Most of the time I am pretty content living here in Africa. I really have everything I need and since moving to South Africa things are even more readily available.
I miss my family and friends – those things are irreplaceable. And I miss my home church. We got to Skype (video) into the services last weekend for the announcement that we’ll be planting The Life Church Durban. That was so fun! But it made us miss being there. (Check out our other blog for more info about that)
But the thing I really miss the most is not sweet and tender, but practical and efficient…my dishwasher. I really didn’t even like rinsing the dishes and sticking them in there when I lived back in the States, but that seems like such a little chore when compared to hand washing, rinsing and drying dishes. I know there are plenty of people in the States who don’t have automatic dishwashers, but I was never one of them. (Go ahead and call me spoiled-I know) I even have a friend whose mother’s dishwasher dry-rotted because she preferred hand washing! I wish I could get there.
So I’m about to go and tackle the pile of dishes in my kitchen. I’m trying to keep a good attitude.
Wrote that first part about a week ago…attitude really is everything! I’ve turned over a new leaf regarding this dreaded chore and it’s not so bad. I’ve decided apply some tactics that will work with anything you don’t want to do, but really have to:
1. Tackle it in small bits – I hated it so I would avoid the kitchen till the dishes from the whole day would pile up and I would spend SO LONG washing! But if I just go ahead and wash after each meal, it takes me less than 15 minutes each time.Anything you are dreading can be better taken in small bits. A friend once told me, “You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time.”
2. Don’t put it off – Do it right then! I got a great tip about keeping your kitchen clean from Simple Mom about cleaning as you. I’m not there yet, but I’m trying. Procrastination can make any task grow. Washing dishes can require a lot more elbow grease if the food has dried on the dishes. There are a lot of other things that can be harder once they’ve been sitting there for a while – bills can pile up and add finance charges, stains on clothes can become permanent if not washed, or cars will not run right with neglect – it’s much better to do it when it needs to get done.
3. Find things to enjoy while doing the chore – With my attitude adjusted, I decided to take advantage of the mundane task and let it serve a double purpose. I can spend time praying. I can put up Bible verses on note cards hung in front of the sink so I can practice memorizing. I can listen to podcasts and get encouraged and filled up! It makes the chore fly by and instead pouting, I’m enriching myself.
What chore do you dread… and how do you make it more bearable?