The New Year had me thinking a lot about goals, values, ambitions, motivations, life, and how excited I was to wear my new fuzzy socks. With all the talk of “look how far you’ve come in a year” and “can you believe that was only 1 year ago” I found myself even more reflective and nearly bubbling over with blog ideas – two of which involved writing about goals and values.
At my old job, we had a list of working norms – kind of like guiding values – and each day at our morning huddle, we would say what working norm we were focusing on that day. I loved that idea. I mean, obviously, in theory, you were living into every positive attribute every day you walked into the office, but how nice it was to really put your heart and soul behind one guiding value each week.
For this reason, I’ve decided to dedicate a new series of “Res” posts to my own kind of working norms – my own mini-resolutions. You don’t have to buy into any of these. You don’t have to make your own. But maybe at some point, it’ll make you think about what it would look like to radically change your life one week at a time.
Res 33: It’s Not a Chore; It’s an Adventure
When I was little, I loved going to the laundromat. See, we had a washer and dryer in our house, but if it was broken or if we had something really big to wash – like a heavy comforter or a bunch of winter jackets, we would go to the laundromat.
Because it was a rarity, it became a special occasion in my mind. The laundromat in my hometown was connected to a Dunkin Donuts. My mother and I would put our laundry in the machine and then walk through the side door into the heavenly aroma of fresh donuts and muffins. We’d each buy a donut, typically blueberry cake and marble frosted and then eat our breakfast while watching the laundry spin round and round.
I loved going to the laundromat. It always felt like some grand adventure where anything was possible. Maybe you’d be mesmerized by the spinning colors of fabric against soap. Maybe there would be nobody there and you’d take your pick of the machines. Maybe, just maybe, you’d finally venture out into the world of jelly-filled donuts.
The world seemed endless at the laundromat.
Resolution #33: It’s Not a Chore; It’s an Adventure
Yesterday, I put my laundry in the machine and walked away to write today’s blog. I had my theme picked out in my head and a few lines I wanted to include typed into the “notes” section of my phone. But as I pressed “start” on the machine and watched the soap fill the tub, I momentarily remembered what it was like to be 8 years old, chocolate frosting and sprinkles smeared across my face.
I remembered what it was like to sit across from my mother and feel like I was on some important grown up trip. I remembered how much I loved the laundromat and my time spent there.
And as I sat down to write, I immediately changed directions as I wondered how often I see things as endless now. I started the morning with a clear plan. Run, get groceries, eat breakfast, do laundry, and so on and so on. Laundry was just another chore on my chaotic To-Do list.
When I was younger, going to the laundromat wasn’t a matter of “having to,” it was a matter of “getting to.” I am lucky enough to go on this adventure. I am so happy I get to do this thing.
What if we reframed all of our chores that way? I was reading an article that talked about how cleaning can be fun, especially when you involve young children. You make a game out of sweeping. You make a race out of dusting. You turn cleaning up toys into a competitive and fun ordeal.
Why did we stop doing that? Isn’t grocery shopping more fun if you have someone time you? Isn’t cleaning more exciting when you dance along to loud music?
I get it. Our lives are busy and most people would rather see a movie with friends than clean the bathroom. But what if we could reframe things to make them a little more enjoyable, a little easier, and a little less like work.
As I switched my laundry from the washer to the dryer, I thought about how lucky I was to be able to run, get groceries, eat a healthy breakfast, and do my laundry. I thought about what an adventure I might yet have today and how maybe, just maybe, the possibilities were endless.