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Monday, March 26, 2012

Why I do the dishes?

I have money. More than enough money at this point. I can buy any gadget, expensive or cheap, that I want. Really, I can. But I don't. It's not my nature.
Back when our dishwasher broke down around 2001, we never replaced it. Shortly thereafter my father in law came to live with us full time and he did the dishes religiously every morning. When he passed away in 2010, that job fell to me.
I like doing the dishes. Not to do the dishes to pass the time, as my father in law did, but because it helps me achieve my goals. I will explain.
Because I write a lot, all day in fact, I need breaks from the grind. Writing, or writing well, is very tiring and very hard to maintain most days for a long period of time. It can drain you.
You get stale, and you need outlets. For me, one of those is doing the dishes. In the summer I like to work on the yard, pulling weeds and fixing up the grass and garden and building things in the garage. But living in Canada, that still leaves 6 months where I need to find other outlets.
I find I gain two things from doing the dishes. First, I am a born achiever. I like to take something, like dirty dishes, and turn them into clean dishes. There is a sense of achievement there for me. I would not get the same satisfaction out of just throwing them in an electric dishwasher. Because I have the money, I have the time to do this. If I had a full time day job and/or kids to occupy me, I might not be able to justify this sort of thing.
But second, and more importantly, I find that occupying my mind with a mindless task like doing the dishes puts my mind in motion with new ideas and thoughts that I can take back to my various writing projects and refresh what I am already working on.
That is invaluable to me.
Blanking my mind out and not also being distracted by things such as You Tube, or online movies, or facebook gives me the chance to enhance my natural creative mind. The ideas just flow, and they flow at a rapid rate. By the time I am finished with my 10 or 15 minute session of doing the dishes, or pulling weeds I come back to the computer with some  of my best writing ideas. It never fails. It might not work for some, but it works for me.
Going on long walks can also achieve this, but I find long walks  almost always means encountering other people, dogs, children and generally breaks my concentration, not enhances it.
That is why I do the dishes.
In fact, I came up with the idea for this blog while doing the dishes.

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