I will list a few of the maxims I lived with:
1. Do not wear underpants with a hole in them to school. What if you have an accident?
2. When guests came unexpectedly, we usually sat outside in lawn chairs. Don't let anyone see your messy house.
3. I learned how to put my best face forward, even when my insides were coming apart.
Number 3 sounds a bit dramatic, but I did see this modeled in my childhood to a degree; and it definitely made an impression on me.
So what does this have to do with five minutes at a time? Today, I realized that I have something eating at me, and I have to face it. Clutter is beginning to overtake my house again. Aaaaahgeeee --the clutter monster is invading my life. And I know there is a way to take care of it: the aha moment happened for me today. Don't you love aha moments?
A good friend of mine, who also has a chronic illness, told me how she began to get rid of her clutter when she had little strength, but lots of frustration over the piles here and there that were accumulating. She began to move one thing at a time to the place it belonged, whether that be a drawer, a closet, a shelf, or the trash. That began to build her confidence in knowing she could take control of her home again.
Several months ago, I realized I could begin to attack my clutter five minutes at a time after reading an article that Marla Cilley, the FlyLady wrote. And it worked! However, I have taken on a couple of new things this summer that began to make me feel overwhelmed and caused post exertional malaise; so I started letting the house go. If you could see a picture of my house right now, it's a bit like Old McDonald's Farm, except my song is about clutter, not animals: Here a pile, there a pile, everywhere a pile, pile.... I have what the FlyLady calls CHAOS, can't have anyone over syndrome. Add that to Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome--it means I have newly coined syndrome -- glued to my chair syndrome. I have been stuck to my lounge chair avoiding contact with The Mess. I have been hiding from it, but it keeps bugging me. Today, I remembered I can do anything 5 minutes at a time, and I can rest in-between. That means I need to quit writing and get to working and resting. If I try to clean this up all at once, I will have to deal with post exertional malaise and be back in the same boat of growing chaos.