Finding Joy in Daily Chores

Dear friend,

As I was scrolling through Pinterest, I came across a quote from someone who claimed that everyone naturally likes household chores so long as we don’t focus on how long it takes us to do them. Like many of you, my first reaction was a groan. There’s a reason people call them chores–they aren’t meant to be fun! The more I thought about the quote though, the more I realized that to some extent it is true….or, at the very least, it’s true for me.

The days when I come home from work and decide that I want to play video games or watch an episode of Good Witch are the days when I’m overwhelmed by tasks like taking out the trash, showering, cooking dinner, folding laundry, etc. The days where I decide I will avoid mindless entertainment and actively focus on finding joy in chores? Well, I do genuinely enjoy them. These are the days where I view chores as a form of entertainment–a way to use my hands to do good, honest, and simple work–the days where I stay fully in the present moment instead of dreaming about what else I could be doing instead.

In another blog, I mentioned the Cottagecore trend–the romanticizing of living a “simpler” life out in the country, more connected with nature, and the concept of slow living. Many of us romanticize the idea of baking bread from scratch, hanging laundry on a clothesline, plucking weeds from our veggie patch, and sitting by a roaring fire on a winter night. If we didn’t, Cottagecore (or even farmhouse style or Hygge) would never have become popular. Yet, how many of us try to live this way instead of consuming content produced by people who do?

Several of my friends have openly admitted that they don’t cook dinner during the week because the idea of doing anything other than flopping on the couch after work overwhelms them. While I empathize with the desire to be lazy and ease anxiety, I can’t help but wonder how so many of us have gotten to this point. Are we so stressed out and depressed that we physically can’t handle doing the basic things necessary to sustain a happy and healthy life? Or have we psyched ourselves out–feeling entitled to do nothing because the media tells us life is too hard and doing chores is no fun?

Honestly, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. We are living in stressful times, so we deserve some release in the form of whatever entertainment we choose (I truly do love watching TV). And some people’s lives and jobs are more burdensome than others. That being said, there are plenty of activities that are not inherently stressful that we allow ourselves to dread…which then makes us even more stressed out when and if we go to do them.

I encourage you to try enjoying chores as much as possible and see how your outlook and routines change. It’s ok if not everything we do makes us happy–I for one will never enjoy scrubbing the shower. But here’s the thing; wouldn’t you rather try to find the joy in everything instead of getting trapped in a cycle of sloth and dread? What do you have to lose?

For me, cooking was once a task that I dreaded that I now find incredibly relaxing and fulfilling–how lucky am I to have the opportunity to nourish my family with such a wide variety of foods? As we speak, there’s a loaf of wheat bread in the oven. In an hour or so, I’ll begin making soup.

Go ahead and groan at this post, but if you follow my advice, you may thank me later ;).

With love,

Paige E.

One thought on “Finding Joy in Daily Chores

  1. Love this, Paige! I’ve definitely been needing a little reframing of my emotions surrounding doing chores and other mundane things and this was the perfect thing to do so!

    Like

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