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I had never really done household chores till the pandemic forced me to – this is how I made the best out of my situation!
I despise doing the housework. I dislike it so much that I would rather stay in my office and log in extra hours, than do the household chores.
The reason why I would choose office work over household chores is because in my office I can at least sit down, sip coffee and take breaks in between. I also get paid for the hours I put in and most importantly, office work has a fixed timing. It ends.
But interestingly, life does not go according to our fancies. Growing up, household chores were never a part of my life. My parents believed that once I left the comfort of my home, I would naturally pick up the basic skills needed to survive like cooking, cleaning etc. I did pick up these skills but could never make friends with them.
Things however, went on smoothly because I always had the option of hiring help to do the multiple tasks that I abhorred. I thought I was managing things well, but then, the world changed because of the pandemic.
People became so cautious that even asking your domestic worker to come home was seen as a threat. So one fine day, just like that, out of nowhere, I found myself staring at an endless pile of housework (not to mention, this was besides the usual work I already had in my hands.)
I hated being in that situation. I didn’t even wish to start, forget about getting it done. But eventually I had to give in. It was a Herculean task for me. While washing the dishes and cleaning the bathtub, I often fantasized about the erstwhile days when I could just leave spoons in the sink or have a bubble bath without worrying about having to clean up later.
Then interestingly, one day as I was doing my chores around the house while over thinking my situation, a story that I had read long back, came to my mind.
The story goes something like this. There were three brothers who were travelling a great distance, carrying heavy luggage. As they went about their way, the first brother said, “I am so hungry.” A little while later, the second brother said “I am hungry too.” All this while, the youngest brother just kept on going, without saying a word. Finally when they reached their destination and sat down to eat, the youngest brother said – “I am hungry now.”
His brothers who had been wondering about his calm composure throughout the journey asked him with unmasked curiosity, “Tell us, we have journeyed so far, were you not hungry even once?”
To this the youngest brother replied – “What’s the point of wanting comfort when you know that it is not within your reach at the moment? It will only make you feel more miserable. This is why I chose not to be hungry when I knew there was no food. It made my journey bearable.”
This story reminded me of one of Oprah Winfrey‘s quotes – “Do what you have to do, till you can do what you want to do.”
It’s been more than six months now that I have been functioning without a household helper. Truly, choosing not to be hungry when there was no food has made my journey easier. I have realised that the situation was not as enormous as my over-thinking mind made it. When I chose to go with what needs to be done, I found it much easier.
This is a lesson that would not only stay with me during the pandemic but also throughout my life, every time I face a challenging situation. There’s actually no point thinking about the impossible. In any given situation we simply need to do what needs to be done and work for what we want. One day, if we are persistent enough, we will reach where we want to be without much trouble.
I still crave the pre-pandemic life with some help around the house, but for the time being ‘I am not hungry’. If the thought still persists, I like to follow in Scarlett O’Hara’s footsteps (from the book Gone with the Wind) and say to myself, “I will think about it another day.”
Picture Credits: Undrey/Getty Images via Canva Pro
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A Social Media Content Writer by profession. A writer by heart. A genuine foodie. Simple
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