Driven. Stubborn.

Stubborn. Driven.

In the quiet darkness, it sounded.

The irritatingly melodic sound of my alarm.

I knew what it meant. I knew the time. And yet I lay still.

My only goal was to stay one with my bed for a few more minutes. If the oneness continued for too long, the sound would come again. In 9 fleeting minutes.

Around minute 7, I grunted internally and allowed self-pity to have its moment. It was time.

And just as I was about to push my body out into the cold . . . a voice said, “Are you going?”

And I, before the final “g” on “going” had been uttered . . . I scream-shushed, “SHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!”

No moment was taken to consider how best to respond. The psycho-shush came spewing out with no warning.

And what does that uber-shush mean?

Well, basically . . . I’m stubborn. And even though I have been hearing that blankety-blank alarm at 4:45 a.m. each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for more than a month and a half now, I don’t like to be told what to do.

I like praise. I like encouragement. I like it when Hubby brags on me and comments on the body changes and admires my sweat when I get back home at 6:10 a.m.

I even like the workout.

But I do NOT like pressure. Not once have I missed. Not once have I stopped that idiotic electro-chiming and rolled over to sleep for another hour and a half.

Praise me, but don’t tell me what to do.

Mmm-kay, so I have issues.

And sometimes they come out in really-scary-shushes in the early morning.

I think this is why I had to do this deslobification process my way. On my terms. Driven by being able to say what I did instead of being told what to do.

I know. Not the world’s best quality, but it has served me well in other areas. When I’m directing a play, I believe that the craziness of my eyes and the level of fear experienced by those around me is directly proportional to how good that production will be.

It makes me think of the statement I often made regarding the amazing intensity-of-purpose demonstrated by my own toddlers. “If we can channel this stubbornness, he’ll/she’ll do great things someday.”

So, is this a common trait among those who share my “issues”? I feel like it is.

I’m asking you. If you’re reading this, you just might share my “issues” and I’d love to know how stubborn you are.


And since several of you have actually asked me to talk about exercise (???), I’ll share what I’m doing. I’ve been going to Camp Gladiator. It’s a boot-camp style workout, and the class I go to is at 5 a.m. Outside. In the cold or wind or whatever. It’s crazy-talk, but I love it. Here’s the link to the main website since it’s a lots-of-different-states thing. And if you happen to decide to try it, please (pretty please) use my email ” ” as your referrer. Any CG contender (as they call us) can get referral credits and I’d love to get some!

P.S. When I workout, I look nothing like the people in the pictures on the website.


--Nony get-how-to-manage-your-home-without-losing-your-mind-wherever-books-are-sold


  1. 1

    Great for you! I am not a morning person, so I choose to workout in the evening after work. I don’t allow myself any excuses, so I take my workout clothes to the office with me and change there and go straight to workout BEFORE going home. For me, this is key. If I let myself go home to change, I just won’t leave again to go workout. Thanks for sharing your “issues” with us 🙂

  2. 2

    This is exactly me. I hate, despise, and abhor schedules bc I want to do what I want. I loved two of the jobs I’ve had and had the best time at work, but I *hated* going to work bc someone was telling me when I had to. I do see it as a flaw. It’s something I’ve had to get over but have not done so completely yet. And, not saying this to be creepy or bc we’ll be besties, but your slob brain and mine are on the same wavelength. Right down to not wanting to pick up the stinking bandaid off the floor. I think you’re right and it must be related.

  3. 3

    I totally identify! I hadn’t been able to articulat it as we’ll as you did. If my schedule gets too full, I get overwhelmed & shut down as a result. I suppose my own slobdom a result (at least partially) of that too.
    Thank you for being real and ENCOURAGING (and not bossy) to your fellow recovering slobs

  4. 4

    Definitely hate to be told what to do. I almost feel like if my husband says ” get —- taken care of today” is almost a sure fire way to make sure it doesn’t get done, as opposed to him asking “can you” or saying “we need to get this taken care of”. It feels like if he tells me to, it takes away from the feelings of love for my family that inspired me to do that task.

    Quick question about your slob journey and parenthood. What was it like to have infants and toddlers while overcoming your slob tendencies? Were you intense/scared about the messes you left for them? What did you do for sanity/ to leave the house? When did you start adding in stuff just for you after having your kids?

