The Real Reason I Love Doing The Dishes!

Sometimes, I also process uncomfortable thoughts somewhere in between and scrub a little more than necessary. The physical act of scrubbing brings me peace. Finally, everything is clean and I am more at peace.

A few years ago, I took a quiz (for I am that crazy personality quiz freak ) named, “Which Greek Goddess are you?” The answer in front of my eyes, asking to be shared, was puzzling.

I was a mix of Persephone and Hestia. Persephone, I totally understand for I have a depressive, neurotic personality. But Hestia? The goddess of hearth and home? I did not have a single domestic bone in my body! This is what this site says about Hestia.

Hestia, the goddess of all things domestic

“Hestia, as keeper of the hearth, goes about her tasks in a calm, centered, focused manner – whether she is sweeping or doing laundry, she is fully engaged, focusing on her task at hand – like a meditation – and not at all concerned about the clock or what she will be doing next. She experiences a timeless calm in the midst of her immediate tasks.”

Ha, indeed. I wondered if these quizzes were a joke, which in all probability, they are. Who wants to identify themselves with a Greek goddess anyway? However, I was still intrigued. Did I deny my domestic instincts because they would be considered uncool? Perhaps, I feared coming across as a “normal” person?

I thought some more. No, I was not some organisation freak or a germaphobe or a person who believed “women should stay at home”. I hate cleaning or cooking, not with a purple passion, but enough to not do some of them for days together. I would rather waste time watching mindless videos on cleaning than actually clean something. I zone out into nostalgia and “what-ifs” in the midst of a major cleaning spree. Why then, was I a “keeper of the hearth”?

Finding peace in mundane tasks

Later, as I did the dishes, the answer did come to me.

Normally when I wash the dishes, I have a wave of thoughts that sweep over my soul. It is usually the same wave. I start out feeling thankful that I have food to eat and the energy to make it. Then I revel in how the specks of food and stains disappear, just like our everyday troubles do, with a little soul-scrubbing. I then wander off into some poetic thoughts as the dishes get shinier and shinier. Towards the end, I break off into a song.

Sometimes, I also process uncomfortable thoughts somewhere in between and scrub a little more than necessary. The physical act of scrubbing brings me peace. Finally, everything is clean and I am more at peace.

Never miss real stories from India's women.

Register Now

No, my problems did not disappear by magic. But my heart does feel lighter and I know that, tomorrow, the dishes will get dirty again. Just like Life. I will have to clean again. Both literally and metaphorically.

I realised, this is why I am a Hestia. Not because I keep a perfect home or that I am a clean freak. It is because the woman in me “experiences a timeless calm in the midst of her immediate tasks.” It is because, despite my messy home and chaotic surroundings, I do derive a lot of pleasure from making it better. The final product means less to me than the process itself.

Recognising the Hestia in me

Organising books means endless hours spent reminiscing about the times gone by and thinking of people who are associated with certain books. Rearranging the clothes in the shelves means an afternoon that is spent in warmth and fragrance and the colours of our second skin. Washing the windows is a different perspective to seeing the world around us.

To make it clearer, I do not always approach housework with this attitude. In fact, I rarely do. I leave things lying around or undone. But when I finally get around to doing them, this is how I feel, and this is what truly represents peace to me.

Indeed, I do have a Hestia within me.

Published here first.

Image source: a still from Cutting Chai/ Modern Love Mumbai

Liked this post?

Join the 100000 women at Women's Web who get our weekly mailer and never miss out on our events, contests & best reads - you can also start sharing your own ideas and experiences with thousands of other women here!

Comments

About the Author

Vaidehi Sriram

Vaidehi is a teacher and mentor who is extremely passionate about pedagogy, writing and the arts. read more...

9 Posts | 3,523 Views

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!

""
All Categories