I was cleaning up the kitchen tonight. Around dinnertime, it had turned into a disaster zone. Once I emptied the dishwasher and refilled it, I sorted out the sink. I've done these things more than a few times before.
As I worked on the sink, I thought to myself that this kind of thing is a waste of time. How many more creative things could I be doing if I didn't have to get rid of yucky food debris after dinner? Or change the sheets. Or clean the bathroom. And this doesn't even take on the question of why I am the one who does these things. For now, it is fair in this household that I do them, I guess. It's just - these things are boring. Are they a waste of our time?
I can't answer that question definitively. If all the household tasks were handled somehow, we would have more time to do other things. In corporate offices downtown, people have jobs to perform - the cleaning of their workspaces is taken care of by others. I can see some advantages to being free of all such responsibilities.
I can also see that the simple duties we undertake in our homes lend rhythm to our lives. We can do many other things in a day but we return to these activities and they provide us some constancy, some grounding, some order. And that's good.
When we neglect these activities, we mess up not only our homes but also our lives. I don't want to do that. Sure, I'm not thrilled about fishing debris out of the kitchen sink but, after I've done that, I want to notice and appreciate that we have a sink, a kitchen, running water and a home. I want to keep on experiencing and enjoying the rhythm of life.