Hurdles and Discipline

Oh dear. I never thought I would start writing about housework. But here we are. What has become of M & K indeed.

I've been thinking about housework lately because it's something that I want to get better at. I've had a tendency towards minimalism because when I don't have a lot of things, I can sort of regain control over the mess and chaos that quickly ensues. I really liked living out of a backpack because even though it turned into a performance fabric explosion every time I unpacked for the night, it was easily remedied in the morning. And everything I owned was very useful every single day. Now we have lots of things. A 1,500 square foot house fills up faster than you can imagine and we've been here for almost 4 years.

I have a weird infatuation with Flylady. I have very little in common with overweight, southern, Christian housewives, which seems to be her main demographic. Nonetheless I appreciate the unapologetic tone she has for her own imperfection.

Of course, it's the doing that holds most of us up. Discipline to change often looks like an impassable hurdle. Even when we are not satisfied with our health or body or marriage or job, we can come up with infinite excuses about why it is too difficult or scary or inconvenient to change. There's no magic to it. You just have to decide and then follow through.

I've been easily following a gluten free diet for the last five months. I miss pie and pasta (gluten free pasta is simply not the same) and I hate inconveniencing my hosts when we go somewhere for dinner. But it apparently seems to be an important way for me to heal my gut. I got to the point where the old way of life was intolerable, and so I changed it. Getting over that first step was the hard part. Doing the elimination diet for a month was really hard, but now that eating this way has become a habit and I'm reinforced by improved health? It's not hard at all.

With the housework, it's the same thing. I'm tired of sucking at it, and I want to learn how to do it better. In the spirit of Flylady, I'll be following her Baby Steps. Don't try to tackle everything at once and form new habits one at a time.

Flylady's habit for the month is laundry. I'm pretty good at staying on top of the laundry, especially since I started following her "A Load A Day Keeps C.H.A.O.S. away." (CHAOS stands for Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome - how can you not giggle at that? Especially if it is true about you.) But when I read the rest of her description of the habit, I saw that laying out clothes the night before is part of it too. We tried this today and our daycare drop off time improved by 1/2 an hour! I was up and dressed and eating breakfast before the rest of the family today.

Discipline is a crucial element when running your own business. And as a former school teacher, I'm used to thick binders of school board policy to govern what I teach, and bells ringing all day long to tell me when to teach it.

So, maybe it's a little bit about laundry, and maybe it's a little bit about me facing the hurdle of self-employment.

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