It’s a never ending battle. The more you do, the more they multiply. They keep coming and coming. It doesn’t matter if you do them on a daily basis. If you try to ignore them, it gets worse. They even made machines that will take care of them for you, but the catch is you still have to remember to fill the machine! Dishes. Dirty dishes. Some how it’s a never ending chore that needs to be done but no one likes doing them. Except me.
I remember being around eleven and having to do the dishes. Back then you had to basically wash the dishes before you put them in the dishwasher, then they never got fully dry so you had to dry them off before putting them away. Reflecting back on it now, pretty sure it would have been quicker to simply wash them by hand. It was one of the regular chores that my dad made me do, and at the time I hated it. Mostly because if I forgot, I would be waken up early to put the dishes away or I couldn’t go to bed till they were done.
Nowadays, I actually look forward to doing them. I know, sounds crazy. I think that parents can relate more to this. For me, it’s an escape. An excuse to get away from the 3foot, 32lbs, Korlatto (Korean + Mulatto), crazy person named Toby. The best part is, he gets it! I tell him that Dadda has to do the dishes, he doesn’t argue or even follow me. He leaves me alone!
The typical scene is my phone laying on the counter blasting Pandora (The Black Keys station of course) or ESPN radio streaming the latest episode of Colin Cowherd. It’s relaxing. The dirt washes away from the dishes, I get to let my mind wonder, and no crazy person trying to jump on my head. Now, if I take just a little too long, I’ll hear a little pitter patter of feet coming to find me. But, for that 10-20 minutes (depending on how many dishes I have), I’m not a play set or an entertainer for Toby.
In this crazy life we live, you have to find moments. They are hard to come by. Moments that allow you to disappear. To let your mind relax. It’s amazing that I teach many of my students various coping skills like counting to ten, deep breathing and imaginal exercises (yeah… Don’t really know what that is… Shhh don’t tell anyone) and yet one of my favorite coping skill is doing the dishes.