Learning To Love Doing Things We Hate: Dishes

Being that I cook food for a living, and also for my family, dishes are a natural part of this process. In my case, piles and piles and piles of them. I am not looking for sympathy here. Actually, quite the opposite.

I am training myself to find the joy in dishes. If there is joy in cooking, can’t there be joy in dishes? Yes, I say there can be.

So, as I do the dishes now, I muster up images of water activities that I love. I love swimming. I love splashing. I adore the ocean. I really love a good bath. And then, to bring it back,  way, way back, I recalled how much I loved playing with the water tables we had at my Montessori school.Image I would dump water back and forth between plastic cups, play with figurines and Hot Wheels under water, and even “do-dishes”. I did this for fun back then. So that was the nugget of inspiration I needed. Dishes, and the washing of those dishes, is fun, if I want it to be. It’s just a matter of perspective.

This is a process. I don’t love every minute of it. I will admit though that the hardest part of it wasn’t actually DOING the dishes. The hardest part for me has always been, in the past, that I have felt like washing dishes is a waste of my time, and that I’d rather be doing something “more important”. But for now, dishes ARE IMPORTANT, and that is my truth, that is what I embrace. So with my new (or old) perspective, I engage in washing the dishes. I have always had an order, but now I follow it with a more certain joy, a more focused approach. Instead of thinking, “oh man, I really don’t want to do those dishes, but I have to,” I think, “I am going to have fun with those dishes today.” I take pride in carefully cleaning each item, and exercise gratitude for the special tools that help me do a job that I love. I wash and dry my knives first and put them away in their proper spot. I wash and dry and oil my special pans that need extra attention, and immediate care. I examine my wooden utensils, and throw away any that aren’t up to snuff (this can happen quickly, and fortunately I live near IKEA where a new set costs only $ .49). You may be beginning to think I’ve gone a little mad, and that’s fair. I very well may have, but guess what? You too can be either mad about washing dishes, or madly amused by washing dishes. Just remember: it’s your choice.

Thursday always hints at the weekend. Make plans! I’m going to.