Update: On Why We Are All Sisyphus
I recently did a post On Why We Are All Sisyphus, where I continued the discussion from Alexander McCall Smith’s book, The Lost Art of Gratitude, about the sad, repetitive nature of certain cyclical tasks. Many of you responded and told me reasons why you are like Sisyphus. I loved your answers… there was talk of blow drying hair, making beds and even mother-in-laws!
I have tried to take my own advice from this post (you know… treat each dreaded task as a meditation, not wishing I was doing something better, etc.) and I have to say it has paid off significantly…
Primarily, I have noticed that my house is a lot tidier. When the mood strikes me, I love to clean, but this elusive mood does not strike every day. In fact, I generally dread the small tasks- such as cleaning the kitchen every night, sweeping the floor, the constant flow of laundry, etc.
Normally, in the kitchen, for example, after a late night if there are a few dishes left in the sink or some crumbs on the counter top I leave them there because I cannot think of anything more dreadful in that moment than cleaning them up...
The trouble is, when I wake up, and sleepily wander into the kitchen the next morning, I still can’t think of anything more dreadful than clearing it all up!
So this past week I have completely cleaned the kitchen every single night. It does not take more than 5 to 10 minutes. Instead of wishing that I was in bed or reading a book I have treated the cleaning of the kitchen as a meditation. I even hum while doing it! And in the morning it feels glorious to walk into a spotless, serene space.
And now… it’s time for the laundry…
I would love to know... how have you been approaching you Sisyphean tasks lately?
Sisyphus by Peter Vinton is pictured above
Peter Vinton's artist website can be found at http://www.petervintonjr.com