Thursday, March 11, 2010

Head Cook and Chief Bottle Washer

As it happens, my most favorite and my least favorite chores happen in the kitchen. I love cooking, LOVE IT. I find it soothing and relaxing and creative and all of that good stuff. I loathe doing the dishes, LOATHE IT. If I could just shove everything into the dishwasher, even if it's not dishwasher safe, I would. bah.
When I first married Luke, I attempted to put into place a rule that my family had growing up: if you cook the dinner, you don't have to do the dishes. This rule, seemingly effortless in my childhood home, never seemed to take tight hold in my house. I was way bummed. To say the least.
Not to say that my husband doesn't do the dishes, because he really does! He does them more often than I do, and after a dinner party he is the first to jump in the kitchen to do clean up. But we often, as much as it shames me to say it, leave the dinner dishes from the night before in the sink, only to be joined by their comrades: breakfast, lunch and dinner (again!) dishes. And then we face a sink filled with dishes and sigh heavily. sigh.
One of the best discoveries I made was running the dishwasher overnight and emptying it while making breakfast. Sounds ridiculously easy doesn't it? BUT if I start my day with a just emptied dishwasher I can slowly but surely add to it throughout the day and VOILA! it's full by evening time and I can start it again!
The hitch comes when we have a light dish day, or we go out for dinner and my terrible habit of waiting a day to do all my dishes starts again. sigh.
It was becoming a terribly disheartening thing, this weird cycle of feeling responsible and then lazy. I wondered if all adults were like me, with one foot still stuck in the silly college days when you would let stuff sit, and one foot trying to teach your toddler how to clean up after themselves! WAY to much deep thinking for a simple household chore. I realized that I had an image in my head of what I wanted my kitchen to look like, but I wasn't really willing to put in the small amount of work it would take to get there. All because I really REALLY hated doing the dishes. And once I figured that out I sighed heavily, not at my sink but at myself because the thing that I really took away from this whole silly dishwashing adventure is that as much as I want to sometimes I can't just go with the flow and hope for things to magically happen, especially if I have a picture in my head of how I want my life to be, I have to really work at it, and make it a habit and make it wonderful myself. All by the sweat on my brow and the suds on my hands! :)

I feel so capable. But ask me in a couple weeks how the dishwashing leaf turning is going. I'll probably sigh heavily.


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