But I Keep Trying

Dear FlyLady,

I have been a FlyBaby for about a year and a half now.  I think I’ve spent about as much time up in the air as I have down on the ground.  But I keep trying.  Even when I’m grounded, I still try to incorporate some of your teachings.  What I love most is the fact that your system is flexible; you expect us to adapt it to fit our lifestyle and our needs.  That is what inspires me to keep trying; I just haven’t found that magical combination for me to sustain it.

In my many attempts I do well for a month, sometimes two.  I load the dishwasher every night and unload it every morning.  I put a load of laundry in the was every night and into the dryer every morning (after getting caught up on the laundry, they’re small loads so they only take a couple minutes to fold <folding is my least favorite step, but small loads help tremendously>).  The dogs always get fresh water every morning and a full belly every night.  I was usually in bed at a decent hour and up (and smiling) before the kids.  But, unlike the game Jenga, where you can pull one piece out and place it somewhere else, my routines are more of a single stack; if I have to move one, the whole thing comes tumbling down and I have to start over.  And I’ve also dealt with times where things happened to me and it just felt like a big hand came up and knocked my stack over.  It may take me a little while, but I always pick back up.

It is amazing, though, how quickly these tasks come back to me.  Once I actually pick up the pieces and get everything squared away again, it is like I can start juggling everything all over again.  But it never lasts.  I still haven’t quite found the right fit for me and so it just doesn’t stick.  I think part of my problem is that I’m putting too much on myself all at once; and though I can keep the balls up in the air for a little while, they’re not going to stay up because I just don’t know how to juggle that many balls yet.

I also know another part of my problem.  I have a hard time forming habits.  In your Baby Steps flying lesson, you mention that it takes 28 days to make a habit.  Well, I’ve looked into that myself, and it really varies.  It depends on the type of task (how involved it is) and the person.  It can take as little as 18 days or as long as 5 months, with 66 days being the average.  So, I’m taking your main suggestion, and I’m being nice to me.  I’m going to take it one habit at a time, but at a pace that will make it stick to me.  I’m going to give myself at least two months before I move on to the next habit, but I’m also going to take a long hard look and see if I’m really ready to move on to the next habit or if I need to give myself more time.  If I do need more time, I won’t make myself feel bad about it.

I keep hoping that I can find the little tweak that will turn these tasks into a brick house that will stay up no matter how the wind blows.  Until then, I just keep picking myself back up and trying.  I have to keep trying.  This is something I really want and I know that if I give up, I will never get it.  Thank you, Marla, for everything you do for us FlyBabies.


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