Have you ever heard of the Fly Lady? Marla Cilley is the Fly Lady and she will gently, but firmly usher you into a life of order and serenity. I first heard of her maybe a dozen years ago when her book “Sink Reflections” was on the shelf at the library.
I was amazed at how she could encourage anyone to take heart and conquer the demons of perfectionism, procrastination, and clutter. Using her advice it is possible to overcome inertia and an overwhelming to do list.
When you hear the words order and serenity it sounds very zen and meditation-y – and it is! – but it starts with cleaning your house. So if you’re expecting Thick Naht Hanh or Pema Chodron or the Dalai Lama, you’ll be disappointed, but I guarantee that these FLY feelings are kith and kin, and who knows, maybe one thing will lead to another.
Maybe, these thoughts could be the precursors to manageable New Year’s Resolutions or, better yet Resolves to New & Improved Lifestyles. We are just three weeks away from the new year after all.
Marla’s methods are simple, but effective. Here are a couple of her standards.
1. It starts with a clean sink – do this one thing, do it well, then keep it up
2. Take small bites of tasks – you can do anything for 15 minutes – set a timer!
3. Perfectionism leads to procrastination – oh, yeah!
4. Routines, zones, timed work sessions, 27-fling-boogies (I’ll let you explore these as desired)
Marla’s world has fun acronyms, too. For example: CHAOS = Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome (the way we feel when our house needs a good cleaning) and FLY=Finally Loving Yourself (by making your life easier)
I found myself thinking about flying a lot the last couple of days, because my December so far has been very overcast. Depression has moved in like a 1/2 ton gorilla sitting on my chest. Yeah, that sounds more funny than, not, but I can assure you, I am not laughing. In fact, tears have been a nearby threat for days. And that has not been me for years. I don’t know what is going on, but I need to push it away. Hard.
That’s where Marla comes in. Part of this state I am in is comprised of anxiety – and I think that is from an extensive to do list. I’ve handled the most pressing items left in the wake of a fairly irresponsible November, but the holidays are just around the corner and there are a gajillion things to do – at home and at work.
So, I’m going to try to FLY. I’m going to get up and go to work every day. I’m going to pay my bills and cook food and wash clothes and clean the bathroom.
And I’m going to write every day, because writing is the best way to fly.
Cilley, M. (2002). Sink Reflections. Bantam.