A good few of my readers followed me this summer where I faithfully endured handwashing the dishes until my husband returned from sea. The dishwasher had broken,and the part my husband had ordered didn’t arrive until he was long gone… I COULD have paid someone to install the part but I knew how manly it made my husband feel to be able to fix things around the house. He already feels like crap because chaos inevivabtly happens when he’s away. We’ve had a myriad of leaks, broken lawnmowers, acts of nature (hurricanes/blizzards).. All he can do is sympathize through email and let’s face it… that doesn’t help me solder a leak much. To remind him that he is valued and I truly to appreciate the effort he makes when he’s home, I decided to leave the dishwasher in need of repair until he was able to come home and complete the job.
Two long months….
I obviously had a lot on my plate.. (hahah get it?) and dishes were the least of my concerns: Ailing parents, summer chaos, writing papers about whether I exist or don’t.. (do the dishes actually exist?) I’m surprised I didn’t fall apart…
I’d like to thank the never ending pile of dishes for keeping me sane… seriously….
Doing dishes became my time to control the choas I found myself in. With some hard work, time, and the computer propped up beside me to watch sappy reality shows (don’t judge me), I was able to break away from it all and focus on a task that has the ability to be accomplished. To be controlled if I’m being honest.
This may be because I was in fact studying philosophy, but I saw that the kitchen sink was a great metaphor for my happiness. It wasn’t just me that was throwing dirty dishes into this sink. It was my children and mother too. And I didn’t see any of them taking two seconds to rinse them; let alone wash them. This task was purely my own.
In the grand scheme of things, isn’t that the way happiness comes about in life too? Life is constantly throwing things your way that can ruin your clean sink of happiness. Some of that misery is self inflicted. Some is caused by those you love. At the end of the day, however, only you can decide to let the misery pile up. I chose not to. I didn’t seek to keep that sink sparkling clean but instead just did what I could and enjoyed the process.
That mess is never going to be completely gone. I can wash and put away EVERY SINGLE DISH. Seriously grab a camera and take a picture, because that empty sink almost never lasts. So long as I and my family have healthy bodies that requires nourishment, and we are blessed to have food to nourish it.. dishes will continue to pile up.
I can choose to be overwhelmed and feel hopeless and want to quit.. or I can accept that this is the way it is and find a way to make the situation enjoyable.
I chose to acknowledge that happiness is a state of mind that is caught in the process of cleaning those dishes not in obtaining the empty sink… (although to be fair when I see my sink completely clean I do feel pretty awesome) And even though my dishwasher has been functional for awhile I find myself washing a few things by hand to remind myself of this process when I’m feeling low. To dare I say even be thankful
Oh.. and after those two months washing my dishes my hand..it took my husband a whole FIVE MINUTES to fix my dishwasher…. Go figure right?