A couple of weeks ago DGI spoke on Sunday night and I laughed inwardly when he said how he likes to make graphs and charts etc. We appear to be cut from the same cloth. I understand a concept better if I can summarize it visually in a PowerPoint slide. Examples:
Today I’m sharing my new favorite pursuit, attractively summarized in an easy to share digital square: Operation Clean. As indicated in Operation Hospitality
I am building a skillset aimed at independent living. In addition to being able to cook I need to be able to clean things. There are things I might always need help with, but some things I’ve progressed to be able to do on my own. YEAH!
The key to this is preparation. I’ve read (in my old life, primarily) that if you’re dealing with some new circumstances, e.g. disability, you need to be more organized than ever. I’ve found this to be painfully true. It’s akin to my inability to tolerate “background” noise – my mind cannot process several sounds at once, or a loud sound unrelated to my current task. It’s excruciating – partly because I get jumpier when things are noisy, and also because I get frustrated because if I’m trying to do XYZ the noise level is one of several circumstances that must fall into alignment to ensure proper execution. Or any execution, really. I like to get things DONE, so when this doesn’t pan out (for a reason that was a non-issue in my Old Life) my insides go Grrrr.
Anyway, I’ve recognized simple cleaning tasks as life skills crucial (like cooking) to Recovery. I never used to plan out daily tasks in my old life. I just earned a living, enjoyed life, and cleaned things when they needed to be cleaned. The problem with this philosophy now is that by the time something needs to be cleaned it’s often too late – the chances of all necessary circumstances (e.g . are my supplies gathered, does my back hurt) falling into place are minimal. So I settled on a schedule with Fun Alliteration! I think I had Laura Ingalls Wilder in the back of my mind when I settled on this. Except wash day was Monday at the Little House if I recall correctly.
FYI, this system has been working well for me (as long as I take appropriate breaks) as I’ve pursued it over the past month+. One additional thing I’ve learned is that in the same way that I have a lower tolerance level for sound I have a lower tolerance level for things. The fewer things I can live with on my bathroom vanity the fewer things I have to lift up when I clean it. It also really helps me carry things if I have a clear space to set things/my hand on so I can adjust my balance and travel a longer distance. It has taken me a couple of years to be able to do things like de-clutter my desk. Prior to this point I just lived with whatever was on it because it takes a certain amount of skill to pick even small things up and put them in different places. You could be limited by the inability to stretch and reach safely – I’m learning how to carry things under the supervision of professionals and feel confident enough to do it at home, too. If you’re concerned about throwing your back out or breaking something while you’re trying to put things away please don’t risk it – ask for help.
When I woke up and started to think the situation might be real I apologized profusely to Mommy because my suitcase was still on the floor of my bedroom and my guest room was a raging mess because it was full of boxes etc. I had received from Amazon (I ❤ Prime) in preparation for Africa. Mommy said not to worry about it, of course, and that my sister Boo Boo had rectified the situation speedily when she came to visit and slept in my guest room. Apparently I had a much higher clutter-threshold then :).
PS. re. Tuesday on the schedule above: I’ll elaborate on my interpretation of “Green Clean” next week.