You’ve read it right. I love doing dishes. The more dishes in the sink at the end of the day, the happier I am.
If it sounds funny or uncanny, that something that most people hate is one of my favorite things, I get it. You can’t find a connection to the idea of loving the (dirty) dishes. Or any other “task” for that matter.
Instead, you hate it. You resent it. You’re angry with those responsible for all the mess, and all the dirt. You’re telling yourself that you’re the only one ever doing anything in the house, and you hate the feeling of loneliness it creates. I get it. I was like that, too.
And I Saw It Wasn’t Working
I kept nagging everyone to help around, and, by doing that, I just made them resent the same tasks that I resented. Sure – we get what we model. If I hate doing something, why would they want to do something that’s so hated?
I took some time to think. I’m not too fond of dirty dishes in the sink. So I wash the dishes all day long. As soon as something gets in the sink, it has to be washed.
With this strategy, I surround myself with tasks I dislike doing all day long.
In the name of my love for a clean sink – I ruin my entire day doing something that I hate.
What a waste of energy, isn’t it?
What Did I Do?
The first thing that I did was decide only to do the dishes once a day at the end of the day.
Wow. What a relief. Suddenly, I had 23 tasks less; I wasn’t bothered by every dish in the sink. I had significantly less to do then I did before. Plus – I didn’t spend the day worrying about it. Can you imagine what a single worry less feels like?
In the case of worry less – one is a mass.
If you’re now thinking, “yes, but it accumulates,”! you’re right. It does.
Here is the real trick – it’s the empty, clean, and sparkling sink that I love. So getting there means that I HAVE TO HAVE THE DIRTY DISHES IN THE SINK.
Without the dirty dishes (since living human beings have to eat) – there would be no clean sink.
It’s the mental image of the clean sink that I carry within me all day long, and the dirtier it gets during the day – the MORE FUN I’LL HAVE working towards the end-goal that I set; the end-goal that meets MY needs.
And here is the mental image I anchor myself with. I know that by the end of the day, this is what I will see, the clean and sparkling sink I love so much. It’s always there, even if it’s covered with dishes.
On days like today, when the sink is already full at 10 AM (living-in-quarantine), I CELEBRATE every dish added to that pile. It’s almost as if I’m curious about the size of the pile I’ll have by the end of the day 🙂
It’s how we think of things that determine how we feel about them. Not the other way around.
With this simple shift within me, I stopped asking for help, by thus making this task (and others) seem hated. With love for the task, stemming from love for the result, my boys now love helping me. I don’t even have to ask. And when they don’t – it’s absolutely fine because I know that the process is an inherent part of the result.
Now, if you want to be really brave, copy-paste this strategy onto everything in your life.
Do you want a clean house? Celebrate the dirt.
Do you want to raise an incredible human being? Celebrate the tantrums.
Do you want to lose weight? Celebrate who you are TODAY.
Do you want to enjoy a strong connection? Embrace the conflict.
If this sounds incredible to you, but you don’t know where to start, this is precisely the work that I do with the members of Positive Parenting VIP, my membership group.
We walk step by step and hand in hand towards peace of mind, in all realms of life (but mainly parenting). Click this link to learn more and join us.
And if that’s a bit too much for you, (and I get it), you can join my life and parenting support group on Facebook. I’d love to meet you ️