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To Change Your Life, Change Your Mind

Thoughts can help you or drive you crazy. Thoughts and concepts commonly held may not be helpful to you. For example, do you believe that it isn’t “fair” if your spouse has something you don’t have? If your spouse likes her job and you don’t like yours, do you somehow think that isn’t fair? If your spouse only has to drive 15 minutes to work, and you have to drive 30, do you think that’s not fair, and that somehow your spouse owes you? I once saw an episode of “House Hunters” in which the husband proclaimed they had made a good choice because even though he didn’t get what he wanted in a house, she didn’t get what she wanted either, so that was “fair”. Okaaaaaay. It’s hard to understand how living in a house that neither person likes is a good decision. But, there we are. Or should I say, here we are? Are you here? Do you want to stay here? You could replace the concept of mutual dissatisfaction as a measure of fairness/happiness with the thought that you LOVE your spouse (at least in theory), and that you are happy he/she is enjoying whatever. Also, after their happiness shines a spotlight on your unhappiness, you could examine why you are unhappy, and what it would take for you to enjoy your life a bit more. Having a spouse as unhappy as you are is not really going to help you. 

Here’s another weird concept: “I shouldn’t have to do the dishes, clean the cat box, etc. because it’s not “fair” if I do it and he/she doesn’t do it. It’s not my job to do the dishes/ clean the cat box – it’s someone else’s. I’m not doing it.” Okaaaaay. How is it going to help you to live with a sink full of ick, and I can’t even think about a cat box that hasn’t been scooped out EVERY DAY. Yes, every day, people! All these ads for litter boxes that never need to be scooped are ridiculous. Litter boxes need to be scooped.  Dishes need to be done. It has nothing to do with fairness. If you eat, you will have dirty dishes. If you have a cat, you will have a litter box. Figuring out how to wash the dishes/ clean the cat box efficiently will only enhance your life. Gandhi cleaned latrines, for heaven’s sake. You can too. You have lost nothing by doing these menial everyday tasks. And you have gained a more pleasant home, which will make you feel better. The problem with keeping a scorecard regarding constantly recurring tasks, is that if you feel you have done more than your “fair share”, you have to be at the mercy of someone else to do the job, and you sit and fume and count the minutes until the job is done. How is that enjoyable for you? How is this concept helping you? Margaret Thatcher made coffee for her guests. Did the British people rise up as one and say “Aha! You have made coffee like a common secretary! Therefore, you are not as important as the other heads of state. You have lost prestige, position. YOU HAVE PUT BRITAIN IN A VULNERABLE WEAKENED STATE!” No, they did not. And when asked why she made the coffee, she replied because she thought her guest would like some coffee. So, if there’s a job, and you see it, and you do it, it does not diminish you. It does not make you a slave. It allows you to go into a clean kitchen and make yourself something to eat without dealing with a sink of horrible mystery water.

Rant over. Thanks for listening. I would like to offer you a chance to replace the “It’s not fair and I shouldn’t have to do it” concept about constantly recurring tasks that no one wants to do with a different concept which I believe will help you enjoy your life more. Here it is: There are constantly recurring tasks that no one wants to do. That’s ok. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong because the bathroom needs cleaning again. It’s just the way it is. Nothing is wrong. No one is at fault. However, I need a system to deal with these tasks so that they get taken care of with maximum efficiency and minimum fuss. I am a smart person, and I will figure it out. In the meantime, I am going to get in there and wash the dishes because I am a capable person, and I deserve to live in a nice house.