On beneficial baths

Mostly written last night.

This morning it was warm and sunny and I cycled to work in a T-shirt and skirt. Yesterday and most of last week that was no problem. Today however…

When I looked out of the window at 5 this evening it was raining. The weather forecast I should ideally have looked at earlier said it wasn’t due to stop raining until tomorrow. I didn’t fancy sleeping at work so I packed my bag and cycled home straight away – in the hope that it meant I only had to face it being cold, wet and windy instead of cold, wet, windy and dark.

By the time I’d finished packing my bag it was not only raining but chucking it down. I was soaked well before I reached home.

Look! A dry bit! πŸ™‚

***

This post was going to be a rant about the weather. I started writing it in my head on the way home. Then this evening happened and I no longer feel like ranting. I am actually kind of thankful for the rain, in a roundabout fashion..

***

The first thing I did after getting home and taking my helmet off was put the kettle on. The second thing was start running a bath.

I love baths, especially long baths but I don’t know when I last had one. ΒΎ of an hour cycling in a downpour without a coat seemed to be the perfect excuse.

Isn’t that ridiculous? That I feel like I need an excuse to spend [excessive] time in the bath. It’s like I have some kind of voice in my head permanently telling me that I should be doing something, should be productive, should have something to show for all the oxygen I’ve been using. I’m not sure what I’m trying to prove, or to whom, but I am aware that the more I try to prove it, the more I actually prove how incapable I am of proving it.

Productivity is all well and good, but I can’t be productive all the time, especially when my batteries are flat.

Sometimes batteries need recharging.

Sometimes a long bath is the best way to do that.

***

Today two very luffly friends (who barely know each other and are therefore almost definitely acting independently of each other) wrote to me to find out how I’m getting on and scheduled a phone call for tonight and next week respectively.

I’ve been spinning on my own axis in my own world for a while. Monday, for example, was one of those days where you I wonder what, if anything, you’re I’m capable of doing well and why you I even bother trying to deal with all the chaos when all you’re I’m doing is taking up space and messing up other people’s otherwise orderly lives. Reaching out (in person or by phone) and talking to people who love me was well overdue and I am so grateful for these people who seemingly instinctively know this and help me with it.

***

F and I had made our telephone plan before it started raining so I decided to combine the plans and phone her while soaking in the bath instead of while sweeping the floor and putting washing on.

Her phone didn’t work directly so I read my email while I was waiting for her to sort it out. I still get Flylady mails (remember her?) which I don’t often open but which I read today. I even poked the link and arrived at her podcast/vlog about how she makes her bed. Couldn’t bring myself to watch all the way to the end, there’s only so much bedmaking I can cope with, but since I was on YouTube anyway I jumped about through the recommendations until I came to a TEDx talk by a lady called Tracy McMillan.

BAM!!!

That is one cool lady.

I’d never read her articles or books or watched her TV shows. Never even heard of her before. Might be a tiny bit obsessed now though ;p.

As soon as her talk was over I googled her and found an interview between her and Lewis Howes (F’s phone didn’t properly recover so we spoke for a few minutes and agreed to postpone the call to tomorrow).

Here’s the link:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eWwRl_CNLR8

I think that’s the first YouTube link I’ve ever posted here. I am so awestruck by this woman’s positivity in the face of everything that she’s lived through, I think you should all go and watch the interview. Or the TED talk. Or possibly all the videos, except I haven’t seen them all and can’t directly recommend them.

She mostly talks about loving oneself. Flylady is always talking about flying. For all of you who don’t know her and weren’t around when I signed up for her emails, FLY is an acronym for finally loving yourself… I find the full-circle-ness fascinating.

***

So.

