I hate laundry. Not so much the washing, since a machine actually does that, but the managing, the folding, the putting away. In my spare room I have three piles of clean laundry and because of this, I now call it my dressing room since this is where I run from the shower to find clothes instead of my bedroom closet and dresser like a normal person (Are there any normal people out there?). Each time I walk past this dressing room, a bit of my soul dies at the site of the testament of my laziness and apathy. I have all of this uninterrupted time in the summer to fold and hang my clothes and when I do muster the energy and passion to clean this room, I feel light as a feather, and happy. So why do I procrastinate and withhold this feeling of levity and joy from myself? My inner brat proclaims that this is my summer and I’ll do what I want! Waiting for inspiration to begin a seemingly mundane task is a sad, sad state of affairs. Does anyone ever feel inspired to load their dishwasher? Why does it sometimes feel like it takes courage to tackle the laundry?
“Courage is like — it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: you get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.” — Marie Daly
After all of my years of adulting, and years of procrastinating, I had an epiphany last Tuesday: If you want something to work well and feel positive in your life, you must give it regular attention. Don’t laugh at me if your adulting brought you to this conclusion waaayyyyy sooner than it did me. I mean, we all know this, but it really hit me while I was attempting to tackle my so-called dressing room. What we avoid, grows and nags in our minds, sucking up precious energy. I’m talking about everything in your life. The towering laundry piles, the weeds in your garden, the science lesson that bombed, the new classroom management plan that failed, again. Relationships with friends, loved ones, our children, our students all need our regular attention. We know this, yet we waste our precious time bingeing on Netflix and social media or pouring ourselves into only one area of our lives, ignoring the rest. Where is the waste for you? We all waste our time in exquisitely specific ways. We must choose our priorities and then give them regular attention daily or weekly if we want to live richly and live well. I know this. You know this. So, what in your life, in your home, in your classroom or in your heart is bothering you? Put some energy toward it. Even a little. Spend some time with it daily until it feels better. Set a daily or weekly reminder in your phone so it is scheduled. Make courage a habit. Maybe, join me in setting or renewing this intention for the 2018/19 school year.
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