Serenity of the mundane

What chore is a pain but once started gives you a real sense of serenity?

For me, its folding laundry and doing dishes. Both activities are devoid of intellect, require repetitive movements, and need almost no skill. But for me, both provide a relaxation I can’t find in other activities.

I just finished folding a load of clothes. Christina was upstairs and I had the entire laundry room to myself. The hum of the dyers was the solitary interruption of the silence and all I could think about were the two piles of shirts, socks and underwear in front of me. I found myself taking my time, reveling in the fact that my brain was on vacation. There was comfort in the repeated motions. Snapping the shirt, tucking back the sleeves, and folding the shirt in half.

Doing dishes offers a similar reprieve. Staring at a kitchen full of dishes is daunting (we don’t have a dishwashing machine) and just getting started takes an effort. But once engaged, there is something about creating order out of the chaos. Slowly, but surely, plate by plate and glass by glass, making the space cleaner, knowing that when finished, the kitchen will feel new and organized. I often mix things up by using my iPod nano and rocking out, however this significantly disrupts the quiet of my mind. More often than not I leave the music behind.

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