I actually like doing dishes.
No, I won't come over and do yours.
Ok, so here is why. There comes a certain satisfaction from just drowning your arms and hands in a deep sink full of dishes. Ever since I moved in to this apartment, I have lacked a dish washer. I no longer could just rinse the dishes and stick them in the machine that would sanitize them and make them scalding hot. I have to get in there, pick off the dirt and debris of the past day's worth of eating (or so... I don't like doing them all the time). I use the many tools of the job: the sponge, which if Mythbusters is to be believed (and they are) is germ laden and disgusting; the bottle brush to get those hard to reach places which my hands are too big to get and the green fuzzy plastic scrubby thing that is safe for my Teflon pots and pans. With these tools, I wash away all of the left over sauces and fat drippings that come from a rich diet of not entirely healthy foods. If a particular bit of something won't let go, just give it a bit of time in a warm bath with plenty of good smelling soap and it will lose its stubbornness and eventually soften and let go. Sure, my hands may be a bit pruny as I continue to wash, but that will take only a bit of time to mend. And at the end of doing dishes, once everything is dried and put away, there comes a bit of satisfaction that the job is done for the night, that there is order in the world, even in just one small part of the world, and that you know where everything is, in that kitchen. It is a good feeling.
And I'm finding, life is like that on a larger scale. Doing dishes is an interesting metaphor for life. You take time to work at the problem spots, or just set them aside if they are too large to get to and eventually, it will all work out. You may have to do a little bit of work, spend a little bit of time, and you may have to find the right tools, but your world can come to some sort of order if you decide that is what you want to do. Your body or mind may get wrung out, may become a bit pruny, but just sit in a hot bath for a while, forget about that problem even for a couple of minutes, and you'll be able to face and beat it when the time is right. And in the end, you will find that order will be restored and you can look back on your life and those rough times when you were up to your elbows in troubles, and see that those troubles have been put away in the right places, life has sorted itself out, and you can feel that you have accomplished something.
For my friends and families with automatic dishwashers, may I suggest that tonight, or sometime soon, you let go of technology, fill your sink up with soapy water, and emerge yourself into just doing dishes and letting your mind go. And while your hands are busy, and you are enjoying the peaceful meditation of a gentle, relaxing task you may find your mind wandering and a solution comes out of some that celebrates those quiet moments that come when you are just doing dishes.
Love and Lollipops,
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