Column 41 – Free To FLY by The FlyLady, Marla Cilley

When we are so tied up with the day to day CHAOS of our lives; we sometimes don’t take time to keep up with what is going on around us. We assume that the people who are elected and appointed to various boards have our well being in mind when they make decisions. Sometimes this is not the case. They only think about their own well being.

Last year I was interviewed by several radio stations and a newspaper from Ireland. Our FlyLady way of living was being attacked by one reviewer. She went on to say that when a woman is stuck with the housework she doesn’t have time to pursue, business or politics. I rebuked her misconception of what we do. I told her we were not Stepford wives; we were taking care of things so that we could be anything we wanted to be. I also told her I was a wife, mother, grandmother, former elected official, business leader and FLYLADY!

If I had not had my house in order I would have never stepped into a political arena to give a woman’s opinion on anything. I would have been trapped and silenced by the CHAOS in my home. That would have been so sad. If I had not had my house in order I would have never been able to jump in and help you.

With the CHAOS turned to peace I was willing and able to step up and do what my geographic community and my internet family needed. Our home did not fall back into a mess! My routines were firmly in place and I was FLYing! I had a job being a county commissioner and almost at the same time our FlyLady mentoring system began. Yet our home still looked nice and I felt good about myself and what I was doing.

Have you ever paid attention to the number of women there are in a room of elected officials or who are in management? I have studied this and I believe with all my heart that our homes keep us trapped. We don’t feel like we have time to do anything other than what we are already doing. So we let the world pass us by while we just try to keep our heads above water. We are so busy putting out fires that we forget about our passions. I am not saying that housework is a woman’s job; what I am saying it is the woman who feels bad about the house when it is not done. We can’t help that this is how we have been conditioned by society. We are the nurturers and the nester. We have been told that we can have it all; the home, family, career and a rewarding life! But no one ever gave us an instruction manual. We were just expected to know how to do it all. When we struggle with one part and the guilt begins to take over then we neglect the other areas. We have all said it, “I don’t have time!”

“I don’t have time” goes even deeper than just getting involved with your community. Those words rob you of time with your family and time taking care of you! Ultimately you are the one who loses. You are so rushed that you don’t take care of yourself and eventually get sick because you are not eating right or not taking a few minutes to get a drink of water.

I never dreamed that my passion for helping you would turn into a business. It grew because I could not do it all by myself! I needed to surround myself with people who could help me to help you! They free me up to be FlyLady. At the same time my home is my sanctuary; not an albatross around my neck weighing me down in shame.

Do you have a passion for something? Have you pushed it to the back burner waiting for the right time to rekindle that passion? Do you even remember what it is? There is never going to be a right time! We have to learn how to balance our lives. We can do this by establishing simple habits and building them into babystep routines to get rid of the CHAOS in our lives. These simple steps will help you to find the time even if it is only 15 minutes a week.

Please be on the lookout for that perfectionism monster that is lurking inside of you. You know this part of your personality very well. It is the monster that pushes you past your limit on any project you start. You know those marathon sessions of painting, scrap booking and volunteer work; when they take over all your time and the whole house. You get caught up in it and where does the time go. This is because you are having fun. Haven’t you ever heard that time flies when you are having fun! Well why not get your homework/routines done first so you can go out and play! The house, dinner and everything else will not be stopping you from following your passion. You will have it done and be the envy of everyone who knows you! How does she do it all??? Your little secret is safe with me!

Simple Routines free you to FLY!

For more help getting rid of your CHAOS, check out her website and join her free mentoring group at or her book, Sink Reflections published by Random House and her New York Times Best Selling book, Body Clutter published by Simon and Schuster. Copyright 2011 Marla Cilley Used by permission in this publication. Helping women around the world get their home organized. Copyright 2001 - 2020 FlyLady and Company, Inc.