Sometimes, just getting the dishes washed is a big deal. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with chores around the house. The dishes are backed up. The laundry needs to be done. I need to pay the bills. When I go to do one thing, I find I can’t do it because there are three other things I need to do first. Just this morning I wanted to have some grapes with my breakfast. But I hadn’t washed the grapes yet. I looked at the sink, and the sink was full of dishes. It was going to be hard to wash them. And the drain rack was full too. Goodness gracious, it was all a log jam.
I certainly could have just washed the grapes around the dirty dishes. It isn’t ideal. Sometimes the grapes drop into the sink and then they’ll sit there under the dishes and start to get slimy and gross. Then they’ll attract bugs. So that really isn’t the best option.
I could have let it all get to me and gotten overwhelmed. I’ve certainly done this in the past. But then there are more dishes, and more dishes, and they just don’t do themselves.
We have an understanding in our house that one person cooks and the other person washes the dishes. It seems pretty fair, but in reality the person who washes the dishes has it pretty easy. You have to cook every day. You don’t have to wash dishes every day. They can back up a little. The bad part is, they do back up and then it gets a little difficult to take care of it.
Then I have to break it down into pieces. Start with something. Empty the drain rack, because I need a place to put the dishes I’m about to wash. OK, that wasn’t too bad. That took three minutes. Then I’ll look at the dishes to be done. Both sides of the sink are full. Not only are dishes from two or three days in there, my husband used two pots last night because I wanted saffron rice and beans. So those have been soaking overnight to make it easier to clean them.
If only I’d washed them last night. They’d be done already. No soaking required. But that way of thinking is a dead end. Saying “if only” doesn’t help with the right now. It helps a little for the future, so I can see what doesn’t work and try not to do it again. But for right now, “if only” is a trap. It is best to just notice it and then move along. Once I finally decide to wash some dishes, I’ll probably argue with myself that I don’t have a lot of time. This too is a dead end. It really only takes about ten minutes to do the dishes. It is stunning how I’ll try to get out of doing what has to be done. I create such resistance, and when I finally push through it and just do it, it isn’t nearly as hard as I was making it to be.