Doing the Dishes
“Seriously work is so boring I have nothing to do.”
“Ew, why hasn’t anyone cleaned the bathroom yet?”
“The printer is out of paper again, why hasn’t anyone fixed it?”
We’ve all been there.
Messy bedroom, dishes everywhere, trash needs to go out. So many things need to be done and who can keep up with it all? It’s easy to get caught up in the routine of going to class, running to practice, driving to clinical, metroing to the internship, and waking up for work. Who has time for dishes? Who even likes doing the dishes? Do those people exist?*
As I stare at a mess (waiting for it to clean itself) I have to wonder: whether it’s at work, school, or in my own room, is there any value in menial, humdrum, boring tasks?
When I learned to perform these tasks without defiance, without friction, and without hesitation, I found that they changed the way I look at things. How? I started small. Cleaning things here and there (without being asked), finally putting away the clothes that have piled upon the chair, and straightening out my bed in the morning. Suddenly these things weren’t dreadful chores, they were keeping me a upbeat and making me feel put together. My thoughts were more in order, my things were where I could find them, my life felt less cluttered. Being organized and tidy was an accomplishment! It was small, but it was enough to inspire me to also accomplish the next task.
Eventually, I started to do small things for other people, as well. Keeping the work office clean, making sure the chairs were lined up, putting away the dishes that weren’t mine, cleaning the dorm common room. Even further, I started to ask people what I could do for them. Asking my boss, my parents, my roommates. Just saying, “Can I help?” or “Anything you need me to do?” Accomplishing the little things throughout my day helped me to become more aware, more mindful, and more appreciative of the things I can do to make my world easier and the lives of others a bit more enjoyable.Everyone wants to live in a world where they can say,
“Wow, I got so much done at work today!”,
“Thank God, the bathroom is so clean!”,
or “OMG who fixed the printer? That’s so nice!”.
So, yes! Do that thing that has been staring you in the face, but you haven’t done it yet. You know what it is. Take control of the little tasks in your day, and you’ll have the vigor to carry out the bigger ones without thinking twice. You will thank yourself for it, others will thank you for it, and you will not only have increased determination, but you will motivate the people around you to do the same.
You can’t climb mountains without first trekking through the weeds!
*(Confession: I do actually find some joy in doing dishes for fun.)