February 14, 2011

Because sometimes you just have to let your crops wither.

WHOA!  Where on earth have I been?  A little bit over here...a little bit over there...even a bit over yonder.

So many things have been keeping me from being able to sit down and write.  Most of them were conscious decisions that caused me to spend a lot less time staring at this glowing box connected to a keyboard.  I even let some of my crops wither on my FarmVille farm.  The really sad thing was that I had some folks send me messages out of honest-to-goodness concern for my well-being because I hadn't been on FarmVille in days.  

Frankly, I'm not sure that's the impression I want to leave on the world!

It really started on 8YO's birthday...well, the planning of her little party, actually.  She was allowed to invite five friends over.  We just couldn't have anymore than five because these things get out of control so easily.  Did I ever tell you about the time that we decided to let 14YO invite her WHOLE CLASS over for a birthday party?  That was in addition to the usual number of family and friends.  Of the 22 or so kids her class, 10 RSVP'd but closer to 20 actually showed up...some with siblings!  The bounce house cancelled because it had been raining all night and we (Okay, David) had to come up with entertainment for a buttload of excited partygoers.  To add to the chaos, 8YO was about TWO MONTHS OLD at the time.  I don't handle menial trips to the grocery store very well when I have a newborn.  There are just so many details involved in leaving the house with a newborn...or even just leaving one with someone else!  

I don't do details well.

So, 8YO was having five friends over.  She doesn't care for cupcakes, so I made some pumpkin spice muffins and some chocolate cupcakes so there would be something for everyone.  I decided on an inexpensive craft and a cheesy game.  

Seems simple enough, right?

Nothing is simple when you aren't a very organized person!  My desk, my house, my head...all full of dark, cobwebby corners of things I meant to take care of but just haven't yet.  The road to a cluttered house really is paved with good intentions.  All I can do is look around and calculate the hours, days, weeks, it would take to get in my home in a condition I'm proud of.  (Not to mention the money!)  It's not that I don't know how to clean.  I mean, my kitchen surfaces are always clean when they need to be and the bathrooms are usually kept pretty decent.  I've figured out the key to keeping up on laundry.  (Which, amazingly enough is....drumroll please....KEEPING UP ON LAUNDRY!  Imagine that!)  I've even devised a system where I can't even start a new load in the washer until the stuff in the dryer is folded and put away.  Of all the things you might see when you walk into my house, baskets of laundry to fold will not be among them!

So, the day or so of marathon cleaning that occurs before having actual people over is full of sorting, yelling, and David and I exchanging more than our fair share of dirty looks.  After all, each of us seems to be incapable of seeing our own messes but there is no excuse for the messes that others leave behind.

Sound familiar?

Now, we are in no way even remotely close to being on Hoarders, but I can find hundreds of tiny messes scattered all over the house that all make me feel so outnumbered. 

After enjoying the birthday thing and realizing it was ridiculous to be SO EXHAUSTED at the end of the day, I decided to take action.  I had been an on and off follower of Flylady for almost five years.  Her basic ideas are really good, but she throws in all these crazy little rules that bug the crap out of me and make me resistant.  I won't put shoes on unless I'm going somewhere.  In fact, if I DO plan to be going somewhere, I'm not getting dressed at ALL until I'm finished cleaning.  I won't subscribe to the emails because I can't stand my inbox to be so full of crap that she doesn't even want us to read when first starting out. 


If my sink is clean, that's great.  It's just about as great as anything else being clean in my house, really.  I don't see any direct links between a really clean kitchen sink and my own satisfaction with myself.  I guess I don't really think my house defines me.  It's just a facet, really.  One of the many facets that make me who I am.  Sometimes I'm a great cook.  Sometimes I cake make really cool things on my computer with my scrapbooking program.  Sometimes I'm a decent knitter.  Sometimes I bake something really yummy.  I'm usually proud of the sort of parent I am...so long as we're not trying to be anywhere ON TIME.  (I'm working on that too!) 

So, I'd downloaded the Flylady app from iTunes a few months back.  It's set up really well.  You get the basics of Flylady without all the emotional baggage she tends to push into her blogs and podcasts.  I was listening to her podcast for awhile, but I really can't stand to take advice from really emotional, weepy people.  She started to get under my skin when she almost cried while talking about her shiny sink, but I had to draw the line when she told some lady that she needed to let her MIL change whatever she wanted to in her house while she was visiting because, and I quote, "She needs something to do!  She needs to feel needed!" 

Need to feel needed?  GET A PUPPY!  Don't take it out on your son's wife!

Did I mention that the Flylady was almost in tears while she said that?  She was speaking from her own perspective at the time and taking no consideration for how the DIL must have felt when her MIL came in and made her home feel like it wasn't hers.  Like maybe whatever she was doing for her own family wasn't good enough.

You don't mess with a woman when it comes to her home and family.  You just don't.

Anyhow, that's what I've been up to.  Following little checklists and taking care of business.  Keeping up on that allows little to no time for the fun stuff.  But, I can say that I am more calm these days.  I don't look around and see things that I cannot fix and get that knot in my stomach when someone comes to the door.  Everything seems to just run smoother without any real trying on my part. 

And as soon as they figure out how to add a few more hours into a day (or as soon as I require way less sleep!) I just may have it all.  In some ways, I already do.


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