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Little Voice

March 1, 2012

Day 5

Today’s babystep is to listen to the negative voice telling you that you can’t or won’t get or keep your house clean, to write down the words, and then to turn them around and make them positive.

Good, old-fashioned (well maybe “old-fashioned” is going a bit far, but you know what I mean) positive self-talk. I approve.

I have to listen carefully for my little voice.

There is one that tells me sensible things about ignoring any injunction to wear make-up on a daily basis. That voice reminds me to pay attention, and to bear in mind that what works for some women, or many women, or even most, isn’t therefore necessarily a crucial part of the regime without which the rest shall tumble like a house of cards. It reminds me to smile when FlyLady is a bit too bossy or a bit too happy-clappy or a bit too focussed on the lacing-up of shoes: it reminds me that I don’t have to submit to her every instruction or else give up the whole idea. This is helpful.

And there is another one that is less helpful. It tells me that housework is boring. And, really, sweetie, what’s the point? Things only get dirty or messy as soon as you clean them so why not save yourself the bother and do something less boring instead? You certainly need to tone down this enthusiasm, sweetie, cos nobody – no, really, nobody – actually cares how tidy your cupboards are now or how shiny your sink. You’re going to lose friends this way. Housework is boring, talking about housework makes you boring, doing it all the time is a waste of time and energy. It’s hard work! You work hard enough as it is. Give yourself a break, already. You’re just not one of those people that can keep going all day and then drop into bed to sleep the sleep of the just – for a few short hours before leaping out of bed, early the next morning, ready to do it all again. There are limits to how much you can reasonably be expected to achieve in one day. So why not do something more pleasant and/or less tiring instead? It’s not like you’re going to keep it up for long anyway, now is it?

I’m going to break those down. Come on, little voice, listen to these ripostes. They are for you.

(1) It’s boring.

So are lots of things. Cleaning your teeth. Or driving to work. Or sitting through that Peppa Pig DVD yet again. Lots of things are boring, but we do them anyway, because they’re important or because we like the end result. Knitting back and forth in rows, or round and round and round on circulars is not exactly a thrill a minute, but it’s satisfying nevertheless.

And, come on – it isn’t that boring, anyway. Let’s not exaggerate the problem! Just make sure you’re not slogging away at it day in, day out. Little and often, and focus on the end result, and – oooh, shiny. No – not bored yet.

(2) What’s the point? It only gets messy again.

The point is, oh silly sulky little voice, that it’ll be great to have a house that’s clean and tidy and organised. Instead of looking around in despair and retreating to a place from which I can ignore the mess, I will have a pleasant and welcoming home that’s all my own (and not shared with all that clutter and mess, the piles of washing-up and unwashed laundry). A home to which – horrors! – I can invite people without shame.

(3) At least stop going on about it. Nobody cares.

Must keep going on about it. Habits are forming, and until they are embedded into my very being, I’m going to have to maintain enthusiasm somehow. Reading the FlyLady website sometimes makes me feel like I’ve joined a cult – so I need to do something else to keep this up, before I get disengaged. Moral support from friends, and the fact that they know I’m doing it and will therefore know if and when I fail or give up, is a huge bonus. In order to relieve the pressure on bored friends, though, here’s an idea: why not start a blog and pour your housework-related emotions into the ether? Ahem.

(4) But it’s so much hard work! You don’t have time, or energy.

Like I said before, let’s not exaggerate. It’s not that much work – a few minutes here and there, and a couple of 15-minute bursts during the course of each day. Anyone can manage that, as long as we build it up nice and slowly with these babysteps.

Build up good habits, that’s all. I’ve had a 5-day shiny sink already! Not to mention sneaking in quite a bit of extra bonus cleaning – loads of decluttering and laundry – along with the official babysteps. I finished the undersink cupboard today!

Housework is easy when you do it the FlyLady way.

(5) Ah, whatever. Have it your way. I know you’ll give up in the end.

Haha, poo-face. We’ll see about that.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 1, 2012 11:37 pm

    Genius – that small voice sounds dreadfully familiar… 🙂 I think Flylady is all the better for a bit of cherrypicking and am inspired by the shiny sink. Mine never gets shiny, it’s dark green. 😦 BUT my washing up bowl is purple.

    Babysteps…

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