Routines Hold Us Up

Dear FlyLady,

I can tell from the testimonials that we SHE’s are creative, love to do different things and have fun! We also think that routines are not fun because they have nothing to do with creativity. Your essay on routines made me think of an analogy from my college art class in the 1960s.

In sculpture class, our first project was to make a plaster sculpture. Wow! Zowie! Fun! So I was shocked when the teacher handed everybody the exact same piece of wood and a couple of pieces of metal pipe. We had to follow instructions for putting the pipe securely on the wood so it stood up straight with a little piece at the top at a ninety degree angle – an upside down L. Fun? Hardly. You should have seen the messes we made of that simple task!

Next step: Use all kinds of different wire to make the “skeleton” of the final sculpture we had in mind. Could be a human form, an animal, whatever. Now this was fun. Wire of several thicknesses began to take shape. Next: Put clay over the wire to flesh out the form. There are a few more steps before this whole thing is used to make the mold for pouring the plaster, waiting for it to dry hard, peeling off the mold, and painting, adding decorations and finishing the final sculpture.

Though we each started out with the same materials, instructions and procedures, each finished piece was different, fun and interesting! That’s why routines fit all of us, from SAHMs, retired folks like me, singles, FlyGuys – everybody! We take the routines and design them to fit our creative lives.

The students who didn’t bother to attach the metal pipe and attach the wires securely to it were very frustrated when weight of the clay caused their structure to sag, crash or fall apart. Some of these were the most creative and had the most potential, but they didn’t create the structure to support their creativity and had to rush around like mad, stay up late and skip meals to do the whole thing over to get the assignment in on time.

Related to my thoughts about supports and structure, I thought about my flowers that I am itching to plant soon. How the Heavenly Blues Morning Glories are supported by the trellis, the lilies by a wooden stake and the rambling white roses by the back fence. Are they less creative because they are held up by structure? Hardly. The structure allows them to flourish and stay up where we can enjoy them. Nobody looks at the supports, but everybody is wowed by the blossoms!

So I will now begin to think of my routines as part of my creativity, the first step so-to-speak. They are my structure, invisible to the ordinary eye or the casual observer who is fooled into thinking that the “roses” in my life are so beautiful they are floating! The “Morning Glories” just happened! The “lilies” are up there on their own. But I know better. They are all secured by my routines which in turn support and enrich my home, me and my family. I lean on them to hold me up!

By the way the students whose structures fell over just picked them up and started over. I know; I was one of them, a full-blown SHE in college! LOL!

So once again FlyLady, you knew this all along, but sometimes we SHEs
out here in FlyLand have to come up with our own examples for your message to sink in.

I can’t thank you and your FlyCrew enough for all you do.
Flying in Rochester, NY

FlyLady here: We do rebel against routines. We want to get right to the heart of the matter and skip all the prep work. Our routines give us the structure to keep our lives from being in CHAOS and falling apart. Build your routines, one babystep at a time and see your home start coming together into a beautiful work of art!

Thank you Peggy for this wonderful story! I will send this one out often. Your message says it all. The God Breezes are blowing today!

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