I was planning to do a million things this evening. I wanted to get my tax return finished and tidy the sitting room and do the washing up and put some unwanted things up for sale online. I wanted to find some photos to print and go through my computer and find the documents I need to work on over the next few days. I wanted to achieve so many things. In the end I didn’t do any of those things (although I did get a load of washing done, change my bedsheets and cook and eat dinner), but I think spending the time with a cup of hot ribena and a bath and Tracy McMillan’s voice turned out to be the best thing to do with the evening.

I wouldn’t have done that if it hadn’t been for having to cycle in the rain.

For that I am thankful. That’s why this was going to be a rant, but isn’t.

On patience

It’s not like I’m never ever patient.. I’m not bad at waiting for busses for instance, or waiting for the stampede to die down when icecream’s being handed out.

I’m a glassblower. Patience is part of the job, you can’t want things to happen NOW; either the glass is hot enough (or cold enough, depending on what you’re trying to do) or it isn’t, you can’t rush it.

I also have an oldish laptop, you have to be pretty patient with it too, especially between turning it on and being able to use it.

However.

As soon as I have to wait for an answer to an email, I become an incredibly impatient person.

Every time my email programm “BING”s, I rush to open the tab like a little kid at Christmas..

..almost invariably it’s a spam mail, or something from the Flylady telling me to make my bed or dust the top of my fridge.

Exciting stuff, but still a total let down.

I’m sure it’s not healthy…

 

Patience is a virtue they say.

I don’t think it’s one of mine.

On 40 boxes of Lent

“40 days, 40 boxes” – Flylady’s idea.

I’m not going to be home for 2 of the 7 weeks, so that’s a little tricky, but I think it’s not a bad idea… as long as they’re small boxes!

For Kate… / (January round-up)

Dear Kate (and anyone else who is under the impression that I live in a pristine house),

 

I think I need to point something out.

My house isn’t pristine.

It isn’t even close.

 

Okay, I have cleaned my toilet more times in January than in the last 2 years put together, and kept the dust off my bathroom ‘mirror-shelf’. I have also made sure my kitchen sink was shiny or at least empty [almost] every evening before going to bed. I have made my bed in the morning, and made sure I got dressed before going to work. Most days I eat breakfast, drink more-or-less as much water as I ought to, and can control my mean thoughts (or at least not let them out into the wild ;)).

That’s about the extent of my greatness.

There were admitedly a couple of ‘clean spells’ in the midst of the chaos, generally spurred on by the thought of company (best said in Badger’s voice ;)), but I have a long way to go before I am cured of leaving-things-out-for-later, of can’t-be-bothered-right-now-I’ll-do-it-tomorrow, of I’ve-cooked-and-the-kitchen-looks-like-it’s been-bombed-but-I-don’t-really-care, of piling-plates-on-the-counter-instead-of-emptying-the-dishwasher-to-make-space-for-them, of dropping things in the hall when I get home, remembering them only when I trip over them in the middle of the night. It’s still dark in my hall, because I haven’t got round to fixing the new light in place yet, despite buying it in November.

I have a whole machine-load of towels decorating my bathroom floor, waiting to be washed, because I’m not home long enough to make sure the machine doesn’t catch fire. I am a one-person household – think about how long it takes to gather that many towels together…

I haven’t been to bed before midnight more than a handfull of times this month, mostly resulting in being late and getting ranted at.

I haven’t done my ski-exercise-video nearly often enough. Or been swimming, or cycling, or otherwise very active.

I haven’t been tackling hotspots, or decluttering, or picking up after myself.

I haven’t revised for my exam or finished putting up my postcards.

There are a great deal more things I haven’t done, than things I have.

Like I said before, I have a long way to go…

Assuming long journeys begin with the first step, I’ve taken it, but I haven’t taken many of the others!!

Maybe one day I will reach the top of the clean-freak-mountain. Maybe I won’t.

If I’m honest, I hope somebdy stops me before my entire life revolves around things being and staying clean. It would be nice to have space to be creative, to know where I’m supposed to be and when, to have something reasonable (and clean) to wear when I go dancing (or to work), to know I can invite people over whenever I feel like it and not worry about the state of my house or whether there’s enough looroll to go round.

