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100DC Day 43: Joyful Living

100 Day Challenge: Joyful Living

My kids hate doing dishes. Probably more than any other single daily activity. They avoid it, moan about it, skimp on it (so they have to be called back to do it right), and drag it out sometimes for hours. It’s a painful thrice daily event. But I refuse to give in. Yes, I could do it better and faster, but we are all have responsibilities, and they haven’t volunteered recently to step in and file the taxes for me.

Last week after a meal, when Samson was a big grumpier about wiping the counters (horrors!) than usual, I thought back to my dish-washing days. We had four kids and after every meal we each did one job. One cleared the table, another loaded the dishwasher, a third wiped the counters, and the last swept the floor. My dad had made a little chart that we followed, alternating chores with each meal.

We didn’t love doing dishes any more than the next group of kids, but our cleaning up still seemed to go quickly and efficiently. What was the difference?


My sister and I sang through our dishes. She is four years old than I am and she taught me songs she learned at Girls’ Camp. We sang funny songs and melancholy songs. There were rounds and obligatos. My sister taught me to sing harmony — all while doing dishes — when I was still in elementary school.

The simple act of adding joyful singing to drudgery changed the mood and added speed and efficiency. I suspect doing what we can to make every activity fun, happy, joyful will probably make it better as well.

I went on to sing in musical, sing in pageants, and major in musical theater in college (before switching to business). As an adult I taught voice lessons and most of my kids sing. My sister is in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. And it all started in the kitchen.

If you’re ever going to learn to be joyful you’ve got to do it in the middle of the problems of life.

It takes no effort or strength of character to be happy when Publisher’s Clearing House drops off a check for ten million dollars. But to find joy in drudgery, difficulty, or the mundane is an active choice for a better quality of life.

Infuse joy into every part of your day and bring joy to others as well.

Join me in the 100 Day Challenge!

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Morales February 12, 2013, 1:20 pm

    Making things fun can make all the difference. So, so true. I wish most school teachers would learn this. But to make a subject fun I think you have to really understand it and many teachers don’t.

  • BonnieBee February 12, 2013, 1:47 pm

    When my kids do chores, we set the timer and see how fast we can do everything. Just that little bit helps.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 12, 2013, 4:39 pm

    LOLL Darnell, with six kids and three adults and a son-in-law and kids’ boyfriends in the mix, I do not think there is a storage container large enough for us! 🙂

    Thanks for dropping by.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…100DC Day 43: Joyful LivingMy Profile

  • Darnell Jackson February 12, 2013, 3:40 pm

    Good topic Alison,

    The best way to take care of the dishes is to use one of those large storage containers, just throw all the dishes in there over night and let them soak by tomorrow they are super easy to clean.

    Or you can just put them in the dishwasher.

    Take this from a man that HATES doing the dishes
    Darnell Jackson recently posted…What I learned from Ana Hoffman – Q&A with the founder of Traffic Generation Café.My Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith February 12, 2013, 5:18 pm

    kn, that’s anything but joyful! But you’re welcome to come relieve their duties if you think they’re overburdened!
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…100DC Day 39: Be GratefulMy Profile

  • props February 12, 2013, 4:36 pm

    Sometimes I get so tired of trying to manipulate every single thing. I just want to get it done! But maybe in the long run it’s better to give in than to fight. You think?

  • kn February 12, 2013, 5:04 pm

    Mother is the right person for doing dishes so stop harrasing your children hehhe LOL

  • kn February 13, 2013, 10:16 am

    You have deleted my link : ( you are evil woman 😐

  • Alison Moore Smith February 13, 2013, 3:08 pm

    kn, on a scale of evil, blog comment spammers are pretty high up and casino scammers are on the high end of that. If removing spam links to harmful sites is “evil,” I’ll gladly accept the label. Good day!
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…100DC Day 37: Answer the CallMy Profile

  • QuickerThanYou February 26, 2013, 5:25 pm

    Wow, that kn is a piece of work. No surprise he’s a gambling spammer.

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