Saturday, January 7, 2012

I Don't Do Dishes (and other shocking confessions)

As a general rule, I don't do dishes.  There was a time not so long ago when I would have been ashamed to admit such a thing but its actually kind of freeing to say now.  So while I'm at it, I don't really do laundry either.  That's right, you heard me.

Here's another (not so) shocking confession:  I love anything and everything creative.  My heroes, mentors and muses are all artists, writers, musicians, actors or figments of my (or someone else's) imagination.  I love to paint, draw, write, craft, decorate, play music, dance and dream.  I suppose I have yet to create a true masterpiece but I feel that I am progressing as an artist and I would say that my ability to express myself creatively is one of my best traits.  Still, as much as I have always valued creativity, I haven't always lived as if I did. 

It's hard to believe now but for many years I behaved as if I believed that what defined my value as a human being was what I looked like and how well I kept my house.  Not that there is anything wrong with wanting to look your best or desiring a clean and organized environment but these issues consumed so much more of my time and energy than they deserved.  What's more is that this was inconsistent with what I truly believed and valued.  I certainly never judged other people by such superficial criteria.  Looking back, It was almost as if some wicked spell had been cast upon me.  Then one day, thanks to my muse, the spell was broken.

It had been awhile since I had painted and my muse had been nagging me about it.  I went as far as purchasing some new canvases, even set one up on my easel but somehow when it came time to actually paint, I kept finding "more important" things to do.  Finally when I began to tackle a stack of dirty dishes in the sink, my muse appeared, looking superior and annoyed (picture "Endora" from Bewitched).

"For Jupiter's sake,"  she said with a pointed stare, "Do you work for me?  Yes or no?"  And I knew that she was not asking that casually.  She was presenting me with a very important choice.  If I said no I would probably lose her forever and if I said yes, I was going to have to start taking her, and myself as an artist, a lot more seriously.  Ultimately, it was not a difficult decision.  I said yes, put down the dishes and followed her to my studio where we worked well into the night. 

It's not like I haven't done any housework since then.  I still aspire to some semblance of order and cleanliness.  It just isn't my main focus or motivation any longer.  In fact, I find that the more I focus my energy on what I love to do, the more the rest of my life seems to fall into place around that.  For instance, now that my Hippie husband handles most of the dish washing duties, I find him even more attractive.  It turns out that working for my muse isn't such a bad job after all.

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