On Wednesday I said “Why can I solve one-of-a-kind complex problems at lightning speed but can’t figure out how to solve the problem of doing my dishes with regularity.”
I then added “(More on that one on Friday.)” Welcome to Friday.
My thought was about how whenever I’m doing dishes, I’m doing five days worth of them. When I’m doing laundry it’s two weeks worth. Yes, I have that much clothing, thanks to impulse buying. But that’s another issue, isn’t it?
I know the feeling of having all the laundry done, washed, dried, folded and put away. It’s a hazy memory, but I do remember that. I also remember having all the dishes done and my kitchen squared away, ship shape and Bristol fashion. But these days, with no one in my home to clean up for or to … shall we say, ‘encourage’ me????, I often finish one part of a job and move on to a completely different job.
So, sometimes I have to move the clean dishes that have air dried, out of the sink to make room to do the dirty ones. Okay, that’s all the time. There’s always dirty dishes in one side and clean ones in the other.
And there will be clean, dry, unfolded clothes on the couch that have been there for several days, even as I start another load in the washer (and sometimes discover a forgotten load in the dryer).
This way of life, this constantly being in the middle of my chores, never finished, is depressing much of the time. And I don’t need depressing. I can get along quite fine without it, thank you.
In trying to figure out a better way, I’ve been concentrating on better ways to get dishes and laundry done. I’ve tried to concentrate on the task at hand. I’ve used my clip on timer set at 5 minutes, resetting it each time it goes off and checking to make sure I’m still on task.
But the truth is that even when I succeed and get, say, all my dishes cleaned, dried, and put away, the slight euphoria of success lasts only until I think “Yeah, it’s clean, until you have a sandwich or a cup of coffee while you’re too busy working to be able to clean up. Then it all starts again.”
In other words, managing to get it all cleaned up only serves to make me feel worse.
A few days ago I had the sudden epiphany that I’m being hard on myself for nothing. I have clean dishes. I have clean clothes. I have systems that work. I can’t stop being vigilant about doing dishes and laundry, but I really don’t need to be feeling so bad about them never being done. The truth is, they are being done, constantly.
I should just learn to enjoy doing dishes and laundry … okay, that’s a bit of a stretch, but I think I’ll just try to feel good about the fact that I am drinking a cup of coffee out of a clean mug. Well, it was clean ’til I put coffee into it.
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Last reviewed: 5 Dec 2013