Inspired by my favorite podcast, 3 in 30 Takeaways for Moms, I present 3 of my very own takeaways that may seem silly, but in reality are quite profound! At least to me :)
Life Lessons Taught by My Dishwasher
It’s all in how you think about it! And your thoughts can change! One teeny tiny shift in thinking is what got this whole obsession started and finally made everything click for me. You just need to stop thinking of your dishwasher as something that gets run only when it’s jammed full. Instead your dishwasher is something that gets run every night. It doesn’t have to be crammed full. I’d argue that it shouldn’t be! The routine isn’t “Put it off, put if off, put off - I think I can fit something else in and now it’s finally so full I can’t possibly fit something else in so I run it in the middle of the day. And when there are dirty dishes they wait on the counter til the load is done. And then when it is finally done I have a ton of dishes to put away AND more dishes to go in (that are gross by this point)... except I don’t have time to do it because I need to cook dinner. So it waits til after we’re done eating and now there are even MORE dishes.” Nope. I run it at night. I empty it in the morning. Then it’s just waiting for dirty dishes to go in all throughout the day. The task never gets out of hand or feels overwhelming. It’s so easy to maintain!
Nothing’s as hard as it seems. I used to spend so much mental energy dreading emptying the dishwasher. And then one time I timed myself. It took less than 3 minutes from start to finish. Knowing that, I have since gotten myself in the habit of just getting it done and over with. If I can get up and do it right away, the dishwasher takes up 3 minutes of my mental energy. TOTAL. FOR THE DAY. If I put it off I can waste hours of my mental energy thinking about how much I don’t want to do it, how I really should be doing it, how the dishes on the counter are so gross, how someone else should be helping me, blah blah blah. OR I can just do it right away and it’s done in no time and I don’t go down that big old rabbit hole of negative thought.
One small act can have BIG ripple effects. I’m not just being goofy and saying that getting my dishwasher under control changed my life! This one little act, setting up the routine (that I program the dishwasher to run while we sleep and empty it first thing in the morning) paved the way for SO MUCH goodness in my life. The obvious is that the kitchen isn’t gross. I wake up to a clean sink, there aren’t dirty dishes sitting around during the day, everyone is more helpful putting their own dishes in the dishwasher (because it’s easy!). BUT also, on a much bigger note, I start my day moving forward, not playing catchup from tasks that weren’t finished the day before. I used to wake up already feeling behind in my day, but no more!! Now I feel in control. I have started to opportunities for small shifts in other places (laundry for one!). I am at peace because my surroundings aren’t in disarray which means my brain can focus on the other million tasks I need to accomplish as an artist, business owner and mother. I feel empowered because there’s nothing I can’t do! I’ve got a clean sink - LOOK OUT WORLD!!!