Thursday, November 1, 2012

Zen Chores

Homemaking Thursday

I have embraced Zen chores.  I've always been the fast, fast, fast person. I seem to do everything fast. I dart around the kitchen when cooking. I dash around the house when sweeping. My fingers fly over the keys when typing. I think fast. I talk fast. I eat fast.

Then I spent the weekend with a friend in her home. We were chatting in her kitchen in the morning. I sat at the breakfast bar sipping my coffee while she prepared herself some tea. I soon became very aware of how slowly she moved. The 3 steps to the dishwasher to get a clean mug were sluggish. The 2 steps to the boiling kettle seemed to take even longer. She didn't even reach out for the pot holder until she was standing right in front of it!

I asked her if she felt all right.

"Of course, why?" she asked.

"Because you seem to be moving like someone who's in the midst of the worst flu ever."

She chuckled and replied, "I've noticed that you do everything so fast. The same as my sister-in-law. I just can't move that quickly. And I don't think I'd want to."

I considered her point. Where was I rushing off to? What was the purpose of the speed? So I paid attention to myself for a few days. When I wiped off the kitchen counters (very quickly) I was thinking "Why do I always have to be the one to wipe off the counters? Why can't he ever do it? Because he doesn't care if the counters are clean because he's a boy. There, now they're clean and he can just go and mess them up again." <harumph>

Instead of trying to change those negative thoughts I changed only the speed with which I performed these tasks. I found that by slowing down my thoughts became slower and more, well, Zen. And that's when I discovered that there was something to be enjoyed about the mundane repetitiveness that existed in these chores.

This is working for me. While I revert back to fast, fast, fast, I keep steering myself toward the Zen side of chores.


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