Monday, November 30, 2015
I Believe In Mundane Tasks
When people hear the word “mundane” they usually associate it with the word “boring”. I suppose that’s true. I do too. But I also associate “mundane” with “responsibility” and “consistency”. I associate it with “home” and “independence”. This is why I believe in doing mundane things.
Mundane tasks are worth far more than the boring reputation they receive. I learned basic responsibility from an early age by doing something as mundane and simple as cleaning the kitchen every night. I wasn’t tall enough to reach the sink yet, so my dad bought a step stool dubbed the “Sami Stool” specifically for me to wash the dishes. We didn’t have a dishwasher at the time, so this was no easy task. I followed a checklist posted on the fridge to make sure I didn’t forget any steps. Every night after dinner, I would put away the leftovers then wash and dry the dishes. I had to be sure to wash out the sink and run the garbage disposal. Then I would move on to wiping down the counter and stove and dining table. Finally I would sweep the floors. This daily routine gave me a sense of responsibility as a 6-year-old and taught me how to complete a task, no matter how boring, correctly the first time. Eventually my dad taught me how to cook and do laundry. Soon enough my sister and I were in charge of all the house work as well. While I hated it at the time, I know now just how grateful I should be for being taught how to do all of these mundane tasks and doing them often. I know that when I’m ready to totally live on my own, I will easily be able to take care of myself because I’ve been doing it for years.
When I moved away from home and into college, I found that the mundane tasks I had once begrudged doing, I craved. I missed doing the dishes and the laundry in my kitchen and with my machines. I missed vacuuming and dusting. I missed grocery shopping. I went home one weekend and I told my dad not to do the dishes because I wanted to do them. I told him wait for me to come home before going to the store because I wanted to make a list and push the shopping cart like I had done for so many years. It was the strangest feeling, missing these simple household chores. But it felt familiar. It reminded me of the normalcy in my life before I got to college and my world turned upside down.
Do I love doing chores all the time? No, of course not. But I do value the ability of such mundane tasks to prepare me to be on my own and to bring me home again.