How to like doing chores
How I learned to like chores
I hated household chores as a teenager. Most of the time they were boring, tiring and often linked with the disappointment of my mother who had to remind me of my responsibilities once more. More than one I sneaked by my mother out of the house or into another room, because I knew that I would get the next chore as soon as she noticed me.
When I started living on my own it wasn’t much better at first. I stalled everything as long as possible. I used games and books to divert my eyes from reality, which included chores, to fantasy worlds with “real” challenges.
When I started to work on my strengths and reflect on my shortcomings it became easier to grant my chores the time they deserve. Now I have realized that there are few things where it’s easier to train awareness of the moment and freeing your mind from burdening thoughts better, than when I do dishes by hand. With every plate and every cup I clean, dry off and return to its spot I get a little closer to inner peace.
The sensations, hot water washing around my hands, the sponge that gives way to my grip, the dishtowel lying light and firm in my hand, all help me to focus on reality; on the things actually present in this moment.
At the same time while I do the chores I can actually see my progress after every move I make. The broom cleans the floor with every stroke, the dishes and the space they formerly preoccupied become free to use once more and I can dress myself with the clothes once they have dried off. When I take the time to cook a proper meal, formerly bland ingredients become delicious nourishment and freshly made beds allow for a restful sleep.
For every action there is a definite benefit. I believe a lot of us would like to see that in their daily work, were we rarely see the end result, because we are just a little cog in a big wheel. When we place the right focus on our chores the value of each of our actions becomes apparent again.
We can use household chores as a balancing effect, a reminder that everything we do or leave undone has a value or consequence and as a tool to practice thoughtfulness.