However.

On the whole I’m pretty sure this cleaning lark is a way of making those things possible, and not the aim itself. Even if it is this year’s project.

 

Thanks for believing in me πŸ™‚ One day I’ll be as great as you think I am…

Lots of love,

Me xxx

On changing sides

-or how I waged war on the workshop-

This morning I left my role of victim and became the perpetrator.

This morning I asked/told my colleague about my brilliant idea. He took it far better than I thought he was going to, simply replying sardonically; “it’s a good thing you don’t go on holiday more often. I couldn’t cope with many more of your ideas.” Having agreed he even more amazingly helped me carry it out, since he’s ‘the last person who’s going to stand in my way’. Could’ve fooled me. But maybe I just haven’t noticed the rest of the world because I was looking the wrong way.

Almost 12 hours later I was finished. Naja, not really. But a lot closer than before.

I would love to post pictures but I don’t have the right cable for my camera πŸ™ Maybe I’ll figure out how to use the bluetooth tomorrow..

 

Hmm? You’re confused? No way! You haven’t guessed what my idea was yet? Hmm.

Okay.

I’ll tell you.

I swapped places at work. I am now no longer the centre of attention, I no longer have a hoard of old men sitting around watching me work, I will hopefully no longer be distracted or commented on or dragged into tortuous discussions. I will be able to go to work, and work while I’m there. I won’t have to spend my evenings practising for my exam while no one’s watching, because I’ll have spent the day practising. I won’t have to grit my teeth trying not to go mad at the idiotic banter. I won’t have to pretend I care that my boxes are blocking the way to the radio, because they won’t be anywhere near it. I won’t have to answer the telephone just when my apparatus is getting to a crucial point, because I’ll be too far away πŸ˜‰

Life could get a whole lot brighter πŸ™‚

The workshop is longer than it is wide. A row of 2m high windows runs along one of the long sides. Against the wall under the windows runs a worktop known as the windowsill. Underneath that is another shelf and under that the radiator. There are 4 workbenches each placed perpendicular to the windows, facing towards one of the short walls. My colleague sits at the back facing the entire workshop, then came my bench, then the spare bench he uses for Quartz, and then the bench hidden by something like a million boxes of Glass Things. Each bench has 3 chests of drawersΒ  holding it up (solidly – they’re incredibly cool benches ;)). One on the left, then a space for your legs, then two on the right. My bench hung over the edge of the drawers on the left, meaning you could place a table half underneath the end. The table is wider than my bench, so it sticks out on 3 sides, each approximately facing my bench. That is where everybody sits. The end of my bench was also exactly opposite the door. When anyone came in, I was the first person they made eye contact with (the rest were sitting with their backs to the door), and hence the person they brought their broken glass to. I don’t mind, that’s pretty much what I’m there for, but it didn’t do my popularity many favours.. Workshop Leader’s don’t appreciate being ignored, even [or especially] if they are drunk.

I now sit right at the front, with my nose to the wall πŸ™‚ The world happens behind me. My colleague’s not happy about it, but he hasn’t actually told me how unhappy he is, so I’m going ahead while I still have the chance πŸ™‚ He told everyone who’d listen that we were putting up the new east-west divide and only stopped when someone pointed out that he’d be on the east side… He also said (to them) that one of us was there to work and the other was there to act (or for the drama?). It’s quite nice acting and not just reacting πŸ™‚

 

Today was pretty chaotic.

We -or more specifically my colleague because I’m useless when it comes to being usefull- carted the boxes of Glass Things into the Storeroom where they will probably continue to collect dust in a similar fashion – why change the habit of a lifetime? I was going to put them on the Quartz bench and put the Quartz lamp on my table but that was totally out of the question. “What would that look like?!!”

