In the defense of harmony

Yesterday I blessed my sink.

I soaked it, scrubbed it, flossed it, and shined it. I dried it with a towel.

Then I smiled.

The motivation for this unaccustomed activity came from my new mentor, FlyLady. FlyLady is a personal coach for the Sidetracked Home Executive (SHE) who suffers from Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome (CHAOS).

She’s the savior of those of us who are Overwhelmed and Simply Don’t Have a Clue.

FlyLady’s Eleven Commandments present a no-nonsense approach for blessing your house and gaining control over clutter. She advocates quieting negative voices, quelling the desire for perfection, and laughing a lot. She teaches how to set up routines. She advocates taking baby steps, working to music, spending only ten or fifteen minutes per task, doing one job at a time, not  allowing yourself to be sidetracked by the computer…

Uh-oh.

Last week she sent a message telling me to delete all the FlyMail I had stored in my inbox. How did she know?

Well, anyway, I’d never thought housecleaning could be fun, but with FlyLady there to cheer me on, sink shining was a blast. And she says I’ll never have to do it again: with daily maintenance, it’ll stay like this forever. All I have to do is to put dirty dishes directly into the dishwasher, wipe out the sink with a dish towel every time I leave the kitchen (no more water spots), and convince my husband to follow suit.

Now for two confessions: First, my sink wasn’t in terrible shape before the blessing; I’d never flossed the faucets, but I don’t let the dirty dishes stack up, nor have I ever found the Health Department battering down my door. Second, my husband is not the problem.

I’ll admit that the evening of the first day, when I watched him turn off the water and leave the kitchen without first drying the sink , I almost reminded him of the new rules.  But he’d just finished loading the dishwasher and cleaning off the counter. The timing didn’t seem right.

So after he left the room, I picked up a towel and righted the wrong. Later I did a little bedtime maintenance scrub.

After all, the shiny sink isn’t an end in itself. It’s the symbol that I have taken the first step toward turning CHAOS into harmony. It’s the harmony that’s important.

On the other hand, extremism in the defense of harmony is no vice.

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