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Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

This past weekend we had dinner at the home of one of our neighbors. They served an amazing meal with cuisine that would have outdone the finest restaurant.  It was a lovely evening.  But not surprisingly, all that food made for a lot of dirty dishes!  At the end of the evening, I felt badly that we couldn’t stay to help clean up.  I apologized to our hostess who replied, “Don’t worry!  You should have seen how many dishes I had to do at Thanksgiving.  But I love doing it!”

Wow. I wish I could say that I had the same attitude about our recent Thanksgiving dinner.  I still am not over the incredible amount of work that was involved in creating and cleaning up after that meal.  Even now, when I walk by my kitchen sink, I have flashbacks like someone suffering from PTSD.

To be honest, I don’t think that our hostess loves doing dishes.  She is a sane, intelligent woman.  Instead, what our hostess loves is to create beautiful evenings for her family and friends in her home.  She simply understands that dirty dishes are a natural part of that.  She knows that when we have friends or family over for dinner, we bolster those relationships.  We let the people in our life know how important they are to us by entertaining and feeding them.  So when my dear hostess said that she loves doing dishes, what she really meant is that she loves having good relationships with other people.

Our hostess had a big picture view of life from which we all could learn. The big picture is that if we want good things in life, there inevitably will be some drudgery involved in getting those things.

All good things in life require some humdrum work. For example, I want to have a happy marriage with my husband.  As a result, I am willing to do boring tasks for him, such as washing his clothes and cooking his breakfast.  Those little niceties make him feel cared for.  He then in turn does things for me, like regularly cleaning my car and bringing me coffee on the weekends.  Now of course, I could care for my own car, and he could do his own laundry.  But by doing these things for each other, our relationship becomes gentler.  We are sweeter and kinder toward each other because we both feel cared for in practical ways by the other person.

Another good thing that many of us want is a nice place to live. But if I want to have a beautiful home, there is some hard work involved in that.  Bathrooms and kitchens don’t clean themselves.  Common family areas quickly become disaster areas if we don’t tidy up daily.  And our houses look messy with unmade beds.  The beauty of a home has little to do with its size or cost.  Rather, beautiful homes are the ones in which the inhabitants are willing to do the work to create a lovely environment.

One of the most important things we can have in life is good health. Significantly, our health is a reflection of our habits.  I don’t care how great your genetics are, if you eat unhealthy food, smoke, and don’t exercise, you ultimately will have health problems.  Now if you exercise, eat healthy food and abstain from nicotine, that doesn’t guarantee you won’t have a health issue.  But chances are, with good habits, you’ll avoid many illnesses and still will be running around when you are 80.  When it comes to our health, hard work always pays off.

So the next time you feel frustrated by your To Do List, think about the bigger picture behind those tasks. What are you really achieving when you do them?  Are you creating better relationships?  Are you doing what is necessary for better health?  Are you making your home more pleasant?  When we look at our tasks with a larger view, suddenly those tasks feel less like drudgery and more like a worthwhile activity done toward a worthy end.

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