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I love that quote.  I heard Julia Cameron say it once, but I’m fairly sure she didn’t coin it.  Trouble is, I can’t seem to keep the words in my head mid-process.  Specifically, one of my many I’ll-become-a-domestic-goddess-if-it-kills-me endeavors is two oak straight-backed chairs that I’m determined to paint and reupholster.  I’ve had them four years (procrastinate much?), and today I hauled them out of the garage armed with four sheets of wood-grade sandpaper.  I planted myself beneath my poplar, which my son promptly scrambled up, and started sanding.  A half-hour later, up to my armpits in dust and amid paranoid thoughts of lead-based paint, the aforementioned quote floated through my mind, to which I answered…

Process schmocess. 

But somehow, between eyefuls of dust, I persevered.  I felt the sand-smoothed wood beneath my fingers.  I listened to my son chatter from upon high about how when he turns six he’ll be able to climb to the TOP.  I savored the emerging evidence that I might possibly have a shot at being good at this artsy stuff.  Possibly.  And you know what?  The more I anchored myself to the present, the easier it became to actually enjoy it. 

Which is a good thing; for now my product is two chairs that vaguely resemble skinned animals.

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My guess is that many, many bloggers before me have already sung the praises of the Flylady, so I will merely add my voice to the chorus of the formerly-frazzled folks trying to juggle it all (full disclosure:  I’m still frazzled a good bit of the time).  At her core, Ms. Fly believes in simplicity and small bites, and she has spent a decade perfecting a brilliant house-running program, which I use and as a result have, at times, actually felt like one of those “together” women.

Take Kelly’s missions.  I don’t know who Kelly is, but if I ever meet her I’m going to plant a big, fat kiss on her cheek.  This enlightened domestic intellectual broke down the basic areas of the home into zones, and each weekday she sends her readers on “missions” in that week’s particular zone.  So, if this week’s zone is the kitchen, on Monday she may send us beneath our sinks to weed out anything unnecessary, and then to wipe down the inside of the cupboard.  The project takes 15 minutes, tops, but to be honest, if no one had called me to go forth and disinfect, well, I’ve been known to neglect the under-sink area until the city threatens to condemn it.   Another favorite mission calls for wiping down the toilet exterior – because nothing says I love you to a stomach-flu stricken spouse like a clean toilet base.

Daily missions take no more than 15 minutes, and now that I’ve been doing them for a while I can walk around feeling for the most part like there are no unpleasant surprises waiting for my loved ones. 

So, if you’re looking for a method for your madness, check out the Flylady.

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