained muscles, but amazingly I'm not. To update everyone, i did something to my back at the end of May, not entirely sure what happened, but I've been fighting muscle spasms, strained neck and back muscles, strained leg muscles, and out of alignment spine/shoulders/hips etc.  I have been seeing a Chiropractor to help get me back to 100%, and the treatment is helping since i am recently having more good days than bad days.  The good days of course are GREAT, the bad days are awful.

With the advent of the last month and fighting all this, my daily routine has gone down the tubes.  Most days it has been all i can do to get up and get dressed, pick out a pretty scarf, and limp through my day.  Minimal cooking, minimal dishes, enough laundry to keep my nose above water, and the rest of it just fell apart.  I am realizing maybe there is a bigger plan.   First, my Ego needed some working on.  No, really.  I do NOT like asking for help, needing help, or being helped.  I am an independent individual, right??  In reality i do need the help, especially right now when the more i try to do on my own seems to set me back in my physical recovery, which sets back the housework, and other various things like paying bills,  not just a day but rather DAYS.  One 'feel great day' can = several 'not feel good days' because i over-do it to try to make up for the last set of 'not feel good days'.  I am sure many of my friends who suffer from chronic pain completely relate.

Last week i made the goal to reclaim at least my weekly routines of 15 minutes in each room doing SOMETHING, and finally asked the kids to be involved in these tasks.  Monday the kids and i reclaimed the living room (again), Izaak even got all the trash out to the dumpster in the alley for me!  Tuesday we 'tackled' Hannah's room, and Izaak worked on the rest of the trash/legos from his room.  Wednesday i did a once-over on the entryways with a broom/mop before we enjoyed the 4th. Thursday I swept and mopped the hard floors in the living room (the goal is a quick mop of ALL floors, but i ran out of steam).  Friday was a bad day and i rested, Saturday we had company (FREE DAY!!!), and today is LAUNDRY DAY!!! 

The kids took their laundry down and sorted it into our new 'system' of labeled 13 gallon trash cans, rather than the canvas hampers we had before that always were getting wet if the floor drain backed up.  The olders are taking turns bringing up the clothes from the dryer for me to fold, and then putting the clothes away in each person's room.  

THIS is how its supposed to work.  So proud of my little family stepping up, and stomping on my Ego for me just long enough to get things done.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Veiling isn't Just for Fanatics.

For those friends who have wondered "Whats up with the scarf?", please be assured i am not sick (other than in the head bhahahaha), i'm not changing religions, I really haven't joined a cult, and Zach is not forcing me to cover my hair--*snort* like he could make me do anything! (Ok he made me quit smoking...)  I realized that i need to be more intentional in my daily spiritual life, and decided to actually attempt 'Lent' this year.  Facebook diet was a fail, internet diet--total fail.  It dawned on me to choose to give up my hair, but rather than shaving it all off i explored the idea of just covering it--veiling, if you will.  I slowly have worked up from wide-headbands and hats to the Tichel  (Israeli style Scarf, properly pronounced 'tickle' or ti-khel).  I have learned a lot about myself and the perceptions of others since i began to wear a Tichel daily the last few weeks.  If anything i am feeling more feminine and liberated because i am free to CHOOSE to cover my hair (no worries, i look silly in a Hijaab so you won't see me in one of those anytime soon), and i am free to CHOOSE who sees me un-veiled...and this realization has exponentially grown me spiritually. The Divine Feminine is a wonderful and powerful thing to explore.  I am more aware of how i present myself to the world, and how they perceive me.

