Just five minutes…

Something very strange has been happening in my house. Bizarre even. I have actually been enjoying… the washing up.

In case you don’t know, domestic goddess I am not. More like reluctant housewife.

So I ran out of dishwasher tablets and decided to wait until the next weekly shop to restock.

Normally I’m frantically clearing the table, loading the dishwasher, tripping over the laundry, filing a mental note of ‘yet another thing I have to do’, dropping something sticky or saucy on something important that I should have cleared away earlier, thinking about all the things I want to get done before and after the kids go to bed, waiting for that last cup in the evening to go in then forgetting to put the darned thing on, and screaming in the morning when I open it up and find everything still needs washing.

In contrast I’ve found myself in the midst of soapy bubbles, warm tea towels and rubber gloves, quite calm actually. And relaxed. In fact, I realized I was actually quite enjoying this.

So what’s that all about?

The difference was, I had set aside the time to do it. I realized it wasn’t going to be a five minute job, so I cleared some space, moved the laundry baskets out of the way, got the rubber gloves on and proceeded.

  • I wasn’t in a rush, I accepted the job was going to take some time, so I just got on with it.
  • I didn’t get that frustration of “this should only take me five minutes – I should be finished by now!”
  • Rather than racing ahead in my mind to what’s next, my mind stayed in the present and enjoyed having the door open to the garden, and watching the kids playing on the trampoline.

Wow, what a difference.

It’s simple when you think about it – give yourself time to do what you are doing.

To not do so would be like asking a runner or a swimmer to shorten their lap times by not breathing at all. But how often do we say “I’ll just do this…” without actually giving ourselves the time to do it? How many five minute jobs actually take five minutes? And how much time and energy do we then waste on stress and frustration?

My weekly shop has now arrived. Dishwasher tablets have been restocked. The box is still sealed and part of me doesn’t want to open it – this lesson in taking time is one I’m quite enjoying!

What do you think? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.

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