Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Progress not perfection

I have a progress report. As of today I have decluttered a total of 54 bags/boxes. I have completely cleared my bedroom floor. The hallway which leads to the bedrooms is no longer lined with boxes and crates and bags. Our basement play room is now a play room and not a storage facility.

Yesterday I had a brief moment of overwhelm. I was feeling like things were not going to come together for this party on Sunday. I was looking at my to-do list and instead of feeling confident that it would all be done, I was feeling panic. So much to do, so little time. What if it doesn't all get done? The boy's bedroom walls haven't been washed down yet. The girls room still hasn't been cleaned up. I haven't gotten my dressers decluttered yet. I haven't decluttered the hallway closet!!!!!"

Mr. Man calmly pointed out to me that I was being unrealistic. He was right. As usual. Nobody is going to see my bedroom dressers. And I don't recall any of my in-laws rummaging through my closets in the past. I was being that perfectionist that occasionally comes out and tries to trip me up. I was focusing on having EVERY thing done. So I took my to-do list and I re-evaluated and re-planned these remaining few days. I ended up with a plan that I can live with, that won't make me crazy.

I look around my home and I see nothing but progress. Every room has been improved on in some way or another. I can breath in my home. I don't feel the heavy energy that used to attach to me every evening. My days and nights flow together with no dread of going to bed and no dread of getting up again. All of that is progress.

My work is not finished. It will not be completely finished for a few months, but I can wait. I can let this progress take place at the pace it needs to take place. I can get done the few things that need to be done by Sunday and then I can enjoy the company of family in my peaceful home. Free of shame or guilt. I love progress.

Wait a minute. I just thought of one more thing that needs to be done. I think that we need to steam clean the carpet in the living room and the hallway. Mr. Man says it will be more work than its worth and that nobody cares about the carpet. But, the carpet is REALLY bad. Here we go again....

Just my thoughts.


Lisa Kilmer said...

You have such a way with words, are you sure you are not a professional writer? I could read your words forever and not get bored!

Caroline said...

Yay! Keep it up! 54 boxes is such progress. Go ahead and steam clean the carpet if you want (you can rent a really good one at Home Depot and save a lot of $$ doing it yourself).

I am cheering you on...can you hear my pom poms shaking?

Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord said...

Oh my gosh, I laughed at the dresser thing (before I read your husband's comment). My thoughts were his thoughts, so good for you for re-evaluating. Steam clean those carpets after the party - when they'll probably need it more.
Your progress is felt by all of us working on big projects. Not for nothing, but I've been tapping into your awesome-achieving energy in the last six or seven days and seen huge results on my own stuff. So thank you, Jill, for adding such positive energy to the world!

inkywasfat said...

Way to go! If you can fit in the carpets getting cleaned, you should. It not only makes you feel good emotionally, but physically too, with all of that dust and crud gone (at least that's what my lungs think anyway.) Reading about your journey has inspired me to get through some stuff of my own. Thanks, Jill!

Jan said...

The quote you have here, "Progress, not perfection" is one of my very favorites. I've had it on my refrigerator for a long time now. You are doing great. So proud of you. Do you feel how many of us are cheering you on? Baby steps is a wonderful way to look at it. "One step at a time, progress is mine..." Rome was not built in a day. (Don't you just love how cliches really ARE true?)

Brandi Reynolds said...

what an incredible and authentic example of how NOT going for perfections accomplishes so much. FIFTY FOUR BAGS OF STUFF GONE!

shiny mamaof6 said...

Lisa - I am definitely not a professional writer, but it does happen to be an idea that I have been toying with. Did I just say that out loud? Thanks for reading here.

Caroline - Here's the deal with the carpet. I want them cleaned, I just don't think I want to be the one to do it. But I hear you cheering and it is giving me a little more ambition to just do it. Thank you.

Megan - I like the idea of steam cleaning after the party, but somehow I feel like I may be embarrassed to let people see them so dirty. At least this group of people. I'm still pondering.

I'm so happy that you have been able to tap into my energy. That is exactly why I decided to share this process.

shiny mamaof6 said...

Stacey - Thank you so much for cheering me on. I get what you're saying about feeling better physically and emotionally. When I started this I had a hard time breathing because I'm allergic to dust. There was A LOT of dust, but now I do feel much better physically as well as emotionally.

Jan - I really can feel all of the cheering and support. It is why I have been able to move forward each day. I have not wanted to give up even for a fleeting moment. I'm very blessed indeed.

Brandi - Thank you so much for leaving a comment today. I truly appreciate the support.

Stark Raving Zen said...

Progress IS perfection! :)

suzen said...

Wow, Jill! I just went thru a month of your blogs so I'd get to "know" you! I almost gasped when you mentioned butterflies because all while I'm reading I felt like I was witnessing a butterfly emerging from a cocoon! You are awesome! Talk about motivation! I'm so proud for you!

Years ago (20?) I read a book called "Clutter's Last Stand" - it was as much about getting rid of it as it was about the whole psychology issue of WHY we clutter. That did something to me! My home is so clutter free I just love it. You're right girl, it's freedom alright! I still go thru closets or look at stuff and ask myself "If I'm moving tomorrow, would I pack this crap?" If the answer is no, it's gone in a snap.

Anyway, before I ramble on too much (I have already I know!) I want to join in the supporters and give you a big hug of encouragement! Great blog - great questions at the end too!

shiny mamaof6 said...

Kristy - You are so right!

Suzen - I appreciate your support and thank you for mentioning the book. It sounds very interesting. I'm glad that you enjoy my blog. I never could have emerged from that cocoon without it.

Zeenat said...

Yippeee...I am feeling all your clean de cluttered positive energy here as well. Keep the work going at your own pace..slow and steady. Youll be done in no time. Have fun with the family over the weekend.
Lots of Love.