truth: household chores bore me. they are like chisels slowly chipping away at my foundation of creativity. they are fleas in my bed of contentment. they are rusty spots consuming my sense of freedom. they are mold on my ceiling. they are holes in my tires.
in short, i do not like doing them.
yes, they are boring and repetitive. more than that, they suck time that i would rather use to write a novel, dance wild and loud, walk fast down green trails, plant a garden to feed me, dream about the future, work on projects that give back to me as much as i give to them.
work? chores are work. yes, but they are boring work. while it can be rewarding to vacuuuum a rug and see all the parakeet feathers and lego pieces disappear (especially if you use a shop vac because you can suck up much bigger items too like avocado skins, broken pencils and things-you-can-no-longer-identify), the act of vacuuummming becomes boring because it has to be done so often. by me. many times a week.
yes, the gripe goes to a deeper level here. it's not the just the hum-drum factors, it's the no-fair factor too. in the part of my mind that does emotional math -you have one too- if there are four people peeing in a toilet, that means each person cleans the toilet once a week. this is so reasonable to me, that my emotional math brain says i should only have to state this one time - everyone will see the logic- including the 4 year old and voila! toilet cleaning chore has been reduced by 75%, happiness factor increased exponentially more.
while i certainly don't do all the chores around the house i do enough to feel resentful about it at times. typically when this begins to happen, i step back. i do less and it passes. sometimes i don't even see the gray haze drop into my heart. i just keep doing stuff i don't really want to do.
until a sign appears.
i'm big on signs. i count the number of birds in a flock as it flies over my head. i count twice to make sure i get it right, then i see if that number reminds me of something or i add the digits of the number together. ok, i do both. thirteen geese. small son was born on the 13th. 1+3=4. four directions. four corners. family of four.
i also flip open to random pages of books to see what words the world is offering.
i turn on the radio to random stations (am often rewarded by Journey or Bon Jovi more often than is statistically possible).
i pull tarot cards.
i find rocks.
recently i was sweeping. a chore made tolerable by the rhythm and my magical broom purchased at the Oregon County Fair four years ago. here's how i sweep. i sweep everything that is on the floor, clothes-toys-books, into a big pile and then i yell "does anybody want any of this?" my boys come scampering over. they paw through the dusty pile and retrieve marbles, coins, hair ties, and such. i stop them from eating anything, and i rarely offer any reasoning to keep anything they haven't self-selected. i scan the pile for earrings and it all goes into the black metal dust pan. then i dump into the trash or recycling depending on how green i feel.
but this time- one thing stuck to the dust pan. i shook. still there. i look down, squinting since i broke my glasses, i see a small, white rectangular magnet. it's one of those popular poetry magnets. i got a set as free swag from a company we sell where i work. it's all inspirational words for women. i thought i had given the set away until i found them on the fridge, apparently this one had left the nest.
now, i could stop the story here and you'd get it. you'd be happy and think "cute."
but i couldn't. the message was too trite. "delight in taking care of your family. delight in having a floor to sweep. delight in your life of domestic bliss."
i thought- maybe the meaning of delight held more for me. i attempted to decode the word by trying to remember what the prefix "de" means. but i couldn't...so i thought of words that have that prefix:
when i tried to apply the implied mean to "delight" i kept coming up short. "de" in defrost seems to imply to "do away with the frost" so how does that translate to "delight?" and what is the inspirational sign as it applies to sweeping? decode- you are breaking apart the code. this also implies kind of a negative, but accurate definition if i were to assume that "delight" means taking the light away and that's what chores do to me.
i know that i could have gooooooggled it, but that pretty much would have sucked the soul out of my quest.
i was resigned to just going back to the original cute ending. in fact, that's what i was going to do until i started to type. then i realized what "delight" referred to wasn't the typical "something that brings you joy,"
it's about bootsy collins, paisley pants, platform shoes and slide whistles. you feel me?
groove is in the heart.
and i think maybe she sings something about a succotash.
then the sign appears.
basically, no matter what damn chore i am doing, no matter how damn often i do it. if i blast Deee-Lite i will enjoy the chore. i will dance, i will sing, i will do that little move with the leg kick, head tilt, hands swing. and i will do my best to force anyone around me to do it with me.
because the groove is always in the heart- even when my hands are in the cold dish water trying to unclog the beans before they ferment there and bring the summer swarm of fruit flies.