I'm not saying "everyone HAS to run out and cover their hair!!!".  This kind of exploration is not for everyone, and can be a little scary.  You never know how people will react when you make drastic changes to your habits or appearance, and i'm very lucky to be the  Independent Honeybadger i am because it wasn't really that difficult of a decision for me to make, i just needed the information.  Will i keep Covering my hair when Lent is over?  Probably.  Will i send us to the poor house with my new addiction to scarves?  Hopefully not.  The scarves are luckily fairly inexpensive and easy to acquire locally.  How does my Husband feel?  Honestly, he puts up with so many of my wierds that i don't think it has occurred to him to ask about it.  I feel, after much research into why women in other cultures veil, that i am honoring him as my husband by showing the world i am 'off the market'. I am presenting myself as a Married Woman.  I am not veiling because it is instructed in the Bible, or the Koran (or any other religious work for that matter) for women to cover their hair and dress modestly and all that jazz.  This really has nothing to do with that.  This is something i am doing for myself, out of my own independent and weird iconoclastic choice.  A choice that a Muslim woman in California was murdered for just a few days ago.  She could have chosen the 'freedom' of no Hijaab, but she freely chose to wear it and was killed for exercising that freedom.  This event has solidified my commitment, not just in her honor, but for the freedoms of women everywhere and their Human Right to choose what is best for themselves and their families.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dear friends and fans,

Because of some of Blogger's new policies and updates i may be moving to another Blogging site.  I will keep everyone updated as to what i decide, because i do not like the fact that i currently can ONLY access this blog to write in.  I have a private diary one that blogger is blocking me from, and i have attempted to make another personal blog linked to another email address and it was flagged as SPAM before i even got the first post in. Totally rediculous.  Hopefully it will be cleared up by the end of the week.

UPDATE:  blogger restored my access to my other blog after i threatened to pull al my blogs.  must have proven myself a real person.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Renewal and Refocus

This is a time of renewal for many beliefs.  In many Christian faiths it is the season of Lent, the 40 days where a person takes inventory of life, does penance for any wrongs, and practices self denial of vices in preparation for the arrival of their Risen Lord on Easter Sunday.  This year the  New Moon before Ostara happens to coincide with Lent. Many Pagan believers use this time until the next new moon at the Equinox for 28 days of renewal, refocusing and prayer.  

I am taking on the challenge of 28 days of renewal and refocus.  I have spent a long winter being ill and taking care of sick family, and have spent too much of my free time on social networking sites such as facebook.

It is a time to regroup, reflect, and renew.  No matter what faith we identify with, sometimes we all need that time for ourselves to rediscover what we are truly capable of.

I will also be using this time to plan a Spring Feast for my friends using a new mini Cook-book written by Zedral Z (also known as Nar) Recipes for Ostara (also available in Kindle format).  It will be a nice deviance from tradition, with some fun food and friendship to go with it.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Upcycling and Folding

Today ends week one of the new 'system'.  I have already lost interest in folding laundry, but it seems that much of it may have been extras from cleaning the smallest's room this last week.  I can finish up the folding process tomorrow, and then will make it a goal to get up a tiny bit earlier than 8am next Sunday.  The positive is that its all CLEAN!!  Ok i have one load in the washer and one load in the dryer...but those are the LAST 2 loads.  I can deal with them tomorrow after i get back from a last minute trip to Glendive with a friend.

I Upcycled some Storm Window panes from our original upstairs windows into 'white boards'.  One is my Shopping list board, the other is my menu board.   I wrote the titles with magic marker, and then can use dry erase or 'over head' markers to write on them.  They look pretty neat up on my walls, and hopefully will be a great tool for all of us.

Going with the theme of the glass boards, i also put my weekly plan into an extra picture frame i had on and and now can but a star by everything i complete then erase it at the end of the week.

I am feeling very smart today, but tired.  Time to go deal with my dishwasher so its fresh for the morning and head to bed.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

CHAOS theory in Home Management.

This post was going to be about my Kitchen plan for today, and then i went off on a tangent.  Sometimes i have to write what i am guided to write, because there is always a message in there not only for myself but hopefully for everyone who chooses to follow this blog.

Day 3 of my new plan got derailed.  I planned to give the kitchen a good wipedown but instead ended up doing 3 dishwasher loads of dishes.  At least yesterday i gave the livingroom a good deep clean and got the furniture swept under, and the floors vacuumed, and all the flat surfaces wiped down.  yes, i really am looking at the positives of what i did do, rather than focusing on what didn't quite go to plan.

