663: Dealing With the Bounty

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Planting a garden, even one as small as my tiny backyard one, is a blessing. Lots of rewards in seeing plants grow and flourish. Lots of food produced. However. You need to think about how you are going to handle that produce, because God is generous, so that you are sharing. When you see people at church are avoiding you, though, you need to man up and handle your own produce sometimes.

Buying another freezer is expensive – and lately, freezers have just been unavailable, since apparently lots of other people are also planting gardens, and well…God is generous. Problem with a freezer is the initial cost and the ongoing electricity, and the occasional freezer disaster, or power outage.

Canning is another solution that works well, but it is hot and labor intensive, and the jars and lids and rings are also expensive initially – which explains why they are such hot sellers at yard sales and thrift stores. Thank goodness once you have the jars, you usually only need to buy new lids every year, and there’s no electricity cost, just shelf space to store those gorgeous jars of delicious food.

What I like using on those days when I suddenly have 47 tomatoes is a dehydrator. Yes, the dehydrator is initially expensive, and it takes electricity, since I have not made the necessary trays and screens (also $$) for solar dehydrating That is also an option and works on these hot, sunny days we’ve been having (but watch out for those sudden summer showers). The electric one is more convenient for us lazy folks.

You do need containers to store the dried goodies, but unlike canning, any old glass or plastic jar with a good lid will do – and the finished product also stores on the shelf with no further need for electricity. Plus, unlike canning, where the volume of preserved food is actually greater than the initial food (water, vinegar, additives), dehydrating allows me to put 10 tomatoes in one fairly small jar, because I am removing the water. That’s what you add back when you use the dried peas, beans, okra, onions, peppers, tomatoes, blueberries, peaches, apples, etc., etc., etc, Some veggies do better when you blanch them first, and I had to consult Google this time about the green beans. It”s been a while since I had a garden, and I forgot if they needed it or not. There is advice online for beginners. And recipes, too!

662: The Spiritual Aspects of Onions

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1 Kings 19:11-13    New King James Version: God’s Revelation to Elijah

11 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave.

God does a lot of His work, both inside us personally and outside of us in the larger world, using the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Spirit is that little inside voice that is your personal, spiritual life coach – God encourages you, corrects you and pushes you to be the better person that He knows you are. Like all good coaches, sometimes He can be hard on us, but also like all good coaches, He knows how and where to push us, to prune off things that are not good, and how to help us improve. Be aware that the devil will also try and whisper stuff to you, too – it takes some Bible study and prayer to become aware of the difference between God’s voice and that serpent’s hiss. Being obedient is something that God WANTS YOU TO DO. Yes, God can make you be obedient. That is not how He works. You have to exercise your self-discipline (with His help) to learn how to stay out of trouble, and also learn to depend on Him when trouble comes to you. Part of that is learning to recognize His voice when He speaks guidance to you through His Holy Spirit. Learn to listen and learn to obey.

I have also discovered that there are fascinating spiritual insights to be found in onions.

For the last week, I have driven 30 minutes to a field here in South Georgia where they planted sweet onions. They have given me access to this field to harvest and give away as many of them as I can before they need the field and plow under whatever’s left, so I have gone every day that they will let me and loaded my pickup truck with 600+ pounds of fresh sweet onions. Then I drive back to my small town and give them to people. Anybody who can use them, because I believe it’s just plain sinful to waste good food.

Some of these fresh onions have some mushy layers on the outside, and I have learned that most of the people I am giving onions to don’t want those. It is extra trouble, smelly and messy, and just not nice, easy, or convenient to deal with those, because, you see, they will “infect” other onions you have and cause them to rot, too. Those are the onions that I keep for myself, because I don’t mind stripping off the nasty mess and getting down to the core of what is still a very good onion. So, the messy ones are mine.

That’s the sort of person I was when I came to God. I had some nasty mushy stuff on my outer layers (where it was pretty easy to see), and I was one of those that was going to need special handling. I am so grateful that God is willing to take us as we are, nastiness and all. And then, using the Holy Spirit, He starts cleaning away, stripping off those ugly, worthless layers we have until He gets down to the good part. And some of us need to be careful when we are around rotting onions, because they can infect us, too. That stuff your mama told you about being careful what friends you choose wasn’t wrong. Think about your own life. Are you an inspiration or an infection? I am sad to admit that there have been times when I was not an inspiration. I am letting God make me better. You can, too. Just ask Him.

