Routines make the Difference

Dear FlyLady,

I am SHE to the max, and my daughter takes after me.  I have been fluttering for years and years.  I have all of your products (love them all), I read most of your emails, I tell everyone about you.  So I think I know it all, and when I get off track I keep thinking I need to go back to the whole list of routines, zones, and everything the next day.  I think, I’ve been doing all this for so long, I can’t go back to babysteps.

Enough of your teaching has stuck that I’ve made progress over the years.  I do laundry regularly, I’ve VERY SLOWLY cleared out areas of the house that were unliveable, I am able to make light work of it when it’s time to clean, and my house is really never more than 10 minutes from “company-ready,” (though my standards are pretty relaxed).  But right now I’m stuck again — I’ve started a nonprofit to provide social support and opportunity for high school teens on the autism spectrum like my son and it’s going well, but every home routine is stalled and everything seems hard, every surface has stuff and paperwork that needs to be filed, returned, recycled, repaired, given away, thrown out, deposited, mailed, hung up, washed, repainted… and all of my organization techniques and all my house projects (like a kitchen renovation) are stalled.  I actually have your voice in my head telling me that the answer is just to set my timer and tackle one thing, and when my impulse is to whine about that, I can hear your response!  It’s just hard to decide where to start!

This happens to me over and over again.  I was driving my fabulous, exuberant, brilliant, and sloppy/disorganized daughter to school this morning — she was late because she didn’t know where her shoes were 🙂 and I said wistfully and with sympathy “wouldn’t it be great if you just put all your shoes back in the same place every day, then you would always know where they were?”  She said “yeah.”  I said “I’m going to go back to FlyLady.  (She knows well who you are.)  FlyLady is the only answer.”  She said “okay!”  I said “and then maybe you’ll learn to do FlyLady too!”  She smiled.

And I think I know what that means.  Do 15 minutes of one area, and dig into the important routines again.  I am dimly beginning to understand, for the first time (after all these years) that if my routines were second-nature, I wouldn’t let this buildup happen.  I have only started to understand for the first time this year that it is the individual routines, not the whole checklist, that make the difference.

I’m talking to myself here, but I would love to make it into the testimonials that you respond to with your wonderful encouraging words 🙂

And bless you for what you do.  I’m seriously trying to follow your example in my nonprofit work — sharing what I know and have learned with anyone who might need it.  It works miracles.

FlyBaby Catherine

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