Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Beginning

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.  I don't know who said that, but I like it.  Every day you have the opportunity to change your own, or someone else's life.  I want to change my life.  I'm happy, generally speaking, but I know that there is definite room for improvement.  I feel overwhelmed and lazy.  I look around my house and see clutter and disarray.  I see a little furball floating gracefully across the kitchen floor and I can't even remember when I swept last.  Truthfully, I haven't been too busy the last two weeks.  But, with school starting back in two days, I decided to "take it easy" (Read: Be lazy.) the last few weeks before school starts.  I did do a few organizing tasks, but nothing too exciting.

I decided that the best way for me to be successful in this quest to change my life is to be honest.  Maybe the blogging will force me to be accountable to someone.  So, here's being honest...I have two dogs and one cat that live in the house with my husband and I.  We live in a 1350 square foot house and have one small storage shed and a 40x40 shop/garage.  There is NO reason for us to live the way we do.  I don't remember the last time I swept or mopped anything in the house.  I don't remember the last time I cleaned the toilets.  I don't remember the last time I vacuumed...maybe three weeks ago?  Maybe more.  I DO remember the last time I scrubbed our one and only tub in the house.  It was December 30.  It was the day after my husband's birthday.  His sister, who lives six hours away had come to town with her son.  She wanted to stay the night at our house, which I was glad for her to do because I adore her.  The next morning, I asked if she was going to shower before leaving the house and she said, "Yes."  I jumped up, grabbed a scrub brush and some Clorox Clean-Up spray and scrubbed the tub.  It was gross and it only took me five minutes to get it presentable.  Afterwards, I wondered why I procrastinate doing these simple, yet mind-numbing, chores around the house.  I will neglect the dishes until they are piled over the sink and spilling onto the counters.  If I just spent a few minutes everyday, I would be able to keep ahead of the mess.

So, I sat down and looked at my Daily To-Do list that I made out not long ago in a niave effort to become more organized.  I had made a list of about 13 daily "Have Tos" and then I crashed and burned when I became overwhelmed with the sheer volume of items that need/should be completed on a daily basis.  (I'm not even including my Weekly, Monthly, Semi-Annual, and Annual To-Do lists.)  What did I do wrong?  I now believe it was taking on way too much.

My new idea:  I'm going to take the most important item from my Daily To-Do list and make sure I get it done every. single. day.  No excuses and no whining.  As I look at my list, the most important thing would be to "Feed and water the critters." and to "Check calendar and planner daily."  Okay, those are two easy items and I'm already pretty good at doing, so I will start there.  On Sunday, I will add another daily task.  I will continue with those three tasks until the next Sunday.  At that time I will reevaluate how I'm doing.  If I'm doing good, I will add another task.  If not, I will stay on the tasks that I currently have as my non-negotiables.  Now off to do my Daily To-Dos...

...60 seconds later--Checked the dogs' foodbowl (It's a self-feeder) and there was plenty of food in it.  Fed the cat and put fresh water in their water bowl.  Checked my wall calendar and my planner...nothing scheduled for today or tomorrow except working tonight and tomorrow night.  Today's Daily To-Do:  CHECK! 

...45 minutes later--I was so proud of my first day of turning my life around that I decided that I would start a load of laundry. (Our jackets needed a good washing.) Then I decided I would challenge myself to work on the house for thirty minutes. Here is what I accomplished: Threw the jackets and some other color clothes into the washer and started it. (Side note: I just heard the washer turn off. I’m going now to transfer to the dryer. Please hold…Insert elevator music here…..Okay, I’m back. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.) Took dirty dishes found in living room to kitchen sink. Picked up dog toys and stray shoes out of living room floor. Folded one of the two unfolded couch throws (The puppy was asleep on one of them.) Unloaded the dishwasher and reloaded it with the dishes that filled up most of the sink. Started dishwasher. Threw away some random trash found cluttering up the countertop in the kitchen. There are two overflowing laundry baskets full of clean laundry sitting in my dining room floor (right in front of the main entrance to the house), I took one of them and folded the contents and put them away. I didn't do the other one because that would be crazy!

Then I heard the timer go off…but I kept going because I was making good progress. ..

I have one dresser drawer that is full of “sleepy-clothes.” (Mostly lounge pants and pajama pants with mismatched shirts and several gowns.) As I was putting away some of my clothes, I realized I was putting away a gown that I wear out of necessity but don’t necessarily love because it is stretched out and faded. I tossed it. Then I found three long-sleeved t-shirts that I will occasionally sleep in (if nothing else is clean), but I don’t like the way they fit. So I tossed them. Then I found two sets of flannel pajama pants that I tossed. They were perfectly good but I’m so hot natured that I almost never wear them. So now, I have two sets of lounge pants (that are plaid and super cute!) and (I believe) two nightgowns. Sometimes I also sleep in my random t-shirts…which is a whole ‘nother subject because I have ohsomany yoga pants and t-shirts. THEN, as I put away my husband’s boxers, I found the new ones I bought the other day but he doesn't like the way they fit.  So I tossed them.

I put two other nightshirts of mine that I found but don’t wear because I don’t like the way they fit into the yard sale tote that I keep in the guest room.  I started a pile of handtowels that are to go in the camper next season on the bed in the guest room. Some of those towels will also be cut up for cleaning rags.  I found the uniform I need for work tonight and sprayed it down with Wrinkle Releaser (Best. Stuff. Ever.) and hung it up.

And that’s it. I worked no longer than 45 minutes and although the house should feel better, it kinda doesn't.  I guess it is because I have so far to go.  Now, I believe that I will lie down for a quick nap since I am working tonight.

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