Let’s face it: Chores suck.
I know there are so many things to do around the house (like that fridge I haven’t cleaned in… ever? Oops.) but there are so many things I’d rather do. Like read, or play with A, or heck, even get ahead on some work.
I’ve tried lots of ways to make them better. Giving myself a reward afterward sometimes helps, but I have no discipline apparently, and sometimes say “well, I did my best,” and take my reward anyway. Same with “prewarding” myself with the intention of doing the thing I don’t want to do later: it’s just not happening.
On December 7th, 1941, just before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the crew of the USS Nevada was gathered for the presentation of colors. The crew saluted the flag as the Star Spangled Banner played on a bugle. It was just like any other day. Midway through, however, the first Japanese planes appeared and the attack of the “day that will live in infamy” began. As enemy fire tore through the flag they loved, however, the crew was unmoved.
At a time any of us might have ignored tradition and run for cover, these sailors stood firm. Even as hell rained down on them, they were determined to show the flag the respect it deserved and would not be shaken. Only when the anthem was over did they man their weapons.
Over the years, I’ve tried to be better about keeping a consistently clean house and many (many) of my attempts have failed.
I tried scheduling cleaning projects over the week: Mopping Mondays, Toilet Tuesdays, that kind of thing. It worked for a few days, then I felt annoyed that I’d pre-committed myself to projects each day without any flexibility, so I gave that up.
I tried planning to do it all every Saturday, which worked great before I had kids but now, ha! Not going to happen. Because if I tried to devote one day to cleaning the whole apartment, you can bet that would be the day A would get super sick and we’d spend the day watching Finding Nemo on repeat.
I just couldn’t find the sweet spot of having the right amount of weekly tasks without overloading my days ahead of time.