Where Did FLY Come From?

Finally Love YourselfDear Friends,

Did you ever wonder where we came up with the acronym for FLY? Well it came from a FlyBaby named Lynda. Here is how it all started in a few emails. I think you may find this interesting. Get yourself a cup of something warm and take break for a few minutes.


Dateline January 2001

Dear Friends,

I got the email several days ago and I have been overwhelmed by the number of emails we have received this week. So I put them in another folder so I could deal with them 10 at a time. I had asked this member to give me her take on perfectionism. I am so glad she did, I could not have said it any better. You have to read this.


We were in the middle of a Super Fling Boogie too.


Her subject heading to me:

Subject: Re: 80 more pounds, and please do more on the evils of perfectionism and MOREMOREMORE testimonials (they’re my fuel)

My message to her:

I will. Do you have any thoughts you want to share on this.

Her response:

Dear FlyLady,

HaHa :)When you asked me to give you some thoughts on the evils of perfectionism, my new Flyish self was going to give you the thoughts off the top of my head. I typed those out (see below).

Then the SHE in me said, perhaps I can get my psych books out, and my organizing books out, and I can research it for FlyLady and give her more input.

Then the FLY in me said “You have wasted 2 days worrying about what Marla will think. Marla has 8000+ other people to bug her. You have 4 kids and homeschool and baby and renovations and traveling husband — just give her what comes to mind. She’ll use them if she is inspired to.”

And then, as I was reviewing it, I received a God Breeze as everything came together…

When you say perfectionism, I think of a lady I have been mentoring for the past 4 years who loves to brag that she is such a perfectionist. She is proud of it and thinks that it is a plus to put on a resume. I have heard her yell at her kids, while on the phone to me, about the CORRECT way to fold a sweater, and that “that would never do.” Her house, wasn’t just cluttered, but horribly filthy. One of her favorite sayings is “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.”

My thought is that the purpose to folding a sweater is to reduce the creases, and be able to store it and retrieve it. As long as the kid puts it away, let it go. If they can’t put it away, there must be TOO MANY things to put away, or no designated place to put it.

We don’t stop and think WHY we are doing things, or what the end result will be.

Perfectionism wastes time — it smells like procrastination, but it is really paralysis from the disease of too many choices. We aren’t putting things off, we are just overwhelmed with all the possibilitiesand potential.

IT IS FEAR! Ahah! Lightbulb. We think that by being the good girl, the responsible one, the creative one, things will be okay, and my kids will turn out better and people will think better of me. If I make a fabulous gingerbread house and have people over, they will be impressed with my amazing gingerbread-making ability. My husband will love me more, and my children will grow up without making difficult choices. Hmmph.

****IT IS FEAR that makes us paint every wall antique white, lest we make a “mistake” and our decorating will be less that a perfect representation of our personalities, beliefs, and interests.

It is a fear that if we don’t bake 7 dozen gorgeous cookies for the cookie exchange, our friends won’t like us and our reputation as a superb baker is at stake.

Why don’t we care more for our friends as people and LOVE THEM, and
stop caring about what they think?

We are AFRAID that someone will actually need this saved furniture in 15 years when they buy a home, and that they won’t be able to furnish it?

We are afraid that we might throw out some important tax document?

We are afraid and LIVING IN THE PAST! We are not creating new, wonderful memories for ourselves, but we are clinging to matchbooks, trying to remember what occasion did we go out to dinner?

We hold on to our wardrobe from college because it has memories attached to it, or we still can fit into it (or not!), and the surgical scrubs DH wore when holding the baby.

We even think that editors of magazines know more about life and style than we do — WE DON’T TRUST our own feelings, our own thoughts or our own parenting instincts.

WE DON’T TRUST our husbands to keep a job, or really, WE DON’T TRUST
GOD to prepare us to receive life lessons! We are trying to control
the uncontrollable.

All of this is manifested in clutter.

Whew, I’m breathing heavy here. I’m going to jump off the computer and fill 27 trash bags (the FLY in me just warned me to fill ONE because it was good enough).

FLY stands for Finally Living Young….or Finally Loving Yourself. LOL

Well, even if you don’t use any of this…I don’t care. It was therapeutic.


P.S. There is a quote on the wall of the IKEA store from it’s founder.

“You can get a lot done in 10 minutes.” LOL. (Or 15 minutes if you set a timer.) and “Mistakes are a privelege of the living, because they have a chance each day to set things right”.


FlyLady here:

I don’t know about you, but I am crying now. This was great. Lynda you can rant my direction anytime, Sister. Thank you for sharing your awe inspiring words with us.

Love you!

FlyLady in 2014 In honor of Lynda go fill a bag with 27 items to throw away! Then put it in the trash!

Our habit in February is to declutter for 15 minutes.

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