In a small way, rescuing mushy onions is sort of what I do in my job, too – I am a teacher. The messy ones there are mine, too – the ones that need special handling. I appreciate the perfect onions, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t need me as much to be a good onion. I’ll take the messy ones. To me, they are worth the trouble. I am so glad that they are worth the trouble to God, too!

The first time I went to harvest, the man in charge who knows much more about onions that I probably ever will – down to molecular structure – told me that the onions that had the big, showy bloom stalk were not the best ones to get. He explained that that bloom stalk creates a hard center in those onions. There is still good onion wrapped around that hard core, but it makes them second quality. Since there are so many first quality onions still in the field, we have all been skipping over those.

I immediately thought of some of the people I know who are the hardest to reach with the good news of the Gospel. When a person’s life is clear and visible that there is mess there, like my mushy onions, those people can quickly understand and grasp the concept that God offers a much, much better way. But when they have a pretty outside, and a showy bloom stalk for people to see and admire (and many do admire beautiful, showy people), reaching them with the good news that God died for them and offers a better way to live their lives just does not interest them a whole lot. There are reasons for that attitude they have of “I don’t need God,” and sorrowfully, often God has to take away all their pretty before they can see they are just like the rest of us.

Some of us are like that when we come to God – and a lot of those onions never do come to God. When I found one of those bloomers in the truck (by mistake) that I had added to the better ones, I decided to process it, too, and see just what the expert was telling me about.

The onion was beautiful on the outside – really pretty. But when I cut it open, the core of it was a hard, fibrous stalk that was too hard to use. Isn’t that just like some of us? We have a layer of pretty that surrounds our hard, unyielding core. We have a big, showy bloom stalk, and many people admire us. Some of us who are that way know about our ugly core, and some will never admit that core is there.

For God, and me processing that onion, it isn’t as easy as just stripping off a bad layer or two to save THAT sort of onion. No, this kind must be cut WIDE OPEN, and the ugly heart cut out, dug out, ripped away. It’s major surgery. Some people are like that, too. God can do it, but it is much, much harder on the onion. That is partly why Jesus told us that it is hard for a rich man to enter Heaven – he’s too satisfied with what he has here on Earth to be interested much in the things of God. Still, there is good there. Those rescued, surgically mangled onions are great to cook with, and they season and add flavor just as well as a first quality onion. They are worth saving, too – even though they are the toughest ones to save.

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And finally, there are a few onions in the field – not many but there are a few – that are rotten in the middle core. There is just no saving those. Even Jesus, on the cross while making the ultimate sacrifice for all people, saved only the one thief, not both of them. God honors the choice that people make. We as believers do our best to persuade, convince, convict, encourage, pray…..and for some, it isn’t enough. Not even God Himself could save them all. I guess what I don’t understand is why anyone would choose not to go to Heaven. Does that make any sense to you?

There’s a lot of onions, good ones, that have just a small rotten spot. Or maybe two. Those onions are easily fixed by just removing those bad places. If you don’t remove them, the rot will spread until it ruins the entire onion. In like vein, Scripture tells us of the rich young ruler who came to Jesus in the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark and Luke, which made it a story important enough to include into three of the four Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry. It says Jesus loved him. When Jesus answered his question and told him to sell his belongings and become a disciple, the young man turned away, it tells us, because he was rich – and Jesus LET HIM GO. He honors our choices, even when we don’t make the right ones. Jesus didn’t tell everyone to sell their things. THINGS aren’t the problem for all of us. God through the Holy Spirit will put his finger on the things that I need to let go – and that word from Him is personal because He knows what junk is holding ME back. Not my brother or sister, not my neighbor – ME. It’s a message for ME. God pinpoints for each of us where our problem is – if we are listening, and willing to obey. Are you holding on to a rotten spot that needs to be removed? Are you willing to listen and obey the direction of the Holy Spirit in your life? Do you believe that God wants the best for you, as He has promised? Why would you want to hold onto something He’s telling you to let go of? Are you willing to risk having your rotten spot ruin the whole onion?

Scripture has the men climbing the mountains to experience God up close and personal. But Scripture also shows us that God appears to women in great and powerful ways while they are otherwise occupied in the ordinary business of living that took up and continues to take up their daily time. Men go to God. God comes to women.

