I used to not just do those two things...I would moan and groan before, during and after doing them. And then I learned that laying on my coach saying, "Ughhhhhhhhhh I dread getting up to do this..." didn't help anything. It just made things even worse once I verbalized it.
So I stopped doing that.
Dreading something doesn't help matters at all. It just locks us into a cycle of complaining and bellyaching that makes the mundane things we have to do seem all the more overwhelming.
Right now we are in a busy season of trying to get our yard in shape by March 31. Most of the yards in our neighborhood were really affected by the temperatures this winter and ours was also affected by some of our sprinkler heads not working. (In Florida this is essential, to water your yard, to fertilize it, also to protect it from bugs. I learned when I moved here that there is nothing quite like trying to keep a Florida yard alive and well. It's almost like caring for a pet or something. It's quite the ordeal.) Living in a deed restricted community with very strict HOA rules, we have expectations that must be followed. Now, if I had to do it over again I would never buy a house in a community with these rules, but...you live and learn and I'm not going to get sucked into the vortex of complaining over that either. The bottom line is this -- along with all of our other neighbors, we have to have our yard in shape by 3/31, or we'll get a letter from HOA about it and they can also fine a homeowner $1,000 or more and put a lien against your house. Yeah, these folks are straight up serious about you having everything from a perfectly green lawn, to your house and driveway power washed, your mailbox bleached on a regular basis (Yes. I. Am. Serious.) to whatever else they want to ask you to do short of giving them your firstborn child. So we have been working on this DAILY. It pretty much takes daily work to get something of this magnitude done in a few weeks time.
Larry and Eddie re-sodded half the yard yesterday. Jordan trimmed the palm trees and helped his Daddy edge. Todd came and seeded a lot of it weeks ago and while it worked quite well for the back yard the front was just going to need sod, at least if it was going to be in shape by 3/31. Todd and Larry fixed the sprinklers, and I have been diligently weeding, at least 2 hours or more a day except for Wednesdays and Sundays. Our beds are absolutely huge and we live on the corner house (another thing I'd change if I were to purchase another home! But again, not complaining, just an observation...)
I write all this to say that I understand what it's like to have mundane and monumental tasks to do and be oh so tempted to dread, and moan and complain. But dreading gets you nowhere, just like complaining. It just saps you of energy.
Instead of dreading, here's what I do now:
- Find ways to make mundane tasks more interesting and worthwhile. Get creative! I do different playlists of music on my Zune, and also download a lot of podcasts. The other day while I weeded for 3-4 hours I listened to Joyce Meyer's entire series on "Power Thoughts". It was just as the title says: POWERFUL! When I was done weeding, more than just half of one of my beds had been accomplished -- I had fed my spirit.
- When I clean house I play messages on TV from some of my favorite preachers that I have recorded on DVR. I crank it up and listen while I'm working.
- Sometimes I don't listen to anything at all and I take the time to pray while I'm doing house or yard work.
- I have a headset that goes with my phone. (We use these for work at NextJob all the time and they have really changed my everyday life/phone habits at home.) You can get one of these at Walmart or Target or anyplace like that in electronics or wherever the phone accessories are. I never talk on the phone for even 10 minutes without my headset on, because my hands are always busy doing something else. When it comes to work at NJ, I'm on my computer typing about whatever the person is talking to me about, taking notes. But when I'm working around the house inside, I put on my headset and return phone calls while I clean out a drawer, or sort the clothes, or put a load in to wash, unload the dishwasher, etc. If I am on a longer call I might even dust the entire house while I talk! When the phone rings and it's for me I automatically put on my headset and do other things while the person is talking to me, unless it's a work call that I am getting paid for that demands my full attention. Now that's redeeming the time!! :)
- My back and knees tend to really start hurting when I'm doing this much yardwork. In addition to being very thankful for Excedrin Back & Body, I always look forward to a soak in my tub with Moonlight Path. I put on some spa music, light the candles, and soak away. Use what you have -- improvise! Have your own little routine of something that you can have to look forward to when the work is done.
Whatever you do = this means dishes! weeding! diaper changes! cleaning up spills!
Do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus = if I'm doing it in the name of the Lord Jesus that means I'm not moaning and groaning about it.
Giving thanks = Be thankful in all that we say and do ! Be grateful! Even for the mundane!