I read Gretchen Rubin's blog on a regular basic… it is on happiness … that is actually after reading her book "The Happiness Project" that I started writing my blog with the purpose of cultivating positive memories.
So Sunday night I read an old post on shared work. She posted it on October 9, 2013
"Resentful? Overworked? Face These Painful Facts about Shared Work." at
Wow! So true!
It resonated with my feelings and also what I am trying to change about myself - not change others, change my perception.
She pointed out the following facts - and here is my reflection on the topic:
Fact 1- Work done by other people sounds easy.
Well - I agree to some extent. The opposite is also true - there are jobs that I don't want to do because I know (or I think I know) how hard it is. I am grateful that Jeff is doing the yard work - this is not a difficult job (we have a small yard now) but it takes time. In fact, I think this is a chore that our teenager (17)/young adult(26) kids could have easily undertake but… I think it can also be a stress reliever. Did I just say that our yard work is easy? Sorry DH - you put a lot of energy in this and I like looking at the results. Thanks for doing it.
I love that you take care of our house.
Fact 2: When you’re doing a job that benefits other people, it’s easy to assume that they feel conscious of the fact that you’re doing this work—that they should feel grateful, and that they should and do feel guilty about not helping you. The more you do it, the less likely it is that someone will do it.
So I am trying to stop cleaning the mess that my kids are making in the kitchen… and surprise, the kids know that it drives me crazy … and they put the dishes away - okay it is not always done immediately - almost midnight when we are all trying to sleep is not ideal, but it is actually nice in the morning to prepare breakfast without having to find a clean spot on the counter!) Communication - I do not assume anymore that my daughters understand what I am doing for them, I tell them and I am clear with what I expect in return (such as keep common areas clear!)
On this note - my meditation challenge (on Day 12/21 Loving with Gratitude) - mindfulness has opened my heart to the little gesture of Thanks that I receive at home. ... and how much something as simple as going for a walk holding hands makes it so much better!
I went for our regular walk at the lake alone this morning and the simple fact that I was by myself made me realized how important it is to me to spend time truly connecting... The only advantage I can find to a walk alone is the fact that Jeff does not have to wait for me to be done taking pictures!
Also, I like making Jeff's lunch - I put extra care to it and try to make it good… Today, he called me at home when he was having his lunch to let me know how much he likes it!
Fact 3: It’s hard to avoid “unconscious overclaiming".
I am actually very happy that I don’t have to do it all. Jeff does a lot too… At times, I am just resentful of how oblivious our kids are to what we do for them. I recall having 3 jobs to pay for my education and just afford a living as I was in College and University. Sometimes it is hard to find balance between looking after them and making sure that they understand that you have to contribute and make an effort to get what you want. The best part about my posting next year is the fact that it will be my job to go to school (Military College) for a year. This posting is something many superior officers compete for - I did not. I am happy about the opportunity but it also comes with a price: I will not be home. The good side, my home is actually not far from the staff college so the weekend commute won’t be that bad for me (some of my colleagues will actually drive more than 5 hours one-way to see their family each week and others will only see them during long weekends). In order to be home worry free, I know I will have to spend extra hours working and studying during the week so I can enjoy it. I know it will be an adjustment for everyone, especially Maggie who will be finishing HS. That might open her eyes on what I was doing for her - she might miss her mommy! In the meantime, I am trying to spend quality time with her. Today, we had lunch together… (eggs with sweet potatoes and goat cheese // perogies)
I know I will find it quiet by myself. I will miss home… but I might be a better mom/wife… Happier to be home instead of wanting to go away from all the little things that I find annoying!
Fact 4: Taking turns is easier than sharing.
If you go grocery shopping with your kid or spouse, have you tried to push the cart together! It is much easier to take turns or let one of the two do the job. In my opinion, this fact is almost true! I really don’t mind when Jeff and I are sharing shoveling the driveway… because we work at it equally hard! Sharing, at times, means that one is carrying most of the load… On this, between Jeff and I, we agree that some chores are better done by one of us. I don’t gather up the camping stuff - he does; I pack the lunches and snacks for the road.
Maybe that reflects the fact number 5!
Fact 5: The person who cares the most will often end up doing a task.
True! I care about outer order because it makes me feel calmer. It is not true for everyone - Maggie does not mind the chaos she creates in her bedroom, the den, her bathroom and the basement - yeah, she has a lot of space. She is artistic and creates costumes, which involves space however there is a lot of stuff that she does not need to leave all over the place. It bothers me, so at times (too often) I do the cleaning up! Which bring us to…
Fact 6. If you want someone else to do a task, don’t do it yourself.
This one will be easy once I am not in the house! OR back to fact 5 - the person who cares the most will do the task!!! See, I care (too much) about how we pack the suitcase; so I pack the suitcase! I don’t want Jeff to do it and he knows it. This is why he has all his clothes ready and I arrange it in the suitcase; then he takes care of putting all the suitcases in the trunk! We have our system and it works.
Suitcase is packed - we are almost ready for Manitoba!
No progress report - for tonight... how about some fun facts !?!
In my suitcase - Beside clothes and toiletries, I am taking with me my yoga journal - I draw in it.
In the lunch bag - The boys will have a sandwich; I will have an overnight oatmeal (1/3 C Dry oatmeal, 1 C Coconut Water, 1 tbsp Dry coconut, 1 banana, 100 gr yogurt).
For the drive - I carry an exercise ball (I use it to roll off the tension!)
… and my kobo (for reading material and also to keep track of my food)
For my zen - I found a free app : "Stop Breathe and Think"... it is a cool tool to meditate. I got my first badge!
Interesting Quote : " The more self-control one area of your life is eating up, the less self-control you'll have to deal with other areas" ~ Overcoming Food Addiction: How to Stop Binge Eating.
Sthira Sukahm Asanam
- Dandasana or Staff Pose*.
P.S. Sitting still can be a challenge -
Sthira = steady, stable, motionless, Sukham = comfortable, ease filled, Asanam = seat, posture, connection to this Earth.
*Actually sitting straight with legs extended is a challenge for me now (still working on strengthening my core) - amazing how you notice how much strength and effort is required once you loose the ability to do it with ease. To do Dandasana (staff pose), you need to flex at the hips - obvious
, to engage the quads and the core. Your hamstrings are stretching, the front of your torso is lengthening. To elongate and extend the energy - dorsiflex the feet (toes toward your nose - pressing through your hells) and think tall.
Breathe and extra points (
) for a