I was never especially talented in those games where you have one space and 8 or 15 square pieces you have to slide around to make a picture. You know the ones? I haven’t seen one for years, but they were incredibly popular while I was small. Anyway, that’s what the rest of my day was like.

Once the boxes were gone I set about washing the layer of dust, grime and glittery glass sprinkles off the bench, the window sill, the window, the wall, the thin space between the bench and the wall. I’d like to say I’ve never seen such filth, but I’d be lying. I already washed everything once, and it’s only been 18 months since then. When I did it last time it had been more like 18 years since the last wash. *shudders*. Moving on. Once the worktop was clear I swapped the drawers round. Then I had to find space for all the stuff that’s accumulated over the years, and rearrange the plants to accommodate my Glass-Tubing-Rack. My old ‘windowsill’ was divided by a huge concrete pillar, my new windowsill is complete. I didn’t want to adopt the junk so I had to play Workshop-Tetris to get it all into the other spaces. As soon as there was space for my feet on my windowsill I washed the windows, and moved the plants. Then I moved everything from on top of my old bench to the new one. In between times I swept the floor, including under the radiators, and explained to everyone who came in and wanted to know, just what exactly I was doing.

It’s amazing/terrifying how much RUBBISH you collect when you settle in anywhere. I’ve been there for just over 3 years. I have 15 drawers and several cardboard boxes – bits of broken stuff that I need to mend or rescue the joints off, preparations for projects I never got round to finishing, small bits of tubing that are too short to put back but too long to justify throwing away, bits of paper with scribbled lists of things to do, or instructions for building something undiscernible, newspaper articles, Wikipedia-printouts from conversations with the ‘other guy’ (he can be relied on to bring a semi-relevant article with him the day after a discussion), old calendars.. just STUFF!. There was no way I was going to go through it all today, so I’ve hardly touched the content of the drawers, preferring to leave it for a better day. I packed everything else into fewer, bigger, boxes where it can also wait for me to get round to it. I’m thinking of tackling it Flylady style – 15 mins at a time.

What also amazed me was my colleague’s enthusiastic clear out of the things that have been occupying the end of my bench since my arrival. As long as I was there they HAD to be there; “that bit of the table’s ours”, now I’ve gone; “if we’re doing tidy, we’re doing tidy properly” !! Still, I can’t say I’m very sorry they’re gone. I’m not sure how much anyone needs small, talking, stuffed domina-mice.

 

Now to get some sleep so I’m ready for tomorrow πŸ™‚

 

Oh yeah, and I’m allowed to decorate the wall too πŸ™‚ 2 x 3 1/2m fresh unadulterated wall – mmmmmmmmm πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ And no more naked ladies!

On crisis cleaning

< or chaos to passable in something like 40 steps >

I Crisis Cleaned as mentioned in my last post. This is “how to make your house presentable in lots of hectic steps” – I’ve grouped them roughly by room/area even though they definitely weren’t done in order. It’s probably not an interesting read (unless you have a good imagination and want to be horrified by how far away I was from having a guest-friendly home), I just wanted to be able to remind my future self how good I can be if/when I get unmotivated:

Balcony – I think starting with the worst and/or most important is generally sensible, especially when you have a deadline to meet. The balcony was therefore top of my list – you can’t barbecue inside, even if you can sit on a sofa in a sea of books and other ‘stuff’.

  • carried plant pots off one balcony, through my house and onto the other one to make space for an unspecified number of barbecue guests, trying not to drip water on the sofa or step on anything with my less than squeaky-clean boots as I went. The floor needed washing anyway, right?
  • swept the dead-plant-debris into a corner. Having dropped several months’ worth of dead flowers straight onto the floor (too lazy to gather them up each time I deadheaded) it was covered in a thinnish layer of dead brown mush.. I’d also torn out the old plants (deadplanting?) in order to put the bulbs in. And seemingly spilled quite a lot of compost in the process…
  • washed balcony – dry sweeping really didn’t help much – by tipping 2 buckets of water out and splooshing it about with the broom
  • washed table and chairs – how does plastic garden furniture get so gross when you’re not watching??
  • scooped all the plant debris and grott out of the drain and into a bag
  • emptied the rejected birdfood and rotting apples into the bag
  • peeled most of a Theraband off the tiles and threw it away – it smelt funny so I put it out there last year.. Apparently they stick to the tiles and disintergrate if you let them

Bedroom – okay, probably shouldn’t feature next on the list of importance, but it’s furthest away and had the least icky floor, so I figured it would save mop-washings… it didn’t really, but it was fairly quick to do.

