Let’s face it. No matter who you are or what you do in life, there are mundane responsibilities that drive you crazy. Whether it be doing the laundry, filling your car with gas, returning phone calls, taking your clothes to the dry cleaners or making the beds in the morning, everyone must face these boring, tedious, often dreaded, time-consuming tasks. And, while you can probably delegate some of them away – not many people can delegate all of them away.
I’d like to share with you a trick I discovered to spicing up the monotony. When I was nursing my second-born son, I spent a lot of time watching the Food Network and, subsequently, I had a lot of time to ponder how one could transform 30 minutes of watching somebody else while they cook into an appealing, entertaining, and even enticing event.
The answer came to me while watching my umpteenth episode of Rachael Ray’s 30-Minute Meals. Her secret to spicing things up included huge hand gestures when she spoke and enthusiasm for every little task she did - including slicing up a stick of butter to melt in a frying pan. She held her smile for long minutes while the camera faded to commercials. She told stories from her childhood that her recipes reminded her of. And, most importantly, her every action was spoken out loud!
Therein lies the secret to tackling your dull and dreary tasks. Just as Rachael Ray narrated the cooking of 30-minute meals, so should we narrate our lives. Now I am not telling you to talk to yourself – most of us do that already and that doesn’t do much for making rote tasks more bearable. No, instead – I’m suggesting you narrate your life to the world. Pretend you have an audience (which, if you think about it, is exactly what Rachael Ray has to do when taping her show).
You might discover – as I have – that life is a little better with everybody listening, and unexciting responsibilities DO become easier to conquer. Even paying bills can become fun. As I sit down to write my bills, I begin to talk out loud – to the world: “I have to pay my electric bill despite the fact that I don’t want to. The amount is always exorbitant during Arizona summer months. I like to sit down with my special purple pen and write with big, loopy letters while listening to soft, classical music. In the note section, I like to write profanities. I don’t know – it just makes me feel better.” I look up, smile at the camera and the world, and seal my envelope.
My friend, Dori, took my theory to heart. She is now narrating her trips to the grocery store from start to finish. I can just picture her in the cereal aisle, talking to the world: “When I go down the cereal aisle, I look for specials and that’s how I decide what cereal to bring home to my family. What a great snack to have on hand. You can never have too many boxes. It’s not just for milk and breakfast anymore.”
And, narrating your actions is not just for the Food Network anymore. Go ahead. Narrate your life and conquer the monotony.