A few weeks ago, I realised something. I'm not organised despite thinking that I am! I'm not neat, or tidy. I am clean, but not fastidious. My house is not a shrine to anything but was getting a hint of clutter. And why? Well being me, I did dig into the "why" of it and came up with... I'm a perfectionist. Can't clean the fridge because I won't be able to do it perfectly. Can't fold the washing or clean the bath because it won't be perfect.
Which is silly now that I write it out. But that's how I felt when I really dug into it. So I signed up for FlyLady. There, I said it. I signed up for a pep talk about how to shine my sink. Why did I do that, you ask? Well I had to admit to myself that what we were doing as a family wasn't really working. Expecting TheHusband to actually take charge and do stuff and ask me to do stuff and have Expectations about housework and food and bill paying and money and so on wasn't going to happen.
As an aside, I did dig into what I had this expectation that he would have Expectations of me. And it came down to cheese sandwiches. My mother as far as I can remember didn't make me lunch as a child. I had an (ingrained? socially developed? reasonable?) expectation that I would have my lunch made, or a cake made for the end of year picnic, or something like that, and if I think on it all I can remember is being disappointed by not having lunch, and not having a cake.
Maybe my dislike of sweets comes from there? Hmmmmmm... not everything is a Thing though. Back to what I was saying.
So I can remember going to school without lunch, and to dance classes on a Saturday and not having lunch. Of looking longingly at the children who were getting KFC for lunch and maybe being able to scrimp a chip from them. Of wishing I had money but never having it to have lunch like that. So I came to hate lunch and still struggle with it now. But I love sandwiches if they're freshly made and interesting and have always had a thing for cheese sandwiches.
So I had an expectation of something from my mother. And didn't get it. And so have always had a thing about what I think parents/husbands/partners should be and do and it was not met and I carried that disappointment into my marriage. But it wasn't working. The housework wasn't getting done because I was expecting TheHusband to ask me to do it and then I could get all het up about not doing it because it wasn't My Job to do it! It should be shared! Equally!!
But this is not the case in reality. I had to be ok with being in charge. I've struggled with being in charge in our family as my mother was nasty about being in charge of our family and it was her way or none. But I bit the bullet the other day and took! charge! We now have a rhythm to our week, a new budget, a cleaner house, the energy to do stuff and a Thermomix on the way.
Rhythm? WTF is that? Well, I refuse to say routine. But I was so caught up by my need to do something perfectly and totally that I couldn't start. But knowing on Monday that I clean the bathroom for 15 minutes and that's it, and on Thursday I do the food shopping and errands, and Tuesday the markets and cooking/baking, and Saturday is family day, and what vaguely we're having for dinner each night and suddenly instead of me feeling like the house is overwhelming me, it is cleaner and neater and easier to straighten up in 15 minute bouts. I now relish my days at home, enjoy having a clean kitchen to wake up to, know that our garage sale is coming and things will be cleared out of the garage then, have cleared out my closet and now have clothes to wear and can find them, and am generally happier.
I have also done things that I've been meaning to.
I bought an address book and have written people's addresses down.
I have written out the months of the year and whose birthdays are where, what things happen in what months (bike rides, festivals etc), and things to look forward to.
I have written all over our calendar and now need to think about one for 2011.
I've made notes about the whole family's sizes and preferences, listed 5 ideas for each of us for Giftmas should people ask, written out our gift list for said festival and planned my makings and buyings so that it won't be a huge drain on us.
I've also looked more into my spiritual side, how to celebrate things the way we want to, how to celebrate Sally's first Summer Solstice, tarot, herbs and healing and I even cast on a new project which is not useful or needed - a shawl no less!
Now to clear out my blog feed, purge my knitting UFOs, have a garage sale and enjoy living more in the day than previously.