Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What Is Wrong With Me?

Kill.  Me.  Now.  Please?  I don't know what's wrong with me.  Yesterday I did great with my routines,  did 15 minutes of Zone work, a 10 minute Weekly Home Blessing chore, drank water for the first time in forever (I'm a total pop-aholic) and did some unexpected laundry (cat threw up on the bathroom rugs I had just washed the day before, grrrr).  With all that visible progress, one would think that I would be filled with some sense of satisfaction. 

But nooooo.  Instead I felt two things:

1.  OMG, even with all I did today, there is still sooo much more to do!  (Yeah yeah, I know.  BabySteps.  Whatever.)

2.  OMG, I did so much today, and this is what it's going to be like EVERY DAY FROM NOW ON!  I feel like all I did today was clean!  Sure I took breaks, but never did I get to sit down and just watch a TV show.  Today I turned on my DVRed episode of "The View" as usual when I got home from work, but I had to keep pausing it so I could go change the laundry over, or call my bank before I forgot, or enter some other random yet responsible thing that popped up here.  After being home for 3 1/2 hours, I had only made it through 27 minutes of the show, which included fast forwarding through commercials.  Is this what my life is going to be like every day if I keep going with the FlyLady routines?  I don't even have kids!

It just seems like all I do now is clean/FlyLady stuff.  Even with using my timer and taking breaks, it seems like FlyLady has sucked my life out of my life. (Not that I had much of a life to begin with.)  I thought doing this program was supposed to help me get out of CHAOS so I would have more time to live my life, but right now it feels like the opposite is happening. 

 "No sorry, I can't do (enter random activity here), I have to go do my Zone work or FlyLady will somehow find out I didn't and yell at me.  No, trust me, she KNOWS."

Yesterday I actually told my roommate that I would only go outside and play Cornhole with him if we went RIGHT NOW, because I still had my Weekly Home Blessing, Zone Work, and Before Bed Routine to do.  I was rushing through a fun activity so I could go and clean to avoid going to bed with a guilty conscience.  What's up with that?

My only theory to this crappy feeling is that right now it seems like so much because I haven't had a cleaning routine for so long, my cleaning "muscle" is out of shape.  I'm not used to doing these things on a regular basis, and therefore my internal routine of sitting around and watching TV after work is still inside me screaming "Hellloooo?  What are you doing?  Oprah is on!".  Hopefully the cleaning routine will replace the TV routine and doing all these things everyday will become the new "normal".  Or am I being too optimistic and it will always feel like a struggle?  Comments please!


Peasinapod May 26, 2010 at 10:48 PM  

I don't think I've felt the urge to comment more on a post. I've been trying this since about October 2008, and honestly feel like her "routines" are for people who don't work! Seriously....you work 8+ hours a day, and come home to nothing but more work. Granted I have two kids and a husband who never clean up after themselves but WTF? It's like a never ending cycle of cleaning, and I swear she's making me OCD about my damn sink!

Chandra May 27, 2010 at 8:16 PM  

@Peasinapod: I agree that these routines seem to be for people who don't work, but for those of us that do, what alternative is there? I don't even work full-time, I work about 5-6 hours a day, 5 days a week, sometimes more if there are special events. This plus driving time add up to around 7 hours/day that I'm not home. I feel that if I were getting up at the same time of day as I do on a work day but cleaning my home WAS my job, I wouldn't feel nearly as overwhelmed as I do now. Those 7 hours would allow be to spread things out a bit instead of trying to cram it all in the times before and after work. BUT- if I were to cut things out of my routines/WHB/Zone work, the house wouldn't stay nearly as tidy as it is getting now. This ties right in to my whole theroy on "you really CAN'T have it all" and why women today who work and run a household are having such a hard time. I'm all for the women's movement, becuase it gave us the choice to work, but in reality that choice has pretty much become more of an expectation that we go to work and do all the house stuff too, and women just can't do it all without something dropping. Somethings gotta give. Whoa, this was almost as post in itself!

NikkiStarr May 28, 2010 at 6:10 PM  

There is nothing wrong with you at all :) In my personal experience, routines are actually more important for women who work outside the home so they don't have to clean all weekend. I couldn't stand spending every weekend cleaning so I incorporated a little into my AR and BBR everyday of the week. With this system you just find what works best and you go with that. I don't do every thing every week. I do shine my sink, I have my MR and my BBR down to a science, and I swish and swipe. Since there are only 2 of us in the house I don't do a load of laundry each day. There is no perfect or right way. Any type of house work you do blesses you and your family (or in your case your roommate). There never is a done, it's just a journey. I know you understand all of this and I'll assume you are probably a perfectionist like me. It took me a long time to learn that good enough is good enough. Hang in there. FLYing is about loving yourself and finding out what works for you and your lifestyle. Thank goodness there is no perfect way.

Maaike March 8, 2011 at 4:17 PM  

I agree with NikkiStarr: routines are even more important if you work outside the home.

I do just that and I LOVE FlyLady. She truly changed my life. Not just my house, but also the way I look at life. I am able to enjoy my life, thanks to her that is, and it's been a GREAT ride.

Having that said, I don't follow all her guidelines. Heck, during some weeks I hardly do any of them. And I sure don't let them interfere with the good stuff in life. Whenever something good unexpectedly comes up, well, I abandon my FlyLady stuff immediately.

I wrote a blog post about FLYing while working outside the home today, maybe it helps:

Anonymous,  September 29, 2013 at 2:49 PM  

I know I'm doing a total Frankenstein on this post, but I stumbled across it and thought I'd add a bit.

First, I'm completely with the previous poster. I started with Flylady back in 2002, when I was struggling to balance a career as a paralegal with freelance writing and voiceover work PLUS take care of the two stepkids I'd acquired. Routines are more important for those of us who work outside the home, not less.

I remember I felt the same way when I started, largely because there always seemed to be so much to do. Like you, though I am a perfectionist, and part of what helped me with the timer was that it was a reminder to *stop*. It took a couple of months, but I slowly realized that it really was mounting up. I just had to be dedicated and stick with it.

I understand the pain about the sink, but I also know how much of a difference it makes to me when I walk into my kitchen in the morning and I'm not faced with a load of stuff in my sink. It's depressing!

Also, do a little more digging and reading. You'll see that she doesn't recommend that women who work outside the home do their whole weekly house blessing (OK, I do admit I wish she'd get another name for that) in one fell swoop. Do one piece at a time along with your 15 minute mission. Yes, it's a little bit every day, but it's like exercise.

All that said, I've fallen off the Flylady wagon in the last years and I, too, am struggling to get back on it. Now, I'm freelancing full time, plus I have an autistic 4 year old, an 86 year old great-aunt I care for who has Alzheimer's, and I do all the books for my business. To say it's stressful is an understatement of mythic proportions.

Yet I do remember how seamless things were back in the old days, and I'm hanging in there. It really is amazing how much more pleasant the mornings are when everything's laid out and where it should be, versus frantically racing in circles finding something that's stuck under the couch. I'm going to stick with it again and I know the results will be good.

Late though this is, best of luck to you.