My dad had the wonderful ability to make routine tasks fun. And as I think about my love for all things logistical, I’m grateful for what I learned from him about bringing a sense of practicality and fun to the tasks at-hand. Two examples stand out in thought:
- Dad shaved every morning before he went to work, and he used that time in creative ways. I remember when I was in elementary school he would simultaneously shave and quiz me on my multiplication tables, at my request. “7 times 6 equals 42” was the one equation that always seemed to escape me. One day, while he was in the middle of shaving, my dad wrote the equation on the bathroom mirror, printing the numbers in the condensation that hovered. This delighted me to no end, and henceforth, I never forgot this equation. It certainly made for a joyous “mad minute math” quiz later that day at school and a forever fond memory.
- My dad prepared salad as part of our dinner on almost every weeknight. When I was younger I liked the sound of the salad spinner whirling around. And as I got older I liked to “help.” My dad and I had some of our best conversations with him standing in front of the sink as he chatted with me and chopped lettuce. From my perspective, dad making the nightly salad was anything but routine.
Today there are all kinds of ways I like to bring a sense of joy to routine tasks. I recently had to drive to a neighboring community to purchase some spices at a shop that the hubster and I love. This errand needed to happen during a very busy day and as I drove to that store, I listened to some country music and made a point of appreciating the natural beauty all around me. This routine errand was made beautiful and easy because it was yet another opportunity to express gratitude, vitality, and grace.
Whether we’re shaving, making dinner, running an errand, or studying for an exam, each of us has the opportunity to make seemingly routine tasks feel fresh, fun, and vibrant. Wishing you a joyous October that’s filled with fresh insights to support your anything-but-routine adventures.
* Photo by Jonathan Eggers