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Sink Reflections

Sink Reflections. Marla Cilley - The FlyLady.
Bantam Books. September, 2002. 256 pages.

This book changed my life! I first encountered FlyLady in October 2004 and instantly added her Sink Reflections to my tiny library of home maintenance resources.  I devoured the 223 pages in a single day.  Since then, nothing has been quite the same Chez Script.

I quickly learned the FlyLingo:  27 Fling Boogies, 5 Minute Room Rescues, Hot Spots, Swish and Swipe, Baby Steps, FLYing, CHAOS ("can't have anyone over syndrome").  Then I bought the tools and toys:  ostrich feather dusters (for "Weekly Home Blessings"); the official timer ("anyone can do anything for 15 minutes"); a tacky wacky Cling Thing (which I stuck over a hole in my kitchen plaster for inspiration and distraction.)  I started a personalized Control Journal.  Finally I wrote out my Routines.  I was FLYing!

Now for those who don't know this middle-aged Southern fly-fishing instructor (hence the name), FlyLady used to be disorganized and depressed.  A real dud.  Now she is an inspiration to thousands worldwide, through her books, web-site, speaking tours.  She learned how to improve her life and de-clutter her surroundings, and by golly, she can't wait to share her ideas with the whole world.

The FlyLady arsenal includes a number of secret weapons in the ongoing war against, dirt, disorder, disaster.  Besides the aforementioned routines, boogies, blessings and rescues, there is the simple system of Zone Cleaning:  an intense focus on one different area each week of the month ("FlyMissions").   Whining is not allowed:  no excuses, self-pity, denial.  Flying demands Realism and Honesty - how liberating!  All this makes for compelling reading.

I was deeply touched by the confessional nature of many of the anecdotes which pepper the text, especially the story on FlyLady's hospitalization for depression, a turning point in her life.  She has a knack for first-person narrative, thus endearing herself to fans and followers everywhere.

Of course, not everyone has fallen happily under FlyLady's spell.  Some are critical of the merchandise she sells (I am pleased with my purchases from the Fly Shop, others are not).  Sometimes her writing is mawkish and sentimental:   too many "purple puddles" of grateful tears.  There are grammar mistakes and literary lapses galore.  I receive encouragement from the personal testimonials supplied by successful FlyMembers; others find them insipid.  FlyLady makes no bones about her Christian beliefs:  Her moments of spiritual inspiration are winsomely called "God Breezes".  Her insistence on plans and lists and routines can be a real stumbling block to free spirits not quite ready to march to the tune of this particular drill sergeant.

Is FlyLady too bossy?  All those harangues about lace-up shoes...  A cheerleader?  "Flying is so easy when.."  A strict and old-fashioned mother?  "Every day has a purpose."  A naïve Pollyana?  "My passion has always been to find joy in everything I do."  She is all this and more.  She is a sincere human being, flawed and foolish.  Her very lapses reveal her greatest strength:  She has been in the trenches with those who have made huge messes in and of their lives.  She is one of us.


Housework done incorrectly still blesses your family.
~ FlyLady, Sink Reflections