Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Still FLYing

...or at least, I'm tryin' to. 

A few years ago, I discovered (or was pointed toward--I can't remember which) the FlyLady

My house was CHAOS*--it's better, now, but still not great (some rooms are better than others).  I'm not dealing with layers of clutter and stuff on every flat surface, anymore, for the most part.  (The kids' rooms are two of the main exceptions, and are their responsibility, not mine.)  The "better" is due to things I picked up from her site.

So, anyway, I skimmed her website, then went back and read some things a little closer.  One thing stood out: her insistence that my house didn't get into the state it's in in a day, and it's okay to work on it a little bit at a time. 

That...that helped me a lot. 

I don't have ADHD to the extent my son does.  But I do have some things in common: disorganization is one of the worst, but I've also got a little bit of the same executive function disorder where cleaning's concerned. 

(That means I don't know where to start, how to continue, or even how to stick to one task until I've got it done, and I wind up making a bigger mess of things than I've managed to resolve.) 

The FlyLady splits the house out into five zones (front porch, entry, and dining room; kitchen; bathrooms and utility area plus one; master bedroom; living room/family room).  And insists on decluttering first, fifteen minutes at a time, in the zone matched up to the week of the month you're in.  Plus a 2 minute trash sort wherever you drop the stuff in your pockets, or set down mail, every day. 

The decluttering is a constant battle.  I've been following this for a few years, now, and I'm still at the decluttering stage.  I haven't gotten to the cleaning part, yet.  But things are getting better.  Marginally.  Bit by bit. 

It also helps to have a bigger house with better storage options (don't look in the garage).  But I am pitching stuff that is obsolete, partially broken, or paper that isn't needed anymore, and giving away a lot of other stuff (outgrown clothes, etc) that's still in good shape. 

Monday, I went through and cleared out sent-home kid worksheets.  In just my basket where I keep that type of stuff, and only one quarter's worth of work, I filled a 13 gallon trash bag.  From just around my chair.  In less than fifteen minutes. 

Yesterday's accomplishment will eventually result in being able to reclaim my desk.**

After that, I was (and am) rather done in. 

Another thing the FlyLady advocates is setting aside time to create a dinner menu, for at least a week, if not a month.  I think she and Dave Ramsey would get along well--she thinks (and I think she's right) that most people get home, can't think of anything to fix for supper, throw up their hands, and go waste money on fast food instead.  That, and the menu planning helps in grocery list planning, and she advocates that, too--along with not shopping hungry so that you follow your list, and don't waste money buying snacky-things you don't need, and probably shouldn't have, just because you were hungry. 

That has made so many things so much easier.  And the kids have started eating more of what I fix, and there are fewer nights where they're eating chicken nuggets, pizza rolls, hot pockets, or the like.


I am still struggling.  Because the two days of decluttering and minor reorganization in the living room have laid me out pretty hard.

FLYing?  Yes.  At least, fluttering, flapping, sometimes falling, but always trying to stay afloat.  It's the best I can do with what I have.  

*CHAOS: Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome.

**I'd had to separate the kids for homework time because the study table was badly organized: they were sorta next to each other, and within easy range for tormenting each other instead of getting work done.  I'd left the pixie at the table, and stuck the imp at my desk.  Where he's been doing his homework and study, leaving his stuff scattered everywhere on my desk, and sort of pushing me out of my own space.  I've rearranged the table to put them at opposite ends from each other, and will be coming up with some type of vertical visual divider to keep them from even making faces at each other.  And buying a basic, cheap rubber ball for him to play with with his feet so he's not kicking the trestle and jarring the study table.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Always try new things

Ever hear of "bullet journalling"?  Basically, it's a journal-based to-do list, that goes in order of priorities.  Really customizable.

I'd tried it before, and it didn't work for me.  As much because I don't have the same capability from one day to the next to complete tasks.  Hell, some days I can't do anything (including reading new things).  And I was lining it up day by day.  And some (okay, most) of the time, I didn't remember to check the stupid thing for my to-do list.

I've been trying it again.  Because I have this lovely dot grid journal* I found at Walmart last fall for under $7, and I don't like dot grid for simple writing.

Instead of daily to-dos, I've set it up for weekly.  Including menu planning, and a rough supplementary grocery list of things I need for the menu items I've planned.  And it's working.  I've been using it for about two weeks (this week will be week 3).

*Dot grid is just what it sounds like: instead of having lines, you've got a grid of dots on each page.  Not so great for simple writing, but awesome for keeping things lined up vertically as well as horizontally.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Resolutions and progress reports

I made a quiet resolution on New Year's Eve to do better in 2019.  To pace myself better, to build a routine that I could use to pace myself better, and to finish unfinished projects.

One of the things I've done is I've started the cats' box every morning, instead of doing it at night if I have the energy (typically, I didn't).  The cats, dog, kids, and spouse are much happier, and it doesn't take a whole lot of energy in the mornings.

That said, I do an internal check of energy levels and review what must be done every day when I wake up, and some days, I skip that morning step because there are other things that I have to do that will be needing the energy I used to clean that box.

Sometimes that box doesn't get cleaned for a couple days.

Sometimes the dishes get done, sometimes they don't.

But the kids are always clean and fed, and homework's always done.   Dinner's on the table (and usually on time), and there are snacks for the kids.  Even when I'm dealing with a major flareup of the stupid chronic fatigue syndrome (which sometimes just hits, even without me having danced too close to one of my known triggers, like last week).

And I've finished some projects. 

I finished a set of hand warmers I was working on for myself (think knitted, ribbed tube, with a hole for the thumb, that goes from a couple inches up my forearm to the first joint of my fingers), and repurposed a project I'd started for the imp into a set of similar at his request.  That's finished, too.  I've got a sweater on needles for me, and an afghan for the imp, and a silver-gray shawl from silky acrylic yarn the pixie has squealed and claimed for herself.  I've got other projects planned, but nothing actually on needles at the moment.  And I won't start them until I finish my unfinished projects.

Unlike my writing.  That comes as it comes.  Yes, I am working on finishing stuff, but...sometimes different things kinda...butt in line. 

First draft of Gods and Monsters is done, and I'm working on the revision.  I'll also be working on finishing another novel I've had in the works for a couple of years.  I'll be revising the first two parts, then finishing the third.  I'll probably publish it serially as Kindle editions, then have an omnibus edition in Kindle and dead tree. 

(Yes, I have started the next Liquid Diet Chronicles book.  And yes, I'll finish that one, first.  I think.)

And I never have clue one about what's going to come out when I sit down to write and DON'T have something I'm already working on open.  So, it could be related to an ongoing series, or it could be a ferret on a ceiling fan.  

But I am working on finishing projects sitting unfinished, at the moment.  Really.  I am