God has lessons to teach, even while I am standing at the sink processing onions. That’s what it means to listen to the Holy Spirit. I am learning to listen when God speaks, whether He speaks in the wind, the storm, the earthquake, the fire – or in that still, small voice.

661: Parallelism in the Workplace

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Wait staff in restaurants and school teachers have some job similarities. When a patron (student) comes to a restaurant (school) it isn’t the wait staff’s (teacher’s) responsibility to greet them and escort them to the table (classroom) where they will have their meal (lessons). The restaurant hires a host/hostess or a maitre’d for that, and that person decides which patrons are seated at which tables – and the wait staff usually also does not get to decide which tables in the restaurant they will be assigned to serve, either. In the same way, the school teacher does not decide which students are in their classes – that is decided by others at the school (counselors, admins, or whoever does the scheduling). Teachers teach the students that are sent to them, like wait staff serve the patrons who are seated at the tables they are assigned to serve. In Georgia (and in other places) a teacher’s job contract says that the school system can assign them to any classroom (or sometimes no classroom at all as a floating teacher who moves each class to a different room), any school in the district, teaching any subject they are qualified to teach, just like the wait staff person is assigned their tables and patrons to serve.

The restaurant owner determines the restaurant menu – the items that patrons must choose from when they order their meal at that restaurant. Students/parents at schools do register for their classes. At earlier grades, the menu is set – little or no choice. At high schools, where I teach, the student has much more choice in the menu offered. Still, the teacher has absolutely nothing to do with the menu offered. That is all determined by others. It is the wait staff’s job, (and the teachers’) to SERVE the food choices that are on the menu that was determined by someone else.

In the serving of the food (lessons) things get interesting. It isn’t the wait staff’s fault how long it takes the food to be prepared. That’s the job of the cook. The quality of the food also isn’t the wait staff’s fault – that food was ordered by the owner/manager of the restaurant – the wait staff SERVES it to the patron. It is the wait staff’s job to serve the food promptly when it is ready, AND it is the wait staff’s job to be sure the patron has the necessary equipment and supplies to consume the food; that means salt and pepper, other condiments like ketchup, sauces, and also napkins and cutlery. However, if the restaurant runs out of any of those things, that also isn’t the wait staff’s fault. Those things are supposed to be ordered by the restaurant owner and made available for the wait staff to provide. It also isn’t the wait staff’s fault if the table and chairs where the patron has been seated are old, or damaged – and it often isn’t the wait staff’s job to clean it, or the floor, either. They SERVE the food. Teachers TEACH the curriculum they are assigned or provided to teach (by other people). Yes, like the wait staff, teachers do their best to serve it promptly (nice and hot) with the proper supplies and equipment so consuming it isn’t a hassle, and good waiters serve the food with special flourish (all the bells and whistles and entertainment that make a restaurant a good dining experience – we call that “ambiance”). Teachers do prepare their lessons – how they are going to serve the food, and they try to do that in ways that provide that good ambiance to their students.

Still – even the best wait staff will have some patrons that will eat the food with their fingers when they have been given perfectly good knives, spoons, and forks. Even the best wait staff will still have patrons who will leave food uneaten on their plates, because patrons (students) CHOOSE what to eat from what’s served to them on their plates. Some patrons (an ever-growing number) even SEND BACK the food they are served, claiming that it isn’t good, or just because they don’t want it for some reason – even reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of the food on the plate. Some patrons waste condiments, and deliberately make an unholy mess at their tables for the wait staff to clean up because they are unhappy about something that totally was not the wait staff’s fault (like the menu choices).  Some unfairly rate the wait staff on things the wait staff cannot control (like the menu, the availability of supplies, or the damaged table) because the wait staff is the only employee they see. And some patrons come to the restaurant drunk or high on drugs, and demand to be served. It is also quite common for patrons at restaurants to be demanding, often actually rude. Some of them trash the restroom, too, before they leave. It is the wait staff’s job to serve them anyway, to the best of their ability – and then they don’t tip for the effort, or they just don’t eat the food.

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Serving the public (in any job) isn’t always pretty. Most of the time, the public being served is at least mostly adults (who have learned good behavior even when they do not display it). School teachers are dealing with students who are youngsters who do not have the maturity of adults. Imagine being the wait staff in a restaurant full of children and adolescents. Want to sign up for that job?

