26 June 2006

Chop Wood, Carry Water

Before enlightenment chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. -Wu Li
It's been a fraught few weeks at work; horrible layoffs at Sun, and the new newsletter program launching. Guiding lots of people who are stressed out and unhappy and worried about their jobs through a brand new, highly-technical process. Joy. Not. I've been pulling 12 hour days, which is really saying a lot for me. And Jason's been looking concerned as my shot-o-clock quotient escallates (side note: no prize but lots of gratitude for the reader that submits the best mojito recipe!). Spent all day yesterday cleaning the house with a vengeance. Having spent the whole week feeling exhausted, it was a little surprising to find this huge well of energy. Course, slugging back a shot of Floradix before bed on Saturday might have helped. So. My home is in great shape. We're talking neatened, straightened, organized, aired, vacuumed, and mopped. Yes, mopped. The toys are neatly in bins and on shelves. The laundry is washed, line-dried, and folded away. The bed is made. Several feng shui cures got put up -- prism faceted crystals to move energy down the halls, white paper lanterns to juice my creativity area, red paper lanterns for the romance & relationship area. The pothos is cleaned, groomed, and re-hung. The shelves in the freaking refrigerator have been wiped down. After a week of nothing but slogging in the mind, it was *so good* to have a day of chop wood carry water, you know? I feel like my brain is totally refreshed, even though what I did was far from "restful" in the classical sense. It's far too easy, especially in a consumerist society, to get caught up in "recreational pursuits"; to be obsessed with resting and being rested, in such a way as profits someone. But sometimes, true restfulness is as close as the mop and broom.


At 6/26/2006 12:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sooooooooooo get the "chop wood, carry water" thing during stressful times - and I AIN'T no Martha, neither ;-) In college, my apartment was always the cleanest during finals week. There is something real there towards creating order/peaceful/calming space into your life when you've got other areas around you going kablooey.
Although we've got MOUNDS of yard revitalizing yet to do and DH has offered to have his teenage sisters come over to weed, I'm like, "you kidding???? - Weeding for me is THERAPY when I'm so busy. It's LITERALLY "grounding" and often the only thing that can so effectively bring me back to center when I'm feeling stressed.
Amazing when you really realize how housework and chores really CAN be a meditation if approached that way.
Peace and Mariachi Blessings, :-) P

At 6/26/2006 04:19:00 PM, Blogger SFWriter13 said...

There is something very calming and centering about doing tasks like that. I find that allows my mind to rest and yet I also feel like I've accomplished something useful.

At 6/26/2006 05:44:00 PM, Anonymous Mom2 said...

My Dad got me this morning, he had a bloody nose for 5 1/2 hours and didn't call me. Needless to say my trailer was clean in no time at all. I clean when stressed too. Allen says he can come home and tell how my day has been by how clean house is. lol too hot to pull weeds. lol

At 7/13/2006 08:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sweep and weed outdoor stairs, in my case.
To add a twist, I did that with one kid napping in the car (have to stay within watching distance) and the other in the carrier on one of said steps, watching me but getting increasingly cranky at not being able to help. We all had a stressful and hot week.
As Voltaire said in "Candide", after "the best of all possible worlds" breaks down: "Il faut cultiver notre jardin."
Western philosophy mirroring the East...
:-) FR


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