There are two chores that I actually really really enjoy! Here’s why they’re so beneficial for a creative life –
And we all live a creative life, by the way!
We might not paint, draw, knit or write poetry, but life is creative. Every time you make a dish in the kitchen and every game that you play with your children your creativity’s in action. The fact that you have children is creative! (And for those who haven’t, they have opportunities to express their creativity in other ways…)
So what has the housework got to do with creativity?! They’re surely much more tiresome than pleasurable creative pursuits…and on one hand I couldn’t agree more!
In our house we outsource almost all of our cleaning services. This allows us to support an economy on a community level, and it enables us to spend our ‘free time’ engaged in activities that we actually enjoy. Everyone wins.
However, the one chore that I do daily, is wash up. And frankly, I love it!
Getting creative with dish washing
I haven’t had a dishwasher for longer than I can remember and although I recall those easy, throw-it-in-the-dishwasher-days fondly, the act of washing up serves two purposes.
Firstly it facilitates my keen desire to generate order, and do a thorough job-well-done! (You might say that it fulfils a minor neurotic bent – perhaps! ; ) A well stacked pile of clean dishes is a delight in my eyes (simple pleasures…), but it serves a much greater purpose – it’s completely mindless.
It’s a job that requires a bare minimum of mental input, and therefore my brain loves it. This in itself gives it the opportunity to barely be stimulated…and with that mental space, it can form the links to many, varied aspects of the day. It gives us a moment of reflective time; it can allow us to ponder on interactions, to unfold our opinions on complex matters, or to complete thought-forms from the day…it can allow our greatest insights to come to the surface, and this, in turn, stimulates news ideas.
Ideas, thoughts, flashes of inspiration and genius all arise out of this space. This happens when we allow the brain some down-time, yet when we’re endlessly, mindlessly scrolling, or ‘numbing out’ in front of another box set, these moments of inspired insight don’t happen….it’s as if the brain needs to be on low-power mode – but we still need to be moving and gently active! Movement creates change…always.
And it’s for these reasons that I have a love affair with the washing up.
(I also get to gaze out for the window and watch the birds…a double whammy of wonderfulness and connection to the natural world.)
The second chore that I adore ; ) and really rather relish is going to get the car washed.
Serving a purpose beyond a clean car
Now, back in the day, I actually used to enjoy cleaning the car myself – again for its therapeutic benefits, and see the point above about a job-well-done!
Nowadays, time feels more precious, and I’d rather go out for a run than spend that time labouring with the chammy-leather. What’s more, there’s an army of chaps down the road who do a very thorough car wash indeed and again it supports a local service.
Here’s why I love it so much – because I’ve turned it into a self-serving (or at least, purpose-serving) activity). A huge number of the blogs that you read (although ironically not this one!) are written while I’m waiting for the car to be valeted.
Again it’s about space. It’s about designating a particular time and specific space for a job that needs doing (ie. the car is invariably very much in need of a clean by the time I take it!), and filling that time in a way that’s productive and also stimulating – a slight change of scenery, a little escape from the office, and the knowledge that I’m going to get back in the car not only with a completed post, but also with a car that runs a little happier because it’s been lathered and loved! ; )
I actually save up thought-forms until the car is dirty enough that I can process them! ; )
Chores, hey, they don’t have to choresome! Not if they’re reframed into something useful (rather than an endless menial and mundane exercise…).
I guess it’s like going for a run, isn’t it? It could be a boring old chore to stay fit…or it could be a complete body and mind mental exploration – every time!?
I always think that we have the opportunity to reframe some such job or task and reframe it into something positive and purpose-serving…we just have to look for it!