  • put rug/mat, under-bed-boxes and the washing basket onto the bed
  • took the washing to the bathroom
  • binned tissues
  • piled books/papers/pens onto bedside table
  • mopped floor without sweeping it first. I have one of those rubber brooms. They’re fantastic things – not only do they get into all the groutlines between my floortiles, they also don’t seem to create dustclouds the way ‘normal’ brooms do. And you can use them wet as well – super. What didn’t occur to me until it was too late, was the fact that using the broom to wash the balcony meant I couldn’t use it to sweep my house – they take a while to dry and while they’re wet you can’t really sweep with them, not without making thick wet dust trails anyway.. Doh! I got my mop out and mopped without sweeping first. I’m not sure if I recommend it. It obviously means you don’t have to sweep and wash the same area separately, which saves time. On the other hand, you use at least as much time as you save washing the mop-head because it gets covered in all the things you would normally have swept up first. Swings, roundabouts and learning curves.
  • picked the drawing pins out of the wet gunk and put them somewhere I was unlikely to stand on them
  • once it was dry I put the boxes, basket and rug back and made the bed again.

Kitchen

  • washed up all most of the stuff I don’t trust the dishwasher with
  • threw away bag of mouldy breadbuns. I am against buying too much food only to throw it away when it goes off, but I am also against eating mould even if the ‘best before’ date is still valid. They were the sort you finish baking yourself and I’d bought them in anticipation of my return over New Year when everything would be closed. In future I’ll have to freeze them instead of trusting the bbe date.
  • emptied dishwasher
  • washed cutting boards – I have a stack of them and it’s soooo tempting to take a new one instead of washing the last one πŸ™
  • mixed a new batch of muesli.Β I probably wouldn’t have spent the time mixing it during a crisis clean if it hadn’t meant I suddenly had a whole load more space on my kitchen counter πŸ˜‰ I love crunchy muesli, and I love chocolate muesli, and muesli in general really.. What I don’t love is how much sugar there is in the crunchy and chocolate varieties, and I don’t really need so much chocolate or crunch-per-mouthfull so I mix a box of each with a bag each of finely and coarsely rolled oats into a huge plastic tub. There’s just enough room in there afterwards to shake it up. Makes my day when I have decent muesli for breakfast πŸ™‚
  • washed floor. Twice.

Dining room – I really need to do some ‘decluttering’ in here. It’s basically my ‘storage’ room. And the room I spend most time in. My bedroom’s for sleeping, my sitting room for sitting, my kitchen for cooking and my dining room for everything else. My desk is in there too and the papers, cables, pens, envelopes with random ideas scribbled on them, mice, webcams and other computer paraphernalia multiply and spread out from my computer as if it was being paid to do so… The tops of all the cupboards double up as shelves as does the dining table. My ‘real’ shelves with their carefully balanced shoeboxes are a lifesaver but will soon need some me-input to prevent them collapsing under the weight of their responsibility. My plants drape themselves from any remaining horizontal space and my books block each other from view in double-rows on my bookshelves. The whole effect is more that of a creative scrapyard than anything else. Given that I was working under pressure I could only hope to scrape the surface.

