Saturday, January 30, 2016


Soji – A brief period of mindful work; temple cleaning

I am not a Buddist.  However, I am housework challenged.  There was an article on Facebook yesterday discussing the practice of Soji -- a brief period of mindful work.  

Apparently after morning prayers, Buddists have Soji -- a period of approximately 20 minutes which is spent in mindful work.  Quietly.  No talking.  Each day each monk is assigned a task to be worked on for that period of time without the anticipation of completion, the goal is just doing the task rather than completing the task.

The article was giving tips on how to apply this practice to housework.  No, you don't have to become a Buddist.  However, what the article proposed is that you take a task that is distasteful to you or problematic for you and spend 20 minutes tackling it and then, at the end of the 20 minutes you walk away.  It never said when you should walk back to finish said task.

I have to be honest, my kitchen is an issue with me.  It is never truly clean like I would like it.  Why?  Am I lazy?  Well, yes, but that isn't the main issue.  In part it is because there is activity in my kitchen All. The. Time.  Hubs is retired.  Hubs likes to make coffee every couple of hours.  Hubs grinds his own beans.  Hubs is oblivious to the fact that coffee grounds go everywhere.  Hubs likes snacks.  Hubs could change his mailing address to that of our pantry.  I cook.  I use a crock pot which means, in mid morning, I might be prepping something for the slow cooker and two hours later I might be making bread.  Our kitchen is an active place and we have an open floor plan so it is, well, open in the middle of everything.  If I stopped to clean up all the time I would never get out of the kitchen.  Hence, the problem.

So, this morning I decided to try the 20 minute thing.  Amazingly I got the dishwasher emptied and reloaded.  I got most of the pots and pans washed, dried and put away and the dish drainer emptied.  Another article I read a day or two ago suggested that you start your morning with an empty dishwasher, an empty sink filled with warm water and an empty dish drainer.  When prepping a meal wash and clean as you go.  Makes perfect sense.  

I know, if I would spend as much time cleaning the kitchen as I do reading about cleaning the kitchen I would never have a messy kitchen.  That logic is not lost on me.  I need to mend my evil ways.  Maybe 20 minutes at a time.

And, some thoughts on Marie Kondo's method of tidying up.  I am not sure my jeans are happy folded in their drawer.  Yesterday I was looking for a pair of slacks and couldn't find them anywhere so I looked in the jean drawer and there they were.  They had slipped from their folded slot under the jeans and in the process of digging them out all the jeans came unfolded and flew out of the drawer.  Now the whole drawer needs to be tidied.  I am thinking my jeans would be happier on hangers.  

Oh, and did you know that Samsung washers can blow up?  If they do Samsung will reimburse your money and pay for any repairs to your damaged house.  Good to know.

Have a happy Saturday -- I need to go tidy the jeans.