Emotional Labour is the hardest work ever!

Nothing is, until we think a thought about it.

Well, hello, my beautiful friends.

What a week I’ve had, temper tantrums, unmotivated episodes, joyful elation and dedication to my dream.

This week I set the goal to reupholster the new(ish) dining chairs, hubby had done the labour intensive work of sanding and varnishing, it was my job to add the fabric, I gathered all the tools I thought I would need, I gathered my enthusiasm, and began.

As a qualifier, I have never upholstered any thing before, so DIY Linda at the helm. I cut out the fabric following the pattern (old fabric that came off the chair) First attempt, I didn’t allow enough fold under. Second attempt was much better. Positioning the fabric on the chair I smoothed it out and began using the heavy duty hand stapler.

When did I lose the strength in my hands? It took a lot of effort to squeeze the spring loaded handle, to eject the staple where I wanted it to go, only to find that as the staple left the gun it bounced on chair and the staple didn’t go flat into the chair. Long story short, it took three attempts (I stapled and re-stapled the entire chair three times) to get the first chair covered, in the process I discovered it was best to use the little office stapler to ‘tack’ the fabric in place so it wouldn’t move or stretch as I prepared the fold under, I methodically used two hands to fire off the staple, one to squeeze the trigger, the other to hold the head onto the surface with my body positioned directly above the chair legs.

Straightening the crinkles out of my back, I surveyed my work. Not too bad. The failed staples scattered all over the floor were testament to learning in progress, feeling pretty pleased with myself I admired chair number one and told myself the next one will be easier now that I know what I’m doing. And it was.

Chair number four was my undoing, tiredness had set in, the staples began jamming, the fabric was stretching and needed redoing. Ah! My temper flared, it was time to have a break. Now, for those who know me, I can be very stubborn, obstinate even. There was no way I was going to let a little thing like a stapler and pleats stop me finishing the job. Hubby walked in to find me beating up the stapler to remove the stuck staples. Frustration has a way of making us behave in irrational ways. He gently took the stapler, removed the blockage and reloaded it for me. (I know the stapler had nothing to do with my frustration, it was how I was thinking about the job, wanting to get it finished that was causing my frustration) Finally after re-stapling the entire chair twice, with another pile of twisted and useless staples on the floor the chair was done. Phew! Only two chairs to go.

Drama, I created it, I felt it, and I reacted to it. Not very well at that.

One good thing about this entire saga, is, I now know I created it, and I can change it. In the past I’d have taken out my frustration on anyone in the area, and that anger would have simmered for days under the surface, affecting every other interaction I had whether human or not. Not anymore, I went for a long soak in a super hot, deep bath and relaxed all the frustration out of my body and brain.

Tell me about your week. In the comments below share with me your successes and your frustrations?

Nothing is, until we think a thought about it.

Often we don’t do what we know we ought to be doing. Why?

We are having a thought about the action, and that thought is creating resistance in our mind, which our body reacts to.

Often, the hardest part of doing anything is beginning. Getting the body in motion, once we have begun, the task is not as daunting as we first thought.

Emotional labour is the hardest work ever. I read this the other day, and it is so true.

How many times do we make an easy five minute job, last all day?

It’s the emotional resistance to doing the job that creates the conflict within us.

I remember when I had four babies under four, cloth nappies were the norm, and washing was a huge thing for me, I had children who were bedwetters, creating mountains of washing.

When I was in poor me, life is hard mode, the washing pile just grew and took over the house, unwashed linen and clothes in the laundry, and washed, unfolded clothes on the couch in the lounge. One day, I’d had enough, I had to figure out a better way to handle this mountain of washing. The bedwetting wasn’t going to stop any time soon, so I figured out at way to reduce the amount of washing, by doctoring the children’s bedding, by making the washing my first priority every day. Getting it washed, and hung on the line. I learned to fold it as it came off the line directly into the basket, and to put it away as soon as it I took it inside. I created a system for hanging and labelling the clothes, so each child’s items were hung and folded together, making putting them away easier. I conquered the mountain of clothes. It took time and planning. It took focus and effort. It took thought power. The emotional labour of having had enough, and needing to be willing to do something different to give me a different result, and a better feeling about myself and the laundry situation gave me the drive to find a solution.

What is your emotional labour?

What are you avoiding?

What will it take for you to have enough, and draw a line under it?

To say, “I won’t take this any more”, and find a solution that will make you feel better.

The emotional labour is the hardest work ever, once we step over the threshold, past the brain and our thoughts about any activity we have been putting off, the activity becomes easier.

Life is not supposed to be so hard.

Our Emotional Responses make life what we want it to be.

Make your life easy, elegant and efficient by choosing the thoughts you think about everything.

Nothing is, until we think a thought about it.

I’d love to hear what you think about this statement.

Leave a comment below.

Until next time, investigate what emotional labour is causing you to work harder than you need to.

Authenticity is ease.

oxox Linda


Email me at authenticlivingwithlinda@gmail.com

Find me on Facebook @authenticlivingwithlinda @lindacodlin25

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