  5. 6
    Elizabeth says:

    I take stubborn to a whole new level. Which is funny, ’cause I’m known for being easy to work with and pretty flex. But I also know that it’s part of my OCD. *THIS* is the way this or that is suppose to work and goddess forbid that it doesn’t go that way. On the other hand, it makes me good at my job and I get a tremendous amount done in really horrid circumstances. I am a pit-bull/weasel/badger when I get my teeth into something and my ability to pull results out of hell itself is well known…

    Would it be stubborn if I was a man? Or would I just be results oriented?

  6. 8

    So, once again I have the fleeting notion that I’ve become you–or you’ve become me.
    I truly have a love and hate relationship with my alarm(s)–both of them! They start bossing me around first thing in the morning! Heaven help my husband when, however innocently, he suggest how I best spend my time, whether it’s to take a walk or clean off a table. Ugh!

  7. 9

    I am very stubborn too. I also hate to be told what to do. I will listen to advice but hate being “bossed” around. My kids are this way also. I just want to do things my way…whether it’s cleaning, de-cluttering (which I took 5 trash bags, a bunch of plastic bins, and a big container toys out of my kids’ rooms yesterday–yes!!), work, etc. I like my schedule and things to stick to my schedule. Being stubborn is good for getting things done but terrible for learning to relax and slow down.

  8. 10

    ME ME ME!!! Oh gosh- how I resist schedules, routines, commitments, diets, and those !@#$% behavior charts….! But I guess there’s hope:) Hey- doesn’t that also make us, like, creative geniuses, or something? Cuz that’s been my excuse for awhile…

  9. 12
    Joellen says:

    This. Is. Me. I hate being told what to do. Hate it even more when I’m in the “okay, getting up now” space and someone picks THAT MOMENT to tell me to do what I was just moving to do. Hate schedules, charts, checklists…unless I make them. It is a flaw, but one I fear I’m stuck with. 28 Days To Hope for Your Home and this blog have been a great encouragement, though. I need to buy your decluttering book, too.

  10. 13

    I totally share your issues! When I was in high school, my dad was a runner. He was always trying to get us to run with him in local races. I decided to start running but made the ground rules that he couldn’t ask me about training or tell me how to train. I just didn’t want him telling me what to do, but I did it. Stubborn to be sure. But I always blame my toddlers stubbornness on my husband.

  11. 15
    momofsix says:

    Oh my. Never thought of the refusal to pick something up as being stubborn, but it is. Everyday I pass things that have been sitting in piles for a LONG time. But I refuse to handle it til I’m good and ready. So yes….that would be stubborn.

    And how stubborn am I? Well….let’s just say that when I was pregnant with my sixth, I anticipated a delivery that was too fast to have pain meds, so I hired a doula to help get me through it. Interestingly, it was my longest labor yet, but I had hired a doula, so dang it!!! I wasn’t going to get an epidural. So I delivered without one while having pitocin to augment it. Had always had epidurals before. Don’t know how in the world I did it. But at that point, I realized I am definitely stubborn and I own it. If someone tells me I can’t do something, I say watch me do it. 😉

  12. 16

    This is totally me! I absolutely HATE being told how to do things. However, I don’t mind DH letting me know what time we have to leave to be at a certain function since my time-management skills is extremely poor. It helps to be reminded sometimes. But, to have someone follow me around pointing out what I am NOT doing and how it should be done…no thanks!

  13. 17

    I am exactly like that, too – don’t tell me what to do!

    I love this: “But I do NOT like pressure. Not once have I missed. Not once have I stopped that idiotic electro-chiming and rolled over to sleep for another hour and a half. Praise me, but don’t tell me what to do.”

  14. 18

    Scary!!! You could say I’m as stubborn as a mule, will do it on my time, my way. But, willing to listen, to reason, if it is phrased nicely. Expect perfection from myself,really mad if it doesn’t come out as expected. Would be interesting to see a study on personality type. Don’t like deadlines or schedules,but am able to stay with something for the long haul, you know like dig your heels in ,come &#$? or high water. Well ,except for maybe laundry or cleaning ,lol. I have improved on both of those things ,thanks to your tips and inspiration.

  15. 19

    Did you climb into my head and pull this post out of there? And all the folks commenting too – I feel like we are all family. Great post – and I echo what Kate S. and Melanie said too. You offer a great mirror for reflection and I like that about you.

  16. 20

    Wow it seems that we’re all in a big club of stubborn, messy, artistic types that just wanna have fuuuuunnnn and not be responsible unless it’s the fun parts of being responsible (I’m sure there are fun parts…right?!) You are such an inspiration for all of us just because we know we’re not alone! I can’t imagine what people did before the internet!

