This is supposed to be about dishes, but it is really about much more than that. Last week, Phil challenged me to write down my dishes issues. What he was referring to is the fact that I struggle with keeping the dishes clean. I have a tendency to look at the stack waiting by the sink at night and say “I’ll do it in the morning.” I do do them in the morning, but it wastes valuable time I could be using elsewhere. On occasion, and fortunately it is becoming rarer, I don’t do them in the morning. So why? asks Phil, and I don’t know. is my answer.
But now I think I have a glimmer of the truth, and it is that I am bored easily. And there are few more boring tasks than washing dishes. They have to be done over and over, and sometimes the same dish three or four times in a day. My subconcious says why bother? and so I struggle with it. The solutions I have come up with are that I have to retrain my brain to do the dishes after every meal. Even doing them twice a day isn’t enough – but at that, it is more than I was trained to do growing up, and I have to fight those ingrained habits with all I have unless I want to doom my daughters to this fight later in their lives. I have to start the girls on helping with dishes. They love to help rinse, but I don’t often allow them because it takes so much longer when they are helping. But Glady is old enough to wash almost on her own- and has done so once. And just because I feel guilty that I am not doing them is no reason to not ask someone else – whether it be Dad, the girls, or Phil – to do them.
I have found that my mind can do repetitive tasks if I switch it off and let it cruise along on muscle memory, but this tends to leave me on hyperfocus mode, and I can literally ignore everything. As a wife and mother of four this isn’t a good thing, although it has served me well in the past. So now I try to use music, chatting with someone who is willing to hang out in the kitchen with me… anything to keep my mind going while my hands are busy.
So, I’m off to do some dishes – right after I make my office calls for the day, give the girls a snack and drink, feed the baby and walk the dog, just to name a few of the chores clamoring for my attention at this moment.