Shifting My Thinking

Dear FlyLady,

The impact you have made on my life is immeasurable.

I have always enjoyed having clean and organized surroundings, but when I went from being single, in an apartment to maintaining a home, a loving partner and a surprise blessing in the form of a beautiful precious son, now 18 months old, I lost all control. In addition to rapidly needing to learn how to be a mom, a partner and a homemaker, I’ve struggled with both depression and mania.

Your system seems to be enveloped in the concept of kindness to oneself and blessing those you love. And today was the first day everything clicked. Even on “bad days” I still read my emails from you, and a large part of this journey has been not just a shift in habits (or rather, a development of them) but shifting my thinking.

Progress not perfectionism is the key. I used to think in terms of “what needs to get done today” and I would overestimate my time and abilities. Today, I caught myself thinking that I hadn’t gotten enough done and I didn’t focus on the “right” tasks. I realized this: your kind voice overtook my critical voice and gently said “it’s not about today’s specific progress or accomplishments, but it’s about the process.” The process of ditching the all or nothing mentality, perfectionism, and most importantly viewing a clean home as a gift to myself. You have helped to make me realistic, you have helped to make my home a haven rather than a burden, but most importantly you have helped me to value myself, something I’ve struggled to do my entire life.

At our Father’s Day BBQ yesterday I overheard my DH realize out loud “yeah, ya know, Allison really has done a lot of decluttering. It’s nice around here.”

Thank you for teaching me how to view my routines, how to address my home, but most importantly for installing in me these habits as a vehicle for caring for myself.

With sincerity and warmth,
Allison in MI

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