I am a terrible housekeeper. I just don’t like cleaning. Among my many faults, people-pleasing is not one of them. This is unfortunate, because my primary role for the last 15 years or so has been that of the stay-at-home mom.
This is an issue I’ve addressed over and over and over. I’ve written about it in 4th steps, I’ve talked to therapists, I’ve tried different methods such as Fly Lady and hired a personal organizer (who helped phenomenally). Whatever I did, that underlying (and sometimes overwhelming) dread of having to do housework never left.
I recently saw a meme that said, “I’ve always loved butterflies because they remind us that it’s never too late to transform ourselves.” Perhaps something might shift.
In my meditation practice this morning, I recited, one more time, “Like waves in the ocean all things are impermanent. I will accept whatever happens and make it my friend.“
It suddenly struck me, my false belief is that the dishes will magically stay clean! I will go a while, keeping up with this ever-so-mundane chore, then get frustrated that, no matter how hard I work, everything just gets dirty again. I have this ridiculous expectation that there will be a point where I will be “Done.”
But, the impermanence of the clean dish defies my desperate wishes. Perhaps a slight attitude shift will help me. I’ve been stuck in this pointless grasping at the idea that housework is a one-and-done situation.
Perhaps if I can view the mounting dirty dishes as just a wave in the ocean and make it my friend, my stress, agitation, frustration, and anger about constantly doing dishes will abate. I could approach this chore like greeting a dear person I hadn’t seen in a while….
Or, at least maybe I won’t be so snappish when I leave the kitchen spotless only to return less than an hour later and find five plates, two bowls, countless silverware and cups and empty cereal boxes and yogurt containers and massive piles of god-knows-what spread out all over the counter, stove, top of microwave, and any other flat surface.