660: Loving and Games

Loving someone isn’t supposed to be about playing games. It isn’t supposed to be about learning to be devious, or manipulative, or calculating. Yes, different people express love in various ways. There are a number of books that have been written about “love languages,” the different ways that people use to express their love, care, and concern for another person. Those five ways are gifts, physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, and quality time spent with the significant other (according to the experts). We each use the different methods, or ‘languages,’ in varying degrees, or amounts of each of the five, depending on which ones of the languages we value ourselves, and which ones of the languages we would ourselves prefer to receive.  (https://www.5lovelanguages.com/)

Apparently, the combination of ways that I use to express love are toxic. And have been toxic, in every relationship I have been in, for the entire duration of my life on this planet. I am not stupid enough to blame the others in this situation. It is quite obvious to me that when I get involved in a relationship and express love to the significant other, that process fairly rapidly turns them into users and me into the used. Seeing this pattern develop over time and past relationships, and recognizing that it is happening again, clearly means that it isn’t them, it’s me. The fault quite obviously belongs to me. I am training them to become monsters, albeit unintentionally training them – but training them, nevertheless.

The twelve-step programs that many people use to help them get out of their addictive, sometimes abusive, and often self-destructive behaviors (Alcoholics Anonymous, AlAnon, AlaTeen, Adult Children of Alcoholics and other dysfunctional families) tell us that the first step of the twelve steps to recovery and serenity (WTF is serenity?) in fixing a problem is acknowledging that one exists. Well, it freaking exists. The problem has been recognized.

Now for the solution. I have to change the one person I can control – and that person would be me. I have to learn to NOT give love in the ways that are most natural to me. I have to learn to calculate what I give, weigh out my displayed affection in smaller, stingier doses, and guard, critically assess, and strategize what I express towards others. I have to play a game, and not be “myself,” because being myself demonstrably and historically hurts myself.

Building walls is wearisome work, and sometimes necessary for self preservation. They are called boundaries. Time to build them.

 

659: Ideas About Living

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All of us are tasked with the process of living this life we have. We manage this with varying degrees of success (however you measure success, which is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish I am not touching).

Some of us (too many of us, in my opinion) are ended before we really have a chance to begin. Others have their brand new lives ended by a physical problem, an accident, or an illness in infancy – again, before they really  have a chance to live much of a life. Some, sadly, suffer the malice of another and are snuffed out of existence while still a baby, and others make it into childhood and get to experience some of the joy and anguish of living a life before one of those killers takes them out.

This is the luck of the draw – or part of the cosmic plan, given your philosophical leanings on the matter of our purpose in being alive. Some don’t get to grow up, and others choose not to grow up who do get to live long enough to make progress in that direction. We all can admit that getting older and bigger has absolutely nothing to do with “growing up,” or becoming a mature human being, right?

For those of us blessed enough (or lucky enough – or unlucky enough) to make it to the age of adulthood (maturity level notwithstanding), there is the question of how to live this life we have, and what shape and color our life is going to be, given our uniquely personal set of choices and experiences. Some of it we decide, and some of it is decided for us, and some of it just comes thundering out of nowhere and we deal with it the best we can. This happens for everyone. It’s different for everyone, which makes us all unique in our life path.

The nice part about this life living thing is that there is plenty of room in this world for all sorts of people, all living all sorts of lives. When the life you have chosen to live does not harm others, I have no issues with you and your choices. I may disapprove of the choices you make, but ultimately, those choices are yours to make. You won’t answer to me. Whether you will answer to someone or something other than me is a question of faith (and debate).

Where I have issues is with those who are earnestly convinced that they have the right of this living thing, and that their view of the right way should apply to all other persons, regardless of their beliefs of their experiences – and regardless of that other person’s ability, desire, or right to choose for themselves. I also have issues with those who sponge off of the effort of others, like parasites, in order to make their personal choices. Those choices DO negatively impact others who do not get the rewards for the work that they do.

What I can do about this is live my own life as ethically as I can, as much as I am able to control myself, growing and maturing into the best person I can be. And I can also live my life standing up to those who choose not to do the same.

 

658: Personal Ethics and God

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Most of have a system of personal ethics we try to live by – a set of foundational beliefs. We try not to be hypocritical, even though sometimes we are. For example, most of us believe telling a lie is wrong, and then, we tell a lie anyway – when it is convenient, to get us out of a sticky situation, to save face, to avoid punishment, to avoid social discomfort (so-called white lies)….we actually DO lie, even though we philosophically believe that telling a lie is wrong. That is the essence of hypocrisy, and most of us are guilty of it.

Once you realize that you are actually a hypocrite in some situation dealing with one of your personal ethics, you have a conscious or unconscious choice to make – and either way you go, realize that you have actually made a choice. You can change the behavior to match your foundational ethic, and tell no more lies, OR you can change your ethic to match your actions; lies that benefit you are OK. Even if you just keep doing what you have been doing (being a hypocrite – telling lies and thinking yourself an ethical person who believes that telling lies is wrong) that is still a choice, and arguably, that is the worst choice of the three. It is also the choice that most of us usually make, because the other two choices (both clearly ethically superior choices that align your beliefs with your actions) mean that you will have to make some changes, and change is difficult. People are lazy, and change is difficult, involving work and thought and effort, and most of us are not up to that challenge, sadly.

If you believe you are a servant of God, just being an ethical person yourself isn’t enough. God expects you to put action to your beliefs (not just private philosophical thought) and actually do some work for the Kingdom. Sitting on your butt in your reclining chair might mean that you are doing no harm, true, but you also are a pretty useless servant of God, sitting there doing nothing but being harmless (and useless, too). Are you waiting on God to miraculously drop opportunity into your waiting, prayerful lap? Well, yes, He CAN. He usually DOESN’T. Get up and do something. He will let you know if you are not on the right track, what with Him being God, and all.

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And for the love of aforementioned God, don’t take pride in your character flaws. If you recognize a character flaw in yourself, guess what? God, in the form of the Holy Spirit’s conscience within you, has pointed out that area of your life and personal ethics (or lack thereof) that HE wants you to work on. That’s why you have come to recognize that aspect of your character and personal ethics as a flaw. The longer you go without correcting that flaw, the more difficult it gets to fix it, because you get really, really good at justifying your behavior to yourself, explaining to yourself why that flaw is not such a flaw, and how you aren’t really supposed to expend the effort to fix it, because, after all, God made you that way. That is the essence of disobedience. God didn’t make you that way – you did that yourself. You KNOW it’s a flaw. Flaws need to be corrected, especially once you have recognized this is a flaw you possess, and the fact that you don’t want to give up this flaw that you possess is part of your disobedience.

Whatever this flaw that God’s finger is on – you know it. You know it is something that you need to fix, you are just lazy, and possessive, and comfortable with it, and you don’t want to give it up, and do the necessary work, put in the necessary effort, to correct it. Realize this,  if your motivation to improve needs a little kick start: you are denying yourself blessings because of your willful disobedience. God knows He told you about it. You know God told you about it. God knows you know. You are being disobedient in not addressing this thing He wants you to give up and correct. Disobedience separates you from God and His blessings.

Prayers not answered? Be obedient to God’s prompting. Struggling? Pray and ask for the will and the strength to do what you have been told to do. Let go, and give up what you have been asked to fix. Yes, it’s work. Breaking any bad habit is work. But, you can do it.

And the blessings of obedience are worth it.

656: Dreaming

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I am continually amazed at the “stuff” that comes up in my nightly forays into the land of slumber. Do your dreams consist of the strangest things, or is that just my demented brain?

Many people attach great significance to the things that they dream: the people, the objects, the settings and situations, the issues that crop up – even whether you dream in black and white or in color is supposed to have some sort of significance – or so I  am told. Dreams are portents of things to come, or the subconscious processing of things that have passed. I hope not.

Jeepers, creepers, I hope not. My dreams are nothing I want to see happen in my future, and many of them are nothing that has every happened in my past, and some of them are just surreal short stories or novel-length aberrations of a twisted reality I’d much prefer, like, and hope to think had nothing whatsoever to do with awake me.

Maybe that’s why I am up so late at night: I am just avoiding joining in the madness that awaits on the other side of waking.

655: Andersonville, GA

This tiny town was the site of a Civil War prison camp for captured Union Soldiers. Near the close of the war, it was every bit as horrible as German concentration camps. The death toll from starvation and disease was high, and the commemorative grave stones stand shoulder to shoulder, marking trench-style graves. There are stories of those who worked to relieve the suffering there in those last bleak years of the Civil War in the devastated South. The Union states who had soldiers die here erected monuments to their memory in the early 1900’s.

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The monument from the state of Wisconsin to commemorate fallen Union soldiers from that State who died and are buried at Andersonville.

Since then, this has become a National Historic Site in commemoration of Prisoners of War, with a museum on site, and a National Military Cemetery. It is less than an hour off Interstate 75 on the vacation trek to Florida, and can be seen in a few hours. It is worth the visit. Admission is free.

The neighboring village of Andersonville also has a small museum of Civil War artifacts, including uniforms of the armies and regiments, both Confederate and Union. This Confederate Drummer Boy uniform is one of only two like it known to exist. The little museum asks a small donation to view.

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654: Missing

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I started numbering these posts when I began purging myself using this medium as an outlet years ago when I lived and worked (teaching) in Morocco. There is a place here where some post numbers are skipped (no, I’m not telling), because I wrote some things that I was literally afraid to publish, but I still needed to process the feelings via this method of vomiting out what’s the problem (or the success, or the random thought) on this blank page that begins with a number.

This is therapy, and it damn sure costs less than a professional.

Speaking of that, I live and work now (again) in the United States of America. Very, very few of us here can claim to be impoverished (by world-wide standards). Yes, many of us are struggling here, but here, “struggling” usually still happens with a place to live, food, power, and running water. Of course there are exceptions, but generally, that is true in the USA: poverty is relative. This relative affluence (even in poverty) explains why so many hate us and still try mightily to come here. Where they are doesn’t come with relative affluence in poverty. I get that.

I understand that I am blessed beyond measure just by the happy accident of being born where I was to the parents who had a hand in creating and raising me. No, they weren’t perfect. Who is? I am mature enough (always have been, in this regard if not in others) to appreciate what they did for me. They were certainly quite good enough.

They raised me right, which I tried to pass along to the children I have contributed to this planet. I did wrong on my own – which any adult worth the title has to own. We don’t get every decision correct, and there are also the things we have left undone – even when we had good excuses/reasons.

I have had a good life – even the chapters I dislike, skip over, and just choose not to re-read. Thank you God, for being far more merciful to me than I ever earned.

653: Just Do It

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In the relationship scenario where partners are “supposed” to be equal, THIS is the guiding motto: Just Do It.

I am not counting the relationships that are based on servitude and power. I am not including relationships where service is bought and paid for, and yes, those relationships certainly do exist. I mean a relationship where two people are attempting to get along and share lives with each other – you know, the relationship most of us would like to think we have, are providing and are contributing towards.

Just Do It. If you see something that needs doing, just do it. Do not see it, and just pass it by, knowing that your partner will take care of it, because they usually do. If you are there, and see that it needs doing, Just Do It.

This includes cleaning the toilet, changing out the empty roll of tissue for a new one, cleaning the tub/shower when the mildew starts growing, sweeping/vacuuming, dusting, washing the dishes, putting the clean dishes away, starting a load of laundry, or folding and putting away a clean, dry load – feeding the dog/cat, or handling other pet needs like a bath, litterbox, walk, or vet visit, cooking a meal, or handling the billion and one needs associated with having children to care for and raise. This is only a starter list, and believe me, when the relationship gets lopsided with one partner handling most of the “maintenance” chores that just come with living? That isn’t a partnership. That is unpaid servitude. And it justifiably incites resentment in the person saddled with the unavoidable tasks of daily living. They ARE unavoidable tasks – that YOU are avoiding.

Just Do It, unmet, can be the reason why there isn’t any sex between you anymore. It is difficult to feel loving towards someone who is shirking daily tasks and leaving work for the other to do. It can explain why your partner is quiet and distant. You aren’t contributing to  shared living when you refuse to contribute to the little chores that come with living. Both of you live in your home. Both of you need to take responsibility for taking care of it, and your belongings within the home. Neither of the two of you should be responsible for all of it – and not even the lion’s share of it.

That’s why it is called sharing. That’s why you are called partners.

It your toes are smarting, good. Step up. Just Do It. Try your new commitment daily for thirty days, so it becomes a habit, and see if your relationship improves. An improved relationship is worth thirty days’ investment of your time and energy, right? If it isn’t, why are you even still there?

Just Do It.