zone work part 2: why I'm not doing it
My life is good.
With the breaking of the fever (along with a piece of a conversation with my best friend, a couple of comments left on my facebook page, and especially a chat with my sister), I also have some clarity this morning I didn't have even two days ago. The realization: the zone work post wasn't "me" and doesn't fall in line with what I am trying to do here in my life. I mean, it certainly fills in nicely the "requirements" of being a post on a blog about simplicity and organization. It is a nice idea. But of everything that I have posted or am using as a tool in my hand to order my world, this one feels the most false. It feels contrived and over-thought (though really under-thought in how it does or doesn't work in my life) and counter-intuitive. If there hadn't been 36 hours of sickness well-placed like a speed-bump on my road, if there wasn't a brief conversation with my friend in which we both wondered how zone work ranks in priorities when you're sick or hurting, had a couple of people - both in my same place in life of raising small kids and some farther down the path nearly finished raising children - not spoken up to express their doubts about accomplishing such detailed cleaning plans, if my sister hadn't been bold enough to send a message and foster the right kind of thinking, I may have plowed right on ahead and found myself in some day's time confounded, defeated, off track and disoriented from where it is I'm really trying to be.
My sister wrote, " I find that if I look too critically at the house and fret over how often I've dusted or washed all the curtains, or scrubbed baseboards and stuff I can get really bogged down. It feels overwhelming. I mean, really, if you wanted there could be TONS of stuff to clean, repair, create, and do ALL over the house outside and inside EVERY DAY but some of it really isn't as essential (at the moment) as it may look." She's five years ahead of me in age, seven years ahead of me in marriage, and nine ahead of me in parenting. I take her words as wisdom. And I take the action of her being willing to broach the topic and question me on it as an act of lovingkindness. I'm ever so thankful for it. I want to feel like someone can drop in on us at our home. But you know what? I mostly already do. We don't live in CHAOS (Flylady's acronym for "Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome"). We - our family, as a team - have made good strides towards simply being more aware of our own messes and picking up after ourselves. Those routines in the morning and afternoon and at night are truly becoming some of the best tools in our hands for order and peace. And even more than that I, my husband, and even our kids want to live authentic lives, to be who we are and not withhold that from people. From an authentic place I want it to be nice and tidy when someone drops by, but in the fullness of our reality they may have to step over puzzles put together and left out so everyone can see them (because who wants to put together a puzzle and immediately have to take it apart?), or the contents of a little girl's jewelry box strewn across the floor, or jackets and backpacks that didn't make it to their designated destination. And if that happens, that's okay. I have clean laundry and a kitchen that could be completely cleaned in about fifteen minutes and rooms that could be tidied in about that same time. I also have cobwebs and dust and dirty baseboards. And a good, good life.
So here is where I say I was wrong and that I won't be doing the zone work. That's not to say that I won't knock a cobweb down here and there or deep-clean something, but I can't even rank those things as priorities. Not right now. Historically for me it's the listing of those things as priorities that has left me discouraged and feeling like a failure. I forgot that momentarily, but I remember now. I'm not signing up for that again. Nope. That's not good grass. Today I'm thankful for a fever, chills, body aches, friends, sisters, and clarity.