How do you give yourself the space necessary to create?
Paul Jarvis
286145

Do the Dishes


I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, Bend Oregon, at the foot of the Cascades. I love the outdoors, especially in the Spring and Summer when I can escape into the mountains and lose myself in their splendor or take a quiet walk along the Deschutes river. Yet, despite the richness of where I live, I find the best way to create space is to simply do the dishes and clean the kitchen.

My home life is chaotic. My wife and I both deal with depression. My eldest daughter (8 years old) has learning disabilities. My 21-month year old son still doesn’t sleep through the night and my poor middle daughter does her best to thrive in the midst of everything.

If I escape for the day into the mountains without my family I come back home to tension, heartbreak, and tears. Whatever freedom I may have experienced in those free brief hours evaporates and is replaced with hours, maybe days of repairing and resetting homelife. When I take the whole family with me on an outdoor adventure it is incredibly rewarding but it doesn't generate the space I, no we, need on a daily basis.

That’s why doing the dishes is so damn important. Every morning, usually before anybody else is awake, I make sure all the dishes are done. I wipe off the counters, sweep up the kitchen floor. I engage physically, using my hands and my body to create one area of peace, of warmth, of sanctuary for all of us.

My reward is a full heart to start every single day. The reward of a full heart is creativity (among many other rewards) that carries into the rest of the day which creates the space I need to do my best work regardless of where that work is actually being done.

If you enjoyed this essay, I share a lot more on business, marriage, and living life to the full on the Marriage Startup and Haywire podcasts. Check’em out!

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Leslie Camacho’s story.