Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Marching to your own beat -- home-style

The kind of music one is listening to can, to a certain extent, affect the person's mood. Take the choice of songs on your playlist and how this influences your driving experience. Have you tried working your way through horrendous traffic jams or navigating along major streets known for the presence of "King of the Road"-minded drivers with hard rock and heavy metal playing over your speakers? How about trying to stay awake on the third hour of driving alone with only stretches of corn fields as your view on both sides of the road, while listening to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata (1st movement), Chopin's Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2, or Brahms' Lullaby over and over? While listening tastes vary with each person, there is normally a link between auditory stimulation and a person's mood. Which is why I suddenly got the idea of accompanying my next dishwashing session (actually, chore-doing in general) with a particular sound that I accidentally stumbled on when the Strauss waltzes playlist was all done -- which I had discovered later on -- and wafting over the speakers was a jubilant, strikingly robust tune.

I didn't know Strauss also composed music for marching bands. I thought his was all waltzes for balls and royal banquets, I said to myself. Curious, I peeked at my computer and saw that since YouTube now has a tendency to go on to the next video as soon as the last one is done unless the viewer/listener clicks on the pause or stop button, a non-Strauss thing was playing. It was called "The best Austro-German Military Marches"! What do you think of that? It sure was lively and it reminded me of parades and country fairs that I had never attended but seen in movies and on television.

Well, I could use this kind of jubilant mood while I do the dishes! I thought. Lately the enthusiasm with which I greet and carry out the tasks at home (dishwashing, cleaning, preparing meals, and the little cooking I do) had been dwindling, making me again wish I had Jedi powers to work the sponges, rags and brooms while seated comfortably from afar or even while blogging and chatting on Facebook simultaneously.

Sure, taking care of the home -- which includes doing some work (sometimes a lot of work) for its upkeep and often putting the needs of your loved ones on top of yours -- is a duty of love, with that last word deserving of the emphasis. There are no menial tasks, Petrufied underscores here. After all, "house chores, though effectively tiresome and repetitive, are never a lowly occupation. It takes some know-how to get them done well, some patience to get them done at all, and a lot of love to get them done with ease," she writes.

That's not to say we're spared from feeling bored when things seem to become monotonous and in instances that going out of the house for this and that other errand (or for some window-shopping!) is simply not an option. Regular rest is necessary, and if you must, "embroider" the tasks so that they don't make you fall into the feeling of drudgery, especially when keeping the house clean and cheery, doing kitchen work for your family, and all-around keeping the home in tiptop shape are such noble tasks. What "embroidery" is that? Nothing about needlework here; it means doing what you can to make them more exciting -- like what I plan to do the next time I'm in the kitchen working the sponge and suds. I've had quite a few different musical genres accompany me at the sink but this Austro-German Military Marches will be a first! Let's see how that'll work out! I'm pretty thrilled at the thought. Wish I had a Sgt. Pepper costume to go with it!

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