Last week I bought myself some indoor shoes.
That’s them. The photo’s a little out of focus, but it’s the best I could do photographing my own feet.
The literature that came with the shoes said that they’d increase the oxygen levels in my body. I really don’t understand how they do that, if they do do that, but they were $30 and they’re comfy so I’m not questioning it too deeply.
The reason I’ve got indoor shoes: I’m trying once again to implement FlyLady Marla Cilley’s techniques. I’ve tried it about three times now. Each time I get overly excited and try to do too many things at once, get overwhelmed, get mired in perfectionism, and give up.
Over the past several trials, a few of her routines have stuck with me. I swish and swipe my bathroom every morning. I make my bed.
I guess that’s kind of it, now that I think of it.
It has occurred to me that perhaps the FlyLady plan just isn’t for me. It is a little bit corny. For example, “FLY” stands for “Finally Love Yourself.” The idea that we can express our love for ourselves and our families through housework is a nice one, but it’s also a little Donna Reed, a tad Tupperware-party. But it’s also the reality of my life. I’ve chosen to live this 1950’s kind of a lifestyle (actually, I guess it’s more 1850’s what with the homeschooling and breastfeeding and food preservation), and I’m certainly not going to learn how to optimize it by reading Who Moved My Cheese. Hokey or not, I need advice from someone focussed on my reality, which pretty much revolves around the laundry (and not just because the laundry piles are large enough to have their own gravitational pull).
FlyLady has this focus. She also strongly encourages her faithful followers to let go of perfection, which is something I constantly need to work on. Because I’m so perfect and it’s off-putting to others.
This time, I decided to approach the FlyLady plan a little differently; I decided to follow the directions.
FlyLady has a month of day-by-day Beginner Baby Steps through which she eases us into new routines one element at a time rather than all at once. The other times I’ve tried FlyLady, I’ve picked and chosen and kind of skipped my way through the baby steps. And there’s one step I never followed: “Get dressed to lace-up shoes.”
We don’t wear shoes in the house. We wear slippers or we go barefoot. It’s the only thing that keeps my floors remotely clean (which is about as clean as they get). But every time I’ve done FlyLady, I’ve refused to wear shoes and I’ve not been able to get through the first month. Marla suggests that we go out and get a pair of shoes just for wearing indoors if we’re all uptight about it. This time, I did just that.
The first morning I got dressed to lace-up shoes, I was surprised to find that it actually did seem to change my mindset. I felt less slovenly. I felt more motivated to straighten up around the house and to keep my sink shining.
But I persisted in thinking that the whole indoor-shoes thing was a little odd. Then one day, as I kicked off my Mary Janes after a grocery run and sat down to lace up my indoor sneakers, I started humming, “It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor; would you be mine?”
It occurred to me that this was not an unprecedented exercise. In fact, it was one that Mr Rogers, the hero of millions of children, engaged in every day for decades. I could have followed the initial direction of my thoughts and decided that it was just down-right strange to act like Mr Rogers (not to mention time-consuming on multiple-errand days). But instead, I chose to embrace the fact that I’m following in the non-marking soled footsteps of Fred Rogers, the gentle soul who epitomized soft-spoken optimism and a child-like sense of wonder at the world around him.
I could certainly do worse.
I’m currently on Day 6 of the Beginner Baby Steps. Today I added 2 minutes clearing a “Hot Spot.”
“Where’d all that stuff on the counter go?” my husband asked. His company is still without electricity after Sunday’s storm, so he’s been hanging around and I can’t keep all of the weird things I do during the day a secret from him like we’re used to.
Tomorrow I get to pick out my clothes before bed. What I’d really like to do is go out and buy new clothes, then de-clutter the old ones.
I don’t know why, but whenever we move, I have a desire to change the way I dress. When we moved to Salt Lake City, it was round-neck t-shirts that covered my collar bone, capris pants, and Keen sandals (and a nostril piercing). This time, I have a craving for fitted, white or solid pastel button-up shirts and khaki pants.
And maybe a cardigan.
What do you think, Neighbor?