  • rearranged the plant rack; emptying the various plantgraveyards into the bag and making space for the bulbs I still need to plant, as well as most of the empty pots I’ve rescued
  • got rid of the bag of mouldy compost. I have less than no idea how compost goes mouldy but it’s very annoying that it has. It was seed compost. I don’t have a car and I live far enough away from the busstop to make fetching heavy things a nuisance..
  • cleared the table by putting the files back in their cupboard, shuffling all the remaining papers into a pile and all the ‘small stuff’ into a shoebox and plonking them both onto my desk. Wiped it down and dried it. Empty tables are astonishingly motivating – there’s so much potential for putting things on them (for some reason kinetic energy comes to mind; the only thing I still remember about it, is that the higher something goes up, the more energy it gathers to come down with.. Transfer the idea to the table, and the emptier it gets the more space there is for other stuff :))
  • shook out doormat
  • washed the floor

Sitting Room

  • shook out doormat
  • moved all the sofas, plants, tables, stuff aside; washing the floor before moving everything back again. It took 4 or 5 attempts to do the whole floor
  • made the guest-bed look good, or at least useable. I’d stacked my unvarnished picture frames on it. They landed on the table in the dining room. So much for having an empty table.
  • binned the dead plants, took the dead flowers to the kitchen, watered and dusted the leaves on the living ones

Porch – was so good I didn’t need to do anything.

Hall – was still good from Wednesday πŸ™‚

  • emptied my workbag and banished it to a better corner
  • swept up all the leaves and other bigger stuff I’d mopped into a heap (the hall is in the middle of my house) and binned them
  • washed the floor.

Bathroom – I do this last. Something about not wanting to wash the other floors with too many germs I guess. Not that there should even be that many more germs on the bathroom floor than on any of the others seeing as I don’t share with small children or a bloke πŸ˜‰

  • loo and sink were already sparkly thanks to all the swishing and swiping I’ve been doing πŸ™‚
  • picked up all the washing and put it in the basket. I have no idea why I don’t put things in it straight away but there we are. If I’d known I wasn’t going skating I’d’ve put the washing on to wash, I didn’t because it probably wouldn’t’ve been finished before I’d had to leave and since my cousin burned his house down with a duff washing machine I’m not too keen on leaving it running when I go out…
  • put the washing basket in the bath with the bath mat and the dustbin, balanced the scales on top of the washing, and the loo brush on top of the loo
  • washed the floor. Why is it mops don’t stay where you put them? I leant mine against the bath for a moment to move something and it promptly slid down knocking the looroll into the slightly damp bath and almost unbalancing the scales from their perch on top of the washing. When I tried to catch it I bashed the loobrush, thankfully not quite knocking it onto the floor
  • once the floor was dry I put everything back where it belongs
  • wiped the inside of the bath down. It’s amazing how much hair I lose every time I wash! I know I ought to get rid of it each time but sometimes I just don’t…
  • washed the mop out thoroughly and put all my cleaning stuff back in its corner.

So that’s it. Chaos to passable in something like 40 steps. I would like to say I got it all done in 2 1/2 hours but that would be a lie. I cheated and did some more once I’d phoned to say I wasn’t going out.

On ‘fixing’ my face

Fly lady beginner task:

“Today I want you get up and get dressed to lace-up shoes when you first get up in the morning. This means fix your hair and face, too.

In order for us to change ourselves, we need to remind ourselves of what we are doing. I did this with yellow sticky notes throughout my home to guide me through my day. This was the beginning of my home control journal. I had little notes on my bathroom mirror to remind me to get dressed to shoes.

Shine your sink before you go to bed.”

Well. I got up. And I got dressed. And made my bed. I didn’t put my lace-up shoes on. I don’t see why I should wear my going-to-work-shoes when I’m at home on my day off. I do have my ‘Hausschuhe’ on though. Literally house-shoes, they’re like slippers with waterproof soles.

