When we are so tied up with the day-to-day CHAOS of our lives, we sometimes don't take time to keep up with what is going on around us. We assume that the people who are elected or appointed to various boards have our well-being in mind when they make decisions. Sometimes this is not the case.

Last year I was interviewed by several radio stations and a newspaper from Ireland. Our FlyLady way of living was being attacked. She said that when a woman is stuck with the housework, she doesn't have time to pursue business or politics. I rebutted her misconception. I told her we were not Stepford wives. We were taking care of things so that we could be anything we wanted to be. I also told her I was a wife, mother, grandmother, former elected official, business leader and FLYLADY.

If I had not had my house in order, I would have never stepped into a political arena. I would have been trapped and silenced by the CHAOS in my home.

With the CHAOS turned to peace, I was willing and able to step up and do what my community and my Internet family needed. Our home did not fall into a mess. My routines were firmly in place, and I was FLYing. I had a job being a county commissioner and almost at the same time our FlyLady mentoring system began. Yet our home looked nice.

Have you ever paid attention to the number of women there are in a room of elected officials or who are in management? I have studied this, and I believe our homes keep us trapped. We don't feel like we have time to do anything other than what we are already doing. So we let the world pass us by, while we just try to keep our heads above water. We are so busy putting out fires that we forget about our passions. I am not saying that housework is a woman's job. I am saying it is the woman who feels bad about the house when it is not done. We can't help that this is how we have been conditioned by society. We are the nurturers and the nesters. We have been told that we can have it all; the home, family, career and a rewarding life. But no one ever gave us an instruction manual. We were just expected to know how to do it all. When we struggle with one part and the guilt begins to take over then we neglect the other areas. We have all said it, "I don't have time."

"I don't have time" goes deeper than just getting involved with your community. Those words rob you of time with your family and of taking care of you. Ultimately you are the one who loses. You are so rushed that you don't take care of yourself and get sick because you are not eating right or not taking a few minutes to get a drink of water.

I never dreamed that my passion for helping you would turn into a business. It grew because I could not do it all by myself. I needed to surround myself with people who could help me help you. They free me up to be FlyLady. At the same time, my home is my sanctuary; not an albatross around my neck weighing me down.

Do you have a passion for something? Have you pushed it to the back burner waiting for the right time? Do you even remember what it is? There is never going to be a right time. We have to learn balance. We do this by establishing simple habits and building them into babystep routines.

Be on the lookout for that perfectionist monster lurking inside of you — the monster that pushes you past your limit on any project you start. You know those marathon sessions of painting, scrapbooking and volunteer work that take over all your time and the whole house. You get caught up in it, and where does the time go? Haven't you ever heard that time flies when you are having fun. Well, why not get your homework/routines done first so you can go out and play? The house, dinner and everything else will not be stopping you. You will have it done and be the envy of everyone who knows you.

For more help getting rid of your CHAOS; check out: www.FlyLady.net or "Sink Reflections" published by Bantam and "Body Clutter" published by Fireside. Copyright 2007 Marla Cilley. Used by permission in this publication.