A friend of mine shared that her dishwasher had broken down, and it would be some time before a new one could be bought. She sighed over the thought of one more thing to do in her already busy schedule, but she knew her family could pitch in, and it wouldn’t be that long before they could save for a new one.
Now my friend has four boys who are always running in different directions, but when the boys started doing dishes in pairs, she noticed something change. As one washed and the other dried, they talked to each other. She overheard real conversations and playful teasing not the bickering or disinterest that usually filled their time. What was happening? Was washing dishes magic? Possibly.
Agatha Christie once said, “The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.”
What is it about doing dishes or other basic home-keeping tasks that grounds us and recharges us, even opens our minds to creativity? Is it the warm water, the repetitive nature of the task, the chance to let our minds wander wherever they want? I’m not sure, but there is something to it.
Okay, my virtual ears are buzzing. Some of you are thinking but I hate doing dishes, or scrubbing my floors, or hanging out my laundry. (I’m with you on the last one. There is no substitute for a dryer in winter!)
So, take a leap with me. For 15 minutes, give yourself over to some simple household task. You could
- wipe your kitchen counters
- clean your bathroom mirror and sink
- sweep your front porch
- or maybe even do your dishes.
As you do this task, let yourself be present in the moment. Let your mind relax and enjoy the sense of accomplishment when you finish. You might be surprised at the good things that come from this little break in your day.
* Thanks to Lynn Blackburn’s blog Out of the Boat for the Agatha Christie quote. You can check out Lynn’s other great quotes for writer’s at Out of the Boat Writer’s Quotes.
Simplicity Tip of the Day: Take pleasure in your home. Straighten a bookshelf. Dust a corner. Put a cuddly blanket on the back of your couch. Do one thing today to bring you pleasure where you live.