I’m also not entirely sure what the good lady means by ‘fixing’ my hair and face. I wasn’t aware they were broken, and I don’t know what I should attach them to. Having said that, I am aware that she’s American, and probably means I should brush my hair and wash my face. Which I have done. I also cleaned my teeth. Actually, thinking about it, she probably meant make-up and a fancy hairstyle.. But that’s not gunna happen. My hair’s tied back out of my eyes, what more does she want?! and I don’t go in for make-up. So there. And if I don’t want to get dressed (for whatever reason) having ‘get dressed’ written on a post-it is hardly going to make me. Ho-hum.

The Zone-task, which I’m aware I’m not really supposed to be doing, is more interesting:

Today is the day that you will spend 15 minutes in the entrance way of your home. Grab all the mail, shoes and jackets and put them away! I am always so surprised at how much stuff seems to accumulate in that one area! This is one area that when you tackle it and you are finished that you feel such a huge accomplishment because it is what you see first as you come through the door! Set your timer and ………. GO!”

Wow. Today is the day that YOU WILL …that’s pretty scary… I’d better go and do that then.

Also, Wednesday is Anti-procrastination Day – I’d better find something I’ve been procrastinating about and do it… Oh joy πŸ˜‰

On playing “Flyady says”

(-or “Mission One”-)

I went through the site and found everything I’m supposed to be doing today/this week.

Note: This turned out rather longer and more complicated looking than I wanted it to be. I thought about writing all the bits in their own posts but that would just be silly. However. I don’t need to write most of the stuff often. As of tomorrow I’ll only write the daily mission.

  • Flylady’s Motto of the Year: Kind not mean in 2013 – if you say twentythirteen it scans better πŸ˜‰
  • Habit of the Month: Shine kitchen sink – everyday = empty, wash and dry it
  • Zone of the Week: Porch, Hall, Dining Room – each room/group of rooms is a ‘zone’. Each zone comes round once a month. At the beginning you’re supposed to declutter for 15 mins per day = you go through throwing, putting or giving away. Anything not used, loved or wanted has to go. Once you finish decluttering (!!! like maybe after 2 months..) there are lists of specific things to clean each time the zone comes round
    • Zone-based Mission of the Week: Wash the doors; both panels and handles (at some point during the week)
    • Zone-based Mission of the Day: Wash the windows (and the walls if they’re smudgy which mine luckily aren’t so I’m ignoring that)
  • Non zone-based Tasks of the Week or “Weekly Home Blessing” (either everything in an hour or one task per day)
    • Dust
    • Sweep
    • Mop
    • Polish mirrors (and doors)
    • Purge magazines/newspapers
    • Change sheets
    • Empty all rubbish
  • Non zone-based Tasks of the Day:
    • Get up – well that’s a non-brainer… but at least I get at least ONE tick every day πŸ™‚
      • Get dressed – to shoes.. hmm.. I’m really not sure about this. I don’t wear shoes inside. I might just ignore that part too πŸ˜‰
      • Make bed
    • Empty dishwasher
    • 15 minutes excercise
    • Drink 2l water – better 3 (I’m a glassblower remember? I need lots of water)
    • Swish and Swipe – loo and sink
    • Load of washing – sort, put on, hang up, fold, put away
    • Think about dinner – I think she means make, eat and clear up after it as well πŸ˜‰
    • Get ready for tomorrow
      • lay out clothes
      • check calendar
      • 2 minute Hotspot – Hotspots are places things pile up… Places like the sofa, or the surface in the hall you put stuff on. Your task is to choose one and spend a couple of minutes emptying it
      • fill water bottles – to take to work. This isn’t one of hers, but I figure it might as well go on the list since I generally end up doing them in a rush when I should be on the way to work already πŸ˜‰
    • Shine sink
    • Do something nice for yourself – read, drink cocoa, play a silly game on your phone, whatever floats your boat
    • Sleep πŸ™‚ – I’m aiming for being in bed somewhere between 10 and 11.. I have to be up at 7 and at the moment I need a LOT of sleep
  • Focus of the Day: Planning and Playing – um.. pretty self explanatory really. It’s the day you plan things. stuff like what you’re going to eat for the rest of the week. Or what you’re going to wear. Or where you’re going at the weekend. Once everything’s planned, you play (films, long baths, dancing…). Because you deserve it. Especially when you’ve done everything else on that list as well. πŸ˜‰

