Woman tying her shoeI got up this morning and I didn’t feel well.  I wasn’t really sick, I just felt like something wasn’t right.  And then I went to the gym.  I didn’t want to go to the gym because I still didn’t feel well.  But I went and did my 90-minute workout anyway.  When I returned to my apartment, I saw the my husband had left the dishes for me to do.  I didn’t want to do the dishes but I did them anyway.  I still didn’t feel well.  Then I did the laundry.  I hate doing the laundry and the dishes but the fact is, they don’t do themselves.   No matter how hard I’ve tried to train them, the dishes just won’t clean themselves.  Some of you have a dishwasher and that’s great but if you don’t use it, then it’s worthless.  My laundry doesn’t hop from the basket into the washing machine, add the soap and turn the machine on.  It’s frustrating but these objects just won’t learn the routine.

When I was growing up, both my parents worked and during school holidays and weekends during school, I was always given a list of chores to do before I went out to play.  I always dreaded getting up and seeing that long note from my Mother with the list of chores neatly written.  I would procrastinate by watching a few cartoons but I knew if I wanted to go to the pool with my friends later in the day, I had to get to work.  The best part of doing the chores was the satisfaction of crossing each one off then leaving the finished list on the table for my Mother when she got home.  I don’t have children to do my chores.  Bugger!

As an adult, I hate doing chores just as much as I hated them when I was a child, especially when I don’t feel well.  I especially hate doing dishes!  But day after day, I do them anyway.  The reason I do my chores consistently is because it’s the price I pay for having dishes, clothes, and the other things I have.  I have to take care of them.  It’s a privilege and with ownership comes responsibility.  If you take care of your things, they last (well they used to last).  It’s also part of being an adult.

As an adult we are required to do a lot of things that we don’t like to do.  Taxes come to mind.  Dishes, laundry, balancing the checkbook – none of our chores as adults is particularly exciting and yet, we must do them anyway.  And when I say must, I really do mean it.  Think of the alternative.  Stop paying your taxes, balancing your bank account, washing your clothes or your dishes.  Maybe you have someone to do them for you.  You have an accountant to pay your taxes, until she makes a mistake then it’s your butt that’s in trouble with the authorities.  You have a maid wash the dishes and do the laundry until your favorite shirt gets a hole in it from a hot iron or the coffee mug given to you by your dearly departed grandmother that you’ve carried around for 30 years gets broken.  And just try and let your bank account operate by itself.  These days, you can be victim of credit card fraud, simple mistakes or be erroneously charged with all sorts of fees.  I know, it’s a bank.  They don’t make mistakes.  Right.  The question to ask yourself: Are you delegating or abdicating?

When we don’t take responsibility for our stuff, even the stuff we don’t like doing, it has a way of coming back and biting us.   Some self-development people call it eating the frog.  You know, you get up in the morning and the first thing you do is eat the frog – the thing you are trying to avoid doing.  But this is even more important than eating the frog.  It’s about consistency.  It’s about deliberate action.  It’s about responsibility.  It’s being an adult.

Whatever it is that you’re not doing because you hate doing it – start doing it anyway.  You’ll be amazed at how your mind becomes much more deliberate about taking action on other things!

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