Right now, my husband is out surfing, while the dishwasher is doing its magic.
But, it hasn’t always been so magical. A couple years ago, I was talking to a friend of mine about my domestic woes. The biggest of all was the dishes… The.damn.dishes. I cook a lot. We had no dishwasher, and my husband worked long hard days and would come home utterly exhausted. I was often the only person who washed the dishes for weeks, sometimes months on end. It was really getting me down. I was feeling resentful. I did everything I could to cut down on dirty dishes, including making the kids share plates if I made them something like toast. I tried paper plates in emergencies. I even tried turning the dishes into a sort of meditation… But, in reality, I felt like a slave in my own home. The dishes had become the bane of my existence, I told her.
My friend said to me, “Kate, don’t feel silly for complaining, I have a friend who said it was a dishwasher that saved her marriage.” I laughed… but it made me realise…
So, it took a while, maybe a year, because we were moving and buying (yay) a house, that of course, didn’t come with a dishwasher. And, I made my non-negotiable request. We had to get a dishwasher! We ended up renovating the whole kitchen and we finally got one.
And, having one has really changed my life at home. It sounds silly, but something as simple as a dishwasher has solved so many problems. It has given me back my time and made me feel a whole lot happier. I could have forced my exhausted husband to help me with the dishes, but that wasn’t going to fix anything, probably just add more resentment.
And then it made me think even more, what other simple solutions out there are we missing? Sometimes our mind gets so clouded by stress and anger that we forget that there are really REALLY simple solutions to what we feel like are problems.
So, I keep looking for these simple solutions to fix the other little challenges in my life.
For example: The clutter that kept accumulating on flat surfaces. No matter what I tried, the clutter kept building up. So… I got rid of the flat surface! (it was an end table) And guess what? There was no where for the stuff to accumulate anymore. Next, I felt like I was spending all my time doing laundry… so I got rid of about half of our clothes! And it worked!
Of course, I spend most of my time at home right now, so my challenges tend to be domestic ones. But finding simple solutions for what seem like problems, can extend to all areas of our life! Career, health, relationships, etc. Our brains just have to be clear enough to think that there are often some really simple solutions to what feel like big problems.
Just so you all know, my marriage was definitely not on the rocks over the dishes! But it was something that had been really bothering me for years and now I feel much better that we’ve solved that problem. What used to happen is that my husband would go surfing on his precious days off and leave me with a messy kitchen and I would get mad. And, we’d be mad all day at each other! What a waste of time! Now, when he comes home from surfing, I’m happy that he’s happy. I can ask him how the waves were, instead of me feeling pissed off that he left me with a dirty kitchen! Hooray! And then I go surfing while he’s with the kids and the dishwasher hