Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Change In Thinking About Domestic Chores

When I was in my late teens and early 20's I was intimidated at the thought of a lifetime of taking out trash, doing dishes, laundry, dusting and the like. You know, all those domestic tasks that need doing again almost as soon as you've done them.

Back then, I didn't know where life would take me or what sort of career I would have but I knew there would be no escaping these tasks. I don't know why I even bothered thinking about such things but I did and I found it intimidating. Just to be clear, the tasks themselves never overwhelmed or intimidated me, just the thought of a lifetime of doing them.

Fast-forward to today. My career has been completely derailed by chronic pain. As a result, I've sort of ended up in the role of housewife. I spend most of my time at home managing my symptoms and working on the very same domestic chores that used to haunt my thoughts of the future.

Thinking back, I can't remember why I felt that way. Perhaps it was because back then I was a workaholic who was so excited about the things I was doing I imagined these tasks would hold me back. Perhaps I saw domestic chores as a distraction from my forward progress. I can't say for sure.

BUT, the me of today finds these same mundane tasks to be comforting and satisfying. The routine is good for me. It keeps me moving despite my pain. It distracts me from my pain. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and purpose and helps me to feel like I'm contributing to the household even though I can't work. Plus, you always see results when you do these things. The dirty pile of dishes can turn into a clean tidy kitchen in just 10 or 15 minutes. It's immediate gratification.

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