Wednesday, October 5, 2011


My life will always have dirty dishes.
If this sink can become
a place of contemplation,
let me learn constancy here.
Gunilla Norris

I am grateful for housework…mostly because of the first word, house. I’m grateful that I have a house. And I know and you know that it takes work to make a house livable, a place where people want to be.

It’s not going to clean itself. Someone’s got to do the laundry and prepare the food and all of those repetitive and mundane tasks and most days, I’m glad it’s me.

The current order of things around here is that Adam earns a living and I spend it create a home. If it weren’t me doing the housework, it would mean that I was either sick or incapacitated in some way. And that doesn’t sound fun.

What’s more, I like to think that when I create neat fragrant piles of laundry or when I set the scene for an orderly and appealing home, I am also expressing love to my family. According to Kahlil Gibran, "work is love made visible." (Adam if you are reading this, don’t think that on those days you come home to utter chaos that it means I don’t love you. Not true.)

I get help from the rest of my family in these tasks as well I should. (Sometimes I wish I could do it myself instead of coercing my children into it, but I feel a need to teach them to work and since this is the only work I have for them to practice on, we forge on.) Mostly, though, it’s up to me.

When I have the right attitude about my housework, it really is quite rewarding. From Sarah Ban Breathnach:


Creating a comfortable, beautiful, well-run home can be among our most satisfying accomplishments as well as an illuminating spiritual experience. Like sweat equity, channeling your time and creative energy closer to home will produce a big emotional return for yourself and those you love.

I love my little home. I love its smooth and textured surfaces. I love the memories and comforts it holds. I will take a little better care of it.

And be grateful for the opportunity.


Julianna said...

I love this post.

House work, not so much.

But this post... LOVE.

Jill said...

We must be on the same wave length because I wrote about work today too.
I loved both the quotes you shared. One of my friends gave me "The Prophet" for my birthday back when I was a senior in high school and I've had a fondness for Kahlil Gibran ever since.
Great post!

Olivia Cobian said...

I already suspected I ought to clean up a little. You confirmed that sneaking suspicion. Darn.

Marianne said...

Neat, fragrant piles of laundry. Wow. That almost makes me want to actually fold mine.


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