Friday, February 12

chores

yesterday i watched this documentary based around anne lamott's book bird by bird. bird by bird is a good book for writers who, like myself, don't have a lot of faith in their writing (which applies to probably every writer ever). the documentary reminded me of one of my favorite passages in the book:
“Maybe you really don’t want to write, maybe you want to read, but if you do want to write, life is going by very quickly and if you’re not careful you’re going to be 80 years old and have spent your life wishing that you’d gotten your work done. I think it’s good to consider where you’re going to be at 80. I believe at 80 we’re not going to wish we spent more time cleaning our houses. I believe at 80 we’re not going to wish we’d stayed out of warm tropical water more often ‘cause our thighs were not firm. Really no one cares if you get your writing done, it’s of no cosmic importance that you do. All I know that if it’s in you you’re going to get sick if you don’t let it out. And it’s your memories and your dreams and your versions of things and these characters who’ve selected you to be their typist. You’re their own Rosemary Woods. If you don’t have the luxury of writing 8 to 5, give up the 10 o’clock news. The 10 o’clock news only serves to ruin the next day’s newspaper. And to tell you about fires in areas you never go to, so what’s the point? So have you have an hour then, if you can budget the hour from 10 to 11, give up this one thing. It’s like God will meet you half way and be like, ‘Okay, cookie, let’s go.’”


it's the cleaning the house thing that really resonates with me, mainly because i already want to ignore the chores. life is really too short to worry about dishes, right? then there is the other side, the side that knows our lives in a shared household flow much better if the dishes are done, the laundry is folded. that dishes can, in fact, be part of your meditation. if you read the section from buddhism for mothers by sarah napthali that you can find here, it explains the idea more eloquently. if you don't feel like following the link, it basically says, when you wash the dishes, wash the dishes.

so what is the point of these rambles about the dishes? it's twofold: i am procrastinating because i don't want to do the dishes right now and i am reminding myself (and maybe you) that doing the dishes can be an opportunity if not overlooked. that right now is not the hour i am giving to my writing but if i do the dishes now, there will be time later. there has to be a balance with three kids and writing. though i wouldn't mind following this sort of mindset (also from the documentary):

“I used to not be able to work if there were dishes in the sink. Then I had a child and now I can work if there is a corpse in the sink. Because you’re always on borrowed time.


okay, to the dishes.

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