Friday, January 20, 2006

When I'm feeling down

When I'm feeling blue the first thing I do is a take a quick visual survey of the house. Is it clean, messy, cluttered, is there a burnt out light bulb somewhere, what about a ding or two in the wall paint that needs touched up.

Usually when I find myself out of sorts it's time to bless the house. Blessing the house is Flylady speak for cleaning your house.

Yes I'm one of those Flylady people.

I suppose I can say I was one of those Flylady people.

I found Marla's system back in 1999. I joined when the group had only 30K members. The apartment was not a wreck per se, but I was not getting dressed everyday and more importantly I was not feeling too good about myself.

Enter Flylady. The hubby and I were getting ready to move into a new apartment so I decided to implement the system after the move. We purged a ton of stuff we had been scheleping around for ages that we really did not need.

I got rid of a ton of physical and emotional clutter during that purge. One of the Flylady tenets is only keep what you love and makes you smile.

Once we moved into the new apartment I started with shining the sink and getting dressed to shoes each morning. I did that for a month then added another step. I can't remember what I added each month but after a year of slow and steady progress the apartment was staying clean with less effort and I was feeling much better about myself.

Fast forward six years, two more moves, and a baby.

I no longer subscribe to the emails. I was receiving the testimonials and Kelly's Missions for awhile but had some issues with the emails being blocked by my isp. I realized I no longer needed them. My house was in good shape. I was feeling good, if not great with some exceptions.

It's not that my home is perfect. Oh goodness it's far from perfect. We have done so much work on our house but there are so many more projects we want to do down the road. Our home is not what I would consider hospital clean. It's not sterile, or antiseptic by any means. But it is clean and safe for my family. I've found my clean comfort level for me and my family.

The best thing about our home is that it is pretty much 'company ready' all of the time. If someone were to show up unannounced I have no problem letting them in to visit. Not that that happens very often. When we have planned company over it usually only takes about 15 minutes, if that, to get the house in tip top shape.

Marla talks about keeping your home within 15 minutes worth of messy. The big idea is can you straighten up in less then 15 minutes. The idea is not to kill yourself cleaning. You stay on top of things and not let little 'hot spots' become raging forest fires.

Another Flylady concept is that less is more. ( I beg to differ when it comes to yarn, especially super yummy yarn, but still moderation is a good thing.) The less stuff you have the less you have to clean, the less time you spend cleaning. Once you pare your house down to the things you use and the things you love suddenly you are not slaving away for hours on end cleaning your home.

So what stuck with Flylady?

The Flylady system is a form of behavior modification. The idea is to form positive, productive, and most importantly lasting habits.

After six years I do the following things on a daily or weekly basis.
  • Get dressed to shoes, moisturize my face and do my hair every morning. This goes for E as well. Once we are dressed we can leave at a moment's notice. Ok, we can leave fairly quickly.
  • Make my and E's bed, every morning
  • Keep the sink shined and as empty as possible, this has been a bit of a challenge since we stopped using our dishwasher a few months ago. It's not been as bad as we first thought it would be.
  • Perform a weekly blessing, every week. For me this includes wiping down the bathrooms and kitchen, vacuuming the carpeted areas and damp moping the hard areas, laminate and vinyl tile floors, and dust.
  • Keep on top of laundry. I do about two loads in one day every few days. It also helps that we don't have a ton of clothing to get dirty in the first place. I am in control of the laundry, it does not control me.
  • Same with the mail. All mail is dealt with immediately when it comes in the door. About 80% is recycled or shredded immediately. Bills are filed in the bill paying area for payment. Newspapers, magazines and catalogs are either paged through and recycled or filed in their designated spots.
  • Toy control. We have a three year old daughter. She has a nice selection of toys but she does not have a ton of toys. Even if every single one of her toys was to get strewn all over we could still clean them all up and get them put away in less then 10 minutes. Less is more. We go through her toys every few months to cull, rotate, and check.
Not that I'm completely together on everything. I strongly dislike cooking. We did Menu Mailer for a few years but grew tired of the recipe's. We do weekly meal planning. I should say that Hubby does weekly meal planning. He has been doing the meal planning and most of the cooking lately. Bless him.

Basically when the house is in order I feel more in order. If I start to feel down I survey my surroundings and take care of any small tasks that are pending.

For example, today we did a family weekly blessing. Dave vacuumed, I wiped down the bathrooms and kitchen and did the hard floors and dusting. E helped swiffer the hard floors with her little swiffer. She also helped put her clean clothing away. I also touched up a few paint spots in the kitchen and bedroom that were bugging me. It felt good to bless the house.

Afterwards we went out to Chipotle for dinner and then to a local shopping area to window shop and people watch. We have a prime people watching shopping area right nearby.

So what does any of this have to do with knitting?

With the house being so relatively easy to maintain I have more time to knit, and I have a nice environment in which to knit. More importantly I have more time for my daugher and husband. Don't forget time for me, by myself.

I made some slow but steady progress on my B-W Jaywalker today. I successfully picked up the heel gusset stitches and started the decreases. I somehow got off a bit in the decrease, slip a stitch pattern but it is ok. It does not look like much but I am happy with today's progress.

In other knitting news I found a few interesting links today that I want to share.

General Ginger Knits, which unfortunately has not been updated in a few months, has some fun pictures and more links to historical knitting pictures and art. This reminds me that I have a copy of No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting. I read a bit of it a number of years ago. Might be time to bring it back out.

In Knitting Olympics news. Stephanie over at Yarn Harlot is being inundated with knitting Olympians clamoring to sign up for the KAL. As is to be expected two more KAL alternatives have been created.

In the Spirit of Eddie the Eagle Margene is hosting an "Eddie Along" encouraging participants to enjoy the process of knitting during the Olympics. Susan has upped the ante with the Homer Simpson Olympic Knitalong. The rules are basically no casting on any new projects and do finishing any projects during the Olympics.

You have got to love the internet. There is something for everyone.

I for one welcome our new Knitting Olympian Overlords.

You may notice that I widened the main part of the page a bit, ok Dave widened the page. The original format felt too constricted. I like the wider space much better.

I'm off to knit, or surf, whichever comes first.

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