The Saturday of Struggle
Ok. Safe to say that I definitely have ADD or ADHD or whatever it’s called these days. I have it. It runs in the family. I’ve never been tested, but oh my goodness, it took everything in me to focus my energy on this today. I would have given up if it weren’t for the decision to hold myself accountable on here. ( More on distraction and it’s role later. )
Reminder of what my list was for today:
- Go over the bills and finances
- Try a new recipe for dinner
- Clean the first floor of my house
This last item was a horrible one to put on my “To Do” list, and I’m going to tell you why…
- I hate cleaning. –(Ok, that isn’t a fair reason, but I needed to say it. I’ll proceed.)
- To clean the entire first floor of the home is an extremely time consuming task.
- There were way too many distractions on which to hyperfocus (I didn’t spend 30 minutes detail scrubbing my shower door or anything.)
Yes, I’m not going to pretend that I’m a super tidy person. I’m hygienic and extremely organized within my business and when working, but at home, no. And while it once was a huge source of shame for me (To understand more on this, check out my piece on Love What Matters here), these days I know that it’s something minor to improve on. I like having a clean house. I don’t like to be the person to do it. *sigh* Whatya gonna do?
So when I decided that cleaning the entire first floor of my home was one of my priorities for Saturday, I woke up knowing it’d be a bear, but I had to keep going because I promised myself that I would, and I asked you all to hold me accountable. Good morning, terrifying world…Here goes…
I’ll spare you the details of everything that I cleaned, but I started in my master bathroom. Bad idea. (*Confession: I did, in fact, take 30 minutes to clean one side of the shower door.) Then, I made my way to my bedroom, where I adopted the bright idea to straighten up the closet “real quick” (after having spent an hour and a half on the master bathroom)… please view the results of that below.
Cleaning my closet is a 2-hour personal fashion show slash trip down memory lane. Am I the only one?
If you are playing along and doing the math with me, yes. Yes, at this point, I have spent three and a half hours on a bathroom and partially cleaned closet. I still have to clean my bedroom, the living room, kitchen, another bathroom, and entry ways. Plus, I’m going to make a homemade gourmet meal with the children without killing them and do my bills. Can we all laugh together now?
Ladies and Gentleman, this is perfectionism. This is true perfectionism. No one would ever look at my house and say I’m a neat freak. I’ve only been called OCD at work, where I’m in much more control, but at home, if it can’t be perfect, I give up. And when I go to do simple tasks, it takes me hours to complete them because again, I need for it to be perfect. It’s exhausting and years of this has left me with a slew of residual issues. As a widow, doing it by myself, I’m trying to retrain my brain. Because this way of thinking doesn’t serve me. It’s unhealthy.
It was 7pm by the time that I finished my first task of cleaning the first floor, and I still hadn’t gone shopping for the ingredients to our dinner recipe nor had I touched the bills. I knew that if I was going to be able to face you guys and maintain my sanity, then I was also going to have to improvise my list. Everything can be left to interpretation, right? It was already a winning, productive day because my house is clean, but I committed to myself that I’d always complete my to do list this February and see how that would feel. Therefore, my newly interpreted list became:
- clean first floor of the house (check)
- make something in the kitchen with the kids (check)
- Open a few bills (check check)
I could live with this and still write to you without feeling like a cop out.
Here’s what the evening looked like:
We ordered pizza. Made brownies together. And watched a movie, during which I opened a few bills before snuggling with them.
I set myself up for failure with how HUGE my tasks were.
I minimized the time and energy that they would require.
This is something that I have done for decades.
And at what cost? So I can feel horrible about myself? So I can resent those around me because they must know what a disappointment that I am?
I’m not doing that any more.
This is why I started doing this challenge for February. I wanted to poke at a HUGE sensitive spot of mine called: my insane obsession with “To Do” lists (So obsessive, in fact, that my late husband, Scott, sat me down at the beginning of our marriage and told me that the lists were a major problem. He was stone cold serious.)
See, this is not about someone who knows it all, telling others how to do it. This is about someone who is fed up, who is saying, “Something has to be better than this!”; This is about someone who knows nothing and is learning as she goes. And while I’m terrified, I’m also grateful to have your support.
Moving forward, here are some things to keep in mind…
Looking forward to learning with you.
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Also, Find my work on Love What Matters: Megan Bajorek