We all have tasks or “chores” that we must complete on a daily basis. We all know that these “chores” suck. Most of the time I find myself rushing to throw in a load of laundry before I run out the door or quickly throwing my sink full of dishes into the automatic washer before company comes over. While these modern appliances are helpful, I have found that in my life when I simplify my everyday tasks and stop rushing, that I enjoy them more. Seriously? Enjoy housework? No way! 🙂
Way! By simplifying my tasks I mean by going back to the way things used to be done, when there was no rush and no quick fix. I must say that there is something fulfilling about doing work with my hands. While, yes, I do use my hands to toss dishes into the automatic washer it’s just not the same. I used to loathe these chores, the dishes go in, the dishes come out, the dishes get put into the cupboard. Its systematic, but put me in front of my sink with an open window in front of me, a cool breeze and a moment with my thoughts and suddenly I don’t hate it anymore. There is just something about simplifying my everyday tasks that I love.
After finding that I actually enjoy doing things “old school” so much better, I started looking for other ways to de-modernize my life. Each time I ditched a modern appliance and did things the way they used to be done, I found myself creating joy. Here are several of the ways I have changed my chores from mundane tasks into something I actually enjoy.
Line dried laundry – I mean, seriously, have you ever had line dried sheets on your bed? Mmm. The smell of the fresh air embedded in them is amazing. This year I had my husband build for me my very first clothes line and I am so glad he did. I love standing in the sun to hang up our clothes while the kids get a chance to play outside as I work. Plus, the kids have found out the joy of running and hiding between the hanging sheets. It is wonderful to have them laughing and playing with me as I get things around the house done. Line drying my clothing gives me a chance to appreciate being outdoors and use more of what nature has to offer. (Not to mention is saves in energy bills!)
Hand washing– After finding my enjoyment with line drying my clothes, I decided to start hand washing more of our clothing as well. While I still use the machine to wash heavily soiled items and things like jeans, I now have a separate basket for the things I’d like hand washed. One or twice a week I set aside time to get my hands sudsy. You can even take this outdoors and wash clothes in the sunshine with a large tub and a garden hose.
Grocery shopping at home– Growing food in a home garden is something that I started doing a couple of years ago and am still enamored with. Not only do I love watching our food take shape from a seed into something we can sit down and eat, but my kids are learning so much more about nutrition and good food by us doing this. Growing our own food teaches us patience, diligence, responsibility and more about the wonders of nature (plus, its better for us). Also, if you slow down and appreciate your garden you can actually find relaxation and meditation while weeding and caring for it. My garden is my therapy most days.
Preserving food for winter– I would still consider myself a novice at this. Last summer I made enough refrigerator pickles to feed an entire army (because that was all I knew how to make), but canning food is a learning experience and gives you such a sense of accomplishment when you are done. It’s hard to explain, but its empowering.
Slow cooking is another daily task that I have grown to love. By slow cooking I don’t mean using my crockpot, I mean cooking and baking with real ingredients and from basic ingredients. You know using things like, eggs, butter, milk and fresh from the garden ingredients. By slowing down in the kitchen I am enjoying the process of cooking so much more. My meals have also improved, I’ve opened myself up to being more adventurous and I’ve taught myself several new culinary skills. However, the best reward from slow cooking is being able to teach my children how to be affluent in the kitchen with me. It is a great bonding time that we share.
Going back and doing these things in a basic manner has allowed me to slow down, breathe deeper and calm my spirit all while my tasks are getting done. Sometimes I cant help but feel like all of these modern appliances are actually removing the joy out of life. It’s all about getting things done, rushing on to the next thing and while we always find ourselves in a hurry with so much to do, we never actually feel like we’ve gotten anything done. It’s time to slow down and appreciate the small things in our lives.
I know what you might be thinking “I don’t have time for that”. Well, I don’t really either. I work two jobs (one outside of the home) and I am responsible for the housework and family meals at the same time. I have a lot going on, all of the time. However, my busy schedule may actually be the reason why I enjoy slowing down with my chores so much. It has to be done anyways, right? Why not enjoy it.
What other daily tasks do you turn away from modern appliances with? Do you have something that you’d much rather put your elbow grease into instead of use modern technology? Tell me about it.