Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Brain Makeover

I have to admit something.
I am a messy person.  I procrastinate.  My house is usually messy, my laundry is almost never put away, and pretty much 100% of the time, I have dirty dishes in my sink.  I never have clean socks, so I steal my husbands, and then he never has clean socks.  I never make my bed in the morning.  Or any other time of day, for that matter.  My carpet always needs to be vacuumed and the glass shower is frightful.

The worst part?  The very worst I cannot believe I am telling you this part?

*takes deep breath*

I don't have a job, and I don't have children.  It's just me and my husband (and our pets).  That's it.

I have plenty of time to take care of my home.  It should be beautiful - always, not just on special occasions or when someone comes to visit.  And I am so angry with myself for allowing us to live this way.  It is embarrassing and depressing, and I don't know what is wrong with me!  I truly don't understand why I do such a horrible job at such a simple thing.

The most confusing part is that I want to be the person who takes care of my home.  When I had a job, I fantasized about not having to work, making breakfast for my husband every morning, keeping my home beautiful, about how, if it wasn't for the pesky 8-5 job, my house would be perfect.  After losing my position to downsizing, and because of my husband's job, I was able to stay home.  And... nothing changed.  If anything, it is worse because now we are both in the house, messing it up, all day long.  (My husband works from home.)

I don't get it.  It should be simple, right?  Just clean already!  

I'm truly not lazy by nature.  At least not any lazier than your average person.  When I have a craft project, or fixate on something I want to get done, watch out!  I am all energy and effectiveness!  Life is beautiful!  Look at me go!  But then.... boom.  I hit bottom again, and everything comes to a standstill.

Now, if this isn't getting real enough for you, I will get even "realer". (I know, not a word, but whatever.)
I suffer from depression (which I imagine you could have guessed) and I am super sensitive to criticism, which my completely frustrated husband has every reason to dole out.  The whole reason that he agreed to letting me stay home was because I painted this picture of how wonderful our life would be if I could stay home and take care of everything.  I believed in that picture, I could see it, sometimes thinking about it was what got me through the day.  I simply have never made it happen with any consistency.  And my inner bully tells me every single day how much I suck, how severely I have failed, and how I will never ever make that picture a reality.

It hurts.  It hurts me, it hurts my husband, it hurts our marriage (which has all it's own problems without the addition of this one). 

I have to stop listening to all the negative.  I have to replace it with something better, something positive, something that doesn't pull me to pieces. 

I am trying.

I am trying to believe in myself.

I will believe in myself.

I would never talk to anyone -ANYONE- they way I talk to myself.  I don't care how rotten a person is, I would never ever say (or think)  the mean and damaging things about them that I think about me.  It's NOT RIGHT that I do that, it's evil and wrong and I WILL stop! 

I am praying for help, and I believe that God hears me.  I ask Him to clean my mind and heal my heart and to guide me.  The obstacles I face are not that I hide from housework.  The real obstacle is I have sold myself on the idea that I cannot succeed.  I must overcome and find my faith in myself again.  And that means that negativity and criticism HAS TO STOP.  It breaks me, and I cannot allow it in my life anymore.

I don't know why I am sharing this here.  I meant for this to be a safe place, with happiness and crafts and pretty things.  Don't worry, it will be - for me it is!  But the words are just spilling out of me today, and perhaps it is for reasons which are beyond my knowledge.  I believe that God works through us in ways we may never know, and I truly believe deep in my heart that He will teach me a way through this destructive jungle I am lost within.  And most of all, I believe He loves me, even when I don't know how to love myself.

Thank you for sticking with me.  It matters more than you know.

Speaking of God's work, I read a wonderful idea at Spying on the Swinney's (I can't find the actual post to link to, grrr) about making a chore list with planned breaks.  I created one for myself and am using it today to great success!  Hooray!  I ROCK! (See that positive affirmation?  Aw yeah.)

Here is my list:
It is long, yes, but I am not pressuring myself to get everything done All At Once (which has been one of my stumbling blocks, instead of cleaning methodically, I get myself all worked up in a cleaning frenzy which scares the dogs and wears me out for days afterwords.  No more!)

I don't have to think when I use this list.  I'm not planning what to conquer next, worrying about the most effective way to clean the wholelivingroom now it's timetovaccumeverywhere bright shiny object hurry hurry this is such a mess, I suck.

Nope.  Just nice and simple.  Follow the list.  Mark it off.  TAKE A BREAK AND BE PROUD OF WHAT I ACHIEVED.

Thank you, Lord, for guiding me to a blog that had just the right idea for me.  Thank you, Connie Lynn, for writing it!  (Sorry that I can't find the actual post, if I do I will add it here, but she has a wonderful site that is truly worth reading, so it's okay.)

* UPDATE:  I found the post!

Maybe someone out there needed to hear my thoughts.  I know I needed to share them.

Thank you.

*takes deep breath, hits publish*


Kristi said...

