I’ve spent the past few years unpacking a lot about myself, doing the work in therapy, reading up on things that sounds like perhaps they are me. In that I’ve also started dealing with the fact that I struggle with care tasks – what you might more easily recognize as “chores”. I always have, I don’t remember a time when completing care tasks came easily, or instinctually. And, when I’m in a bad headspace it all gets so much worse.
But, I need to stop thinking in terms of better or worse as this book clearly elucidates, care tasks are morally neutral.
Once more: Care. Tasks. Are. Morally. Neutral.
The introduction of this book lays out what is to follow, what are care tasks and why are they so hard for people. It ends with the phrase “if you are crying right now this book is for you”. When a book tells you that and you’ve realized that you are in fact moments from crying, its oddly reassuring. Ah, I’m not alone! I’m so not alone that this licensed counselor has developed a whole philosophy of care (struggle care) to help the me-types cope. From there the short 31 chapters (seriously, the entire kindle book is 54 pages long) bounce back and forth from unpacking the psychology (Shame is the Enemy of Functioning) and practical skill building (which Davis calls Gentle Skill Building and include cleaning bathrooms, doing laundry, hygiene, maintaining spaces, and others).
The book focuses on making functional decisions within your abilities: what can you accomplish with the energy or ability you have right now that improves your functionality? Is it throwing some underwear and socks into the washing machine and setting up your coffee pot so tomorrow you has something to wear and much needed caffeination? Then do that much and know you’ve done what’s needed, judgement free. Is the floordrobe of laundry your impossible task? Let it be. How can you make the floordrobe more functional? Do that and move onto the rest of your day. Feeling like you don’t deserve to do the fun thing because your house is a cluttered mess? Tell yourself the real truth: you, merely by being you, deserve to have a lovely day.
Davis shares a lot of ground with Rachel Hoffman’s Unfuck Your Habitat which I find helpful but not perfect, and Tricia Hersey and the Nap Ministry on our right to rest which should be noted. All likely have information that you’ll find helpful or minimally reassuring.