Friday, July 10, 2009

The Joy in Chores

It's really quite nice to see the tomatoes and the beans and the baby grass thriving because of your diligent daily attention to watering them. It's satisfying to spend an hour in the sun clearing all the red cherries off the cherry tree. It's enjoyable to sit in front of a movie while pitting 6-7 quarts worth of cherries. It smells luscious when you're folding the warm clothes as you take them down from the clothesline. These mundane chores really can be pleasurable in and of themselves.

What sucks the pleasure right out of these tasks is the voices telling us all the other things we should be doing, all the things we're neglecting while we tend to simple things like bush beans and apple trees and dirty socks. The chores like weeding the garden become the impediments to the Important Things we want to tackle. The pressure to Do More squelches the honest satisfaction that would otherwise come from making dinner or mowing the lawn.

How do we learn to shut our ears to the urging to do more, be more involved, serve beyond our capacity?


  1. Is this something that women have a problem with more than me? I never remember my dad thinking that way, but I bet mom would agree with you 100%. And now with Katie and me, I know that there are things that need to be done, but if we don't get something finished one day - eh, okay, you do it the next. No biggie. But I think Katie as a "DO MORE" voice always running in her head...

  2. Edit: That question should read "Is this something the women have a problem more than MEN?