Ok, so I quit my job in December and planned to have an awesomely clean house. While it isn't awesomely clean, it is way cleaner than it used to me. I mean, it wasn't really dirty, just really cluttered. I make a list too, but not like that one. I think with one that long, you might get discouraged. I write a list each week for the week and assign several tasks to each day. If I don't get something done, it gets moved to the next day. No pressure if I don't get something done. Also, something I did at first to help was to organize and clean every room. I might have finished a space in a day or it might have taken me a week. Once I had a room clean and organized, tasks that pertained to keeping it that way began getting added to my weekly list. While I focused on one room, I didn't worry about the rest of them because "it wasn't their turn) and I knew I would get to them soon. Hope this helps. You'll get there!

Sorry for the novel! :-)

Kelly @ Much To Do With Nothing said...

Hi Amanda,
Thanks for stopping by! You don't know how many of us feel just like you. I beat myself up too. The other day I decided to start decluttering. I was actually in our shower, with clothes on, cleaning it as my husband was leaving for work. I spent about 3 hours detailing the master bathroom. Like you would a car. Mirrors, floors, tub and shower, even the sconces. When I walked out, it was sparkling and I felt so much better. I've decided to take it one room at a time. ONLY. Another thing I do is to take ALL of the clutter in a room and put it in the middle of the floor. (the bathroom too) I dust it, file it, shred it,(junk mail and stuff like that), wash it...whatever each thing needs. All along making piles with a trash bag handy. Finally each thing in every pile goes to it's proper home, and after dusting all surfaces; all of the dusted things go back in their place. Vacume and your done with another room. Do one per week if you want. Pretty soon the whole house is clean. I've found sitting in the middle of all of it really gets me motivated. You can always have 1 load of laundry going at the same time. I can't get anything done if I have to keep chasing a dryer buzzer. I hate that more than anything!
You can do this with junk drawers too. Just sit on the living room floor and dump the whole thing out. Watch tv while you make the piles. (with a trash bag right there).
Don't feel alone. House work sucks! Creative people aren't very good at it. Our minds are too free spirited. Good luck with your journey.


Frugal Home Designs said...

This is very brave of you to share! Hopefully you feel better just getting it out there. I have those same tendancies. What I decided to do to help myself, and not feel so overwhlemed by it all, I made a weekly chore list. Just a few chores a day. It was amazing how it made me feel. I didn't feel like I had a list as huge as yours to get done because I knew I only had to do what was on the list for the day. I didn't feel so hopeless. I do it first thing in the morning. It feels so good to get it out of the way and then I feel the freedom to do what I want without the GUILT that I should be doing some type of chore. After the first week, when EVERYTHING is a nightmare, the chores get easier because it was just done the week before. I hope you can find a solution to make yourself feel better. If anything, you are right, stop being mean to yourself!

Anonymous said...

I couldnt agree with you more. im the same way except that I have two kids at home wich add to the whole mess. anyways I HEAR and TOTALLY UNDERSTAND YOU.
you have a great list but take it one day at a time TRUST ME once you get started it will all be fly by. but i agree with kelly take everything and make piles to declutter and clean it will make life a whole lot easier. i wish you luck with this project and keep us updated

Holly said...

It is good to let it out...I used to pretend I could be everything...I could be Martha...I cannot no one can. My laundry is never put away...I am an organized disorganized person, my house is no longer spotless and some days I feel awful for it. Some days I pick up the dry cleaning, go grocery shopping and prepare a meal and other days hit Subway.

We are all a work in progress and maybe by releasing and sharing some of this it will help.

Jennifer Juniper said...

Oh boy do I hate to clean! Yep, I hate it and I slack off sometimes but I try to keep in under control because it is the single consistent thing my husband and I argue over.

I hate to fight.

But, for me, it's better to chunk up that list into more manageable pieces. Then, if I have time or energy or self discipline to work on a little of tomorrow's list I come out feeling great about myself!

I like to time myself and see how much I can get done in 1/2 hour. You should try it. It's like a game :) (A crappy no fun game, but a game none-the-less :) )

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hi Amanda...

Well my friend, it definitely sounds like you are well on your way to accomplishing a goal! BRAVO!!! I really admire you for being so honest and just being able to "lay it all out on the table"! You know...Darlin', we all struggle with don't feel as though you are alone! My home is just about spotless...I'm a fanatic...but there are things in my life that I wish and really accomplish! Don't you love blogging? It really is fabulous "platform" for great ideas!!! My friend, we've never met...but I'm cheering you on!!! I know you can do it!!! Saying a prayer for you too, Amanda!

Well sweet lady, I wanted to come over to say thank you for stopping by and helping me to celebrate my Sunday Favorites "One Year" birthday! I really enjoyed your sweet notes and warm well wishes...thank you!!! I'm so glad that you added Happy To Design to your list of blog follows...I'm adding your sweet blog to my list! I'm looking forward to getting to know's so very nice to meet you, Amanda!!!

Have a wonderful day and best wishes on my gift card giveaway!

Chari @Happy To Design

PS...thank you for blogging about my giveaway! You're the best!!!

Kristi said...

Just checkin' in to see how it's going. :-)

Recipe Addiction said...

I think we were attached at the hip when we were born. I did one of those personality tests on here the other day and it said I was a picky perfectionist and procrastinating organizer. Hit me right between the eyes.

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