It’s Not My Job

My inner dialogue this morning whilst doing the dishes:

Why I am doing all these fucking dishes again?*

These are not even my dishes.

Is it so difficult to put the dish in the dishwasher rather than the sink?

Disgusting hamburger chunks floating in a pool on top of the Jenga-like tower of dishes.

Who stacks dishes like this? Either the tower is going to fall and spray hamburger chunk on me or something’s going to break.

It’s not my turn. I’ve done them the last hundred four times.

These are notevenmyfuckingdishes.

* Perhaps I should have warned that I was not happy to be doing the dishes. Even though I introduced the dialogue with a fun word like whilst.

Somewhere amid the hamburger chunks and the swearing, there was a pause. It was oh-so brief.

In it the phrase it’s not my job came to mind.

Not in a way that supported my inner bitching, rather in a what-chu-talkin-bout-willis way.

How many times have I heard that? How many times do people use that as a way to blame others, or excuse themselves from participating or being accountable?

I didn’t make that litter; it’s not my job to pick it up.

I didn’t have your kid; it’s not my job to help raise him.

I didn’t cause the environmental issues; it’s not my job to make it better.

I didn’t do whatever you did to make yourself homeless; it’s not my job to support you.

And, of course…

I didn’t dirty these fucking dishes; it’s not my job to wash them.

How many times do I excuse myself from life, from showing up and contributing?


A million wise words funnel through my mind… We’re all one. What we do to another we do to ourselves. This is a path of service and kindness. Messages of Gandhi, Jesus, monks, ministers, teachers.

And more than the words, the feeling… of the whole, of interconnection. Ripples of cause and effect.

It was overwhelming and brought tears to my eyes.

Powerful and fleeting, like striking a match and then blowing it out, the moment passed and only the smoke remained.


I turned on some ABBA and finished washing the dishes. Then the stove, then the countertops.

It felt so good to care for my family in this way. To care for the space that holds us.

Life is not a job. It is a play, an opportunity, a miracle.

And on my desk as I write, words from Albert Einstein:

A human being is a part of the whole called by us “the universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening the circle of understanding and compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.


5 Responses to “It’s Not My Job”

  1. 1 Keleigh March 10, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    *love* this. thank you.

  2. 2 blogasana March 12, 2010 at 3:59 am

    ah… thank *you* kel

  3. 3 Leili March 12, 2010 at 6:01 am

    Wow…what an eye opener.

  4. 4 janeen March 13, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    Lovely, Michelle.

  1. 1 Thank you, Mr. Universe Trackback on October 3, 2011 at 9:03 pm

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