So why, given that I know I should have routines and schedules and systematic ways of getting things done, do I not do that? Something in me resists. Some profoundly optimistic part of me believes that the sisyphean nature of household tasks, and indeed of life in general, will eventually go away. Some profoundly impatient part of me cannot stand doing the same thing twice, and wants to make a completely unfamiliar recipe when company is coming for dinner, hates to practice the piano, and absolutely refuses to knit the same pattern twice even though next time the baby sweater will probably come out right.* So when my super-ego says, "from now on we're wiping down the bathroom counters every morning, and we're not going to leave the house until we've started a load of laundry..." my id is behind its back mouthing "bo-ring!"
But there are three things that I have managed to routinize, and I recommend them highly:
1) Loyal readers know how I feel about dishwasher-emptying. Flylady thinks the secret is a shiny sink and lace-up shoes, but I know that the empty dishwasher, like the listening ear, the open mind and the expansive heart, is essential to a successful life.
2) Daily Mass. For others at-home prayer or meditation may serve the same purpose, but I love to be with other worshipers, in a silence that is very different from the silence of my house, in a space designed for worship. Sometimes I suspect that I do more thinking in that 30 minutes than in the whole rest of the day. Besides, it gets me out the door for
3) Exercise. I almost never feel like doing it, and I am always very glad I did.
*But I have absolutely no problem eating the same breakfast every day, or reading the same books over and over. So repetitive consumption is no problem, but repetitive production is.