Okay. So washing my windows would not normally feature on my ToDo list today. But hey. I’m playing Flylady says. So here goes…

On Flying…

A new year, a new habit. Why not flying? πŸ˜‰

Except I don’t mean flying in either the jumping-off-cliffs-and-flapping-your-arms-about sense, or the more civilised sense, elbowing my way through the masses of small children and tense parents into MY seat on an aeroplane. I do a fair bit of that as it is.

I mean the kind of flying coined by the Flylady, Marla Cilley. It means ‘Fully (or finally) Loving Yourself’ and is (as far as I can tell) a programm to get your house and life ‘sorted out’ without ending up a nervous quivering wreck.

The basic idea behind it (again, as far as I can tell) is that if you’re happy and you know it, and not tired, you are more likely to get stuff done, and if you get stuff done, you’re more likely to be happy. Which I guess I agree with. She says a lot about getting rid of perfectionism, and that doing something is better than doing nothing, even if you can’t do whatever-it-is perfectly right now. Waving a wet mop at the floor is better than nothing, even if it isn’t as good as getting down on your hands and knees and scrubbing. Twice. With some kind of cleaner. And then polishing it. It’s about starting, then continuing in ‘baby-steps’ instead of crashing and burning and giving up. It’s about getting more sleep and giving yourself permission to stop rushing about finishing things before it gets to 3am. It includes motivation to cook better andΒ excercise more which is something I struggle with, as my shortage of posts in December will testify to. It’s about attending to your own oxygen mask loving yourself first, so you can love other people.

At the end of it all, or more as a result of it all, the idea is to be a happy, rounded, fit, healthy, awake person, the sort who isn’t tired or stressed out and who has time to bake cookies and go dancing, who remembers to post birthday cards in time for them to get there, and who can invite people over at the drop of a hat because she has such a clean, tidy, welcoming house.

Not much of that sounds like me. Yet. *cackles*

– I don’t remember the last time I posted ANYthing on time, went to bed before midnight, had a tidy house for more than an evening or made biscuits (Ok. I made mincepies while I was at my folks over Christmas, but that doesn’t count). I have a huge problem getting up and to work on time. I have far less energy than I think I ought to have. I get home and can’t be bothered to cook, because I’d have to wash the saucepans from the night before first. Eveytime I want to go dancing I have a minor breakdown because I can’t find anything clean and/or presentable to wear. When I invite anyone over I have to work out how long I need to get it presentable before I suggest a day. Having cleaned like a wild thing, so that whoever’s supposed to come over can, it takes less than a week to get back to the way it was before.. ARGH. –

I found the site a year or so ago, and even signed up for it and read [some of] the emails. BUT. I didn’t ‘jump on the bandwagon’ as they say. I picked up [some of] the cooler tips (like leaving the roll of new bin liners between the dustbin and the current bag so you don’t have to look for them when you take the rubbish out), but I didn’t rush off and clean my fridge when they said “clean your fridge”, and I never really bothered with ‘decluttering’ or shining my sink.

This year… I’m going to try it out. ItΒ  feels a bit crazy, and if I’m honest, a little bit like a strange non-religious cult, but since this woman, the Flylady, has been going for over 10 years and has about a million followers she must have something going for her. Besides. I read yesterday, that the best way to prove something doesn’t work/isn’t true/is stupid, is to try it out and see instead of talking about it..

So. I’m going to do it. The beginning of a year seems a good place to start and my house could really do with it. Or I could. Or both.

I’ll write the missions on here, and maybe put before-and-after photos up if I think they’re interesting.

Watch this space.