Tomorrow is the entryways.  Its a little intimidating, but i think i can handle it.  I just need to get into the routine of giving each room a good lick every week.  One full week a month sometimes just is not enough, so i rearranged it a bit from Fly Lady so that each room gets a good once over every week. I think that is my new star habit to work on...weekly maintenance.  Sometimes i just cannot get to each room in a day, and we use almost every room in this house every day (not a huge house).  The idea is to just do what i can in 15-30 minutes depending on the ...direness...of the room, with the goal of adding in daily maintenance to each area as the family SEES how happy our home is with out junk everywhere.

Here is a layout of my room schedule (not including things like dusting and wet-mopping or glass):

Mondays:  Living Room.  It gets pretty hashed over a weekend and sometimes we just are too worn out from Laundry Day to do much more than pick up the floor and clear a couple hot spots.  Monday i give the whole room a good thorough 'blessing' by moving furniture to sweep out toys/crumbs and running the vacuum in the spots the broom doesn't get to well.

Tuesdays:   Kitchen.  Yet again, thorough wipe down.  Moving items to wipe UNDER, wipe down of cabinet fronts, and a quick clean out of the Fridge.  I did get the counters wiped down well today, so i will stick a star up just for that feat!

Wednesday:  Entryways.  Need I say more?  Usually by today the front door area needs a thorough tidy and declutter (how many coats do these kids need?) and I won't even go into how the coat closet looks...iz a catch all spot/staging area for thrift store destined items, AKA the mini-hoarding room.  The back door area is where we kennel the dogs at night, so it needs a good scrub and vacuum from the dirt/hair/dog food that collects back there.  Its also the staging area for my Swiffer/Broom/Aprons and shelf of stuff that won't fit in my kitchen cabinets but i still use too often to store in the basement stuff.

Thursday:  Bathroom.  Right now we only have one.  The main bath is in perma-renovation stage for now with an open-ended finish date (cash/supplies/manpower), so the basement bathroom gets used by all 5 of us plus guests.  Even with a daily Swish and Swipe (see Fly Lady for details), it still seems to need a good scrubdown of the shower which is epic crumbling concrete that doesn't seem to have ever been sealed right. I use non-slip foam shelf liner and a no-slip shower mat for the floor to protect our feet from the concrete floor, so i wash those in the washer weekly.

Friday: Bedrooms.  Basically this is just a quick sweep and vacuum of the older kids rooms, a quick run through of my own room, and a good thorough pick up and put away in the littlest's room.  A change in everyone's sheets and our rooms are ready for the weekend.

Saturday:  FREE DAY!!.  I have worked hard all week and deserve a day of rest and relaxation.  I focus on me, my kids, the Man, the dogs, friends.  Sometimes i schedule a Party to celebrate the week to come with lots of food and the company of family and friends.

Sunday:  Laundry.  Yup i saved this one for last.  Like i posted in the previous blog, its something we all have to deal with and i have decided to commit to dealing with it all in one day.  Getting it all done in one day is so freeing for me.  Sure i still have tons of clothes to get rid of, but i now can do it all in one day as i go, rather than bit by bit through the week.

Things such as Trash, Dusting/glass, and mopping floors are spread throughout the week as well, but i will save that for another post so i don't overwhelm my readers with a crazy schedule they think may work for them.  I don't want anyone to get overwhelmed by what MY goals are.  Babysteps, always.

The one thing i have taken away from my last couple years following the Fly Lady and her methods is that i MUST make it my own.  She is a great launching point for learning how to build habits and routines, and i still will send anyone to her first.  She has great methods and i have learned so much about myself and HOW to build my own habits and weekly plans, HOW to use a calendar, and to finally love ME and embrace my perfectionism with a timer.  What it boils down to in the end is that it is my home and my schedule and i must learn to manage my time and home around the ever-changing 'flexible' schedule of a young family.  I cannot let perfectionism block my way, even when the routine MUST change because school is out for a couple of days or out for the summer.  Move your habits around to fit the current schedule, because sometimes the routine changes and CHAOS tries to toe its way in again. Developing habits is the first step to your 'flexible' routine.  This is why i have chosen to schedule specific days for my basic cleaning, kind of an old fashioned idea, but its where my head is right now and where i need to be.