  17. 21

    I’m completely obstinate, and I have a hard time keeping the house clean. I do think those two concepts are related. For me, I feel like society tells me I’m the one responsible for the house….and I’m a working mama with an one-way hour commute. I just resent it, and I’m beyond stubborn so I don’t do it. Like you, I think that trait has served me well; but it is definitely a power I would like to refine and use more judiciously. Sometimes, I only hurt my self with this nonsense which is proven true every morning when I can’t find the shoes I’m looking for or the shirt I had picked out in my mind while ignoring the alarm…..cause I hate the alarm telling me what to do, too!!!

  18. 22
    JavaKitten says:

    BWHAhaHAha! I can totally identify.
    See that crazy laugh? Because this very morning I was giving my hubby the evil eye, trying so hard NOT to be crabby at him. Why? He “made” me get up and work out with him in the handy-dandy little workout space that he carved out of our messy basement. Yes, I WANT to get in shape. Yes, we talked about it. Yes, I appreciate his “encouragement.” Yes, It felt good to get going and be ahead of the kiddos for once. But, BUT, I hate mornings. And I rrrreally was not happy with him for getting me out of bed. My head kept screaming, ‘NO.’ Like a stubborn toddler, ‘NO.’ I had to fight that inner toddler during the entire 30min that followed my roll out of bed.
    As hubby was leaving for work he gave me a little peck and asked, “Are you still mad at me?”
    My truthful reply, “Yes. But I’m trying not to be.”

  19. 24
    Bridget Swahlen says:

    That is so me. I KNOW that the back porch is a junk haven and needs to be cleaned, but have my Hubby say “When are you going to do that?” Anger and stubbornness sets in and it’s when I get around to it, or NEVER!! Or, I clean something, declutter, organize and feel really accomplished, I get, “Yeah, okay, but what about ……” Well, that just means it’s gonna take me a while to get back my enthusiasm and motivation. So, tell me it looks great and then leave me alone 🙂 please.

  20. 25

    I won’t even let my sweet , precious loving husband make me a plate at dinner time because it feels “bossy”…yea, I think I have issues.

  21. 26

    Hmm. Am I a member of the Society of Stubborn Slobs? Yup. A lifelong member, in fact. For as far back as I can remember, my mom has accused me of being so stubborn I’d cut off my nose to spite my face. In my defense, I’m not quite “that” bad … but close. I don’t like rules, never have and never will. Tell me I could stand to lose ten pounds, and I’ll feel like I’m starving and start craving pizza and chocolate like mad. Back in my smoking days, if someone nagged me about it, I smoked more. Not intentionally, but that’s just how it worked out. My brain rebels at being given orders or getting nagged.

    It does benefit me though. I often impose very public deadlines on myself because I need to be firmly wedged between that proverbial rock and hard place in order to get some jobs done.

    Wow on the workouts. I’m impressed – and kind of relieved to find those bootcamps aren’t available in Michigan! Of course you don’t look like the people in the advertising photos. If they used real members in the middle of a workout, no one would crawl out of bed at 4:45 in the morning. 🙂

  22. 27
    Karen L says:

    Our family is made up of 2 stubborn adults, 4 stubborn kids, and a stubborn cat. The best way to get any of us to do something is to make us think it was OUR OWN idea. 😉

  23. 28

    I have been labeled stubborn for as long as I can remember. I hate being labeled. I despise being told what to do or how to do it. I think you’re on the money with the strong willed going hand in hand with slob brain based on the amount of responses.

  24. 29

    Hmmm….I also HATE being told what to do, and am also a “Theater Person”. Correlation there…I don’t know.

  25. 30
    Lothelena says:

    I’ve never thought of myself as stubborn, but I hate the overwhelming feeling of confinement that a daily schedule/repetitious life puts on me. It makes me want to physically shake it off just thinking about doing the same thing at the same time in the same way every day. So I guess I do just want to be in control and free to do what I want.

  26. 31
    Christen says:

    I totally identify with this. My husband is taking his life in his hands if he wakes me up and says I should make breakfast for whatever. I snooze the alarm clock once or twice before I get up, and then I need 1-2 cups of copy before I want to wake up the kids and get them going. My oldest daughter is worse than me. She’s unplugged or thrown the alarm clock before.

  27. 32

    Yes I totally relate to that. Sometimes I think I don’t even like when I feel like I’m telling myself what to do since I hate so deeply being bossed around. Which might be why I have an incredibly hard time sticking to a scheduled task…

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