Coming clean: sometimes you’re supposed to do housework instead of writing

G-d wanted me to do the dishes this morning.

I finished a large-ish writing project yesterday, then pulled open another document to begin the next assignment. I got the first paragraph written, and then every ounce of creativity in my brain dried up. Okay, I had a couple ideas, but they weren’t RIPE. More like literary fetal tissue than the next baby ready to be birthed.

Those who know me or who regularly read my blog know that I rarely get writer’s block. I usually have more ideas in my mind than really is good for me. Sometimes I can’t sleep at night, because my mind is so busy that the ideas are dripping out my ears.

kitchen photo

See this immaculate kitchen? Clearly not mine.

I spent the rest of yesterday taking care of my kids, feeding them and hubby (not to mention myself), and finishing Bird by Bird. (More on that later this week.) Then I had a Tiferes meeting, but before I left, I checked my email. A girlfriend would be dropping by Tuesday morning.

Oh, no.

You see, my back had been out, and then there had been Shabbos, and then I was writing on a “finish ASAP–please!” type deadline. Result–my house was a wreck. Piles of dishes, a couple of loads of laundry, toys and size 3 Hello Kitty underwear littered my floor.

(As an aside: Why is it that guests always come the day BEFORE the housekeeper is scheduled to come instead of the day after she cleans? Probably because HaShem has a sense of humor.)

I was mortified over the condition of my house. But I really, really wanted to meet with this friend, so obviously I had to do something about the mess. I could feel my stress levels rising.

And then I realized. G-d didn’t want me to write today. All those fetal ideas in my head needed to gestate. They could do that while I washed the dishes, folded some towels, and generally picked up. Housework needed to get done, and G-d sent me the opportunity to do it.

My girlfriend visited. It was lovely. Now I’m going to eat lunch. I think I’m ready to write now.

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