Life, at times, seems to be made up of many necessary but tedious tasks – like cleaning and tidying up. Here she goes again! I can hear you say but it is so true. It is 2:27 pm and I’ve just sat down after preparing lunch, eating it and then what I detest the most, cleaning up. Now I’m writing about it. Ha! The tedium. I really want to have a nap now.

But I know the value of order and discipline. My nature is that I don’t really have a driving desire to do anything. If I have my druthers, I would probably be singing Freddy Fender’s, wasted days and wasted nights. I’m one of those people who needs inspiration, challenges and goals. I seldom plan. I might be in a neater, if not better place if I did. It is never too late. That’s what they tell me. I’m inspired to go that route now.

My plan is to have a plan for the day. I’ve been operating on it for a few weeks now. I’m doing the obvious, the hardest and most hated stuff. What is difficult for me is cleaning up and putting stuff away in a timely as well as neatly fashion. When I was in Grade 1 in Hong Kong, one of our assignment was to get a note from our parents. The note was to identify what they thought our worse trait was. Well, my mother thought mine was paper clutter. I dropped them wherever. It was like a show and tell. I was reprimanded by my teacher – very severely I felt at the time.

Obviously, it hadn’t helped me. I am still that clutterbug. I’m changing my ways though. I’m working on the dishes. After washing and drying, I’m painstakingly putting them away where they belong or finding a better place for them. You’re wondering, What’s so painful about that? Well, for me it is! It feels like I’m going against the grain or my nature. It’s like torture. I wonder if I have some kind of disorder.

Things are getting a little easier though. You can see some surface on the dining room table and my desk. I’m ridding my junk mail (hard copies and emails) faster. I’ve lived many days feeling as if I have something needed doing but don’t know what. FINALLY that dreaded feeling is gone. I’m feeling more at ease.

Hmm. I’m feeling more alert and focused. It helps to identify my problem areas. It is nice to see progress. That is why I come here each day to tap on the keyboard. Some days I have great thoughts, exciting news and projects. Some days I am sad or angry. Then there are the doldrums. There is a lot of it in life. When they are taken away from you, that is the time when you see what treasures they really are. So I don’t mind them so much. They are restful. Maybe it is what mindfulness is – learning to sit and stay in the mundane and tedious until they are no longer so. Until you see what jewels they are.


4 thoughts on “TEDIUM AND TEDIOUS

  1. This is what I love about your blog. Your addressing of real topics, as in: actual life. Like most everyone else, we spend a significant amount of our time in places I would describe as “the doldrums”. Life was not meant to be skydiving or race car driving 24/7, at least not for the people I know. I never thought of the intrinsic value of the doldrums as being restful, but you’re right, they are. To me, thinking about mindfulness during these times is taking a spiritual approach. Maybe I misunderstand your message, but it makes me think: accepting or even finding value in the mundane means understanding what a gift life is.

    1. Thanks Des. I struggle a lot with stuff. It’s in the writing when I put the words and thoughts on the page that I see solutions and how to do/see things better or differently. It’s taken me a very long time.


  2. I detest drying dishes. Far more than washing them or putting them away.
    & I resent any kind of tidying up, like I’m still rebelling against being told to tidy up as a kid. Even if someone is doing it for me I want to just slap their hands away & make them stop.
    For me mindfulness is sort of like you describe but rather than learning to stay in the tedium it’s about rediscovering everything, & doing so with a sense of adventure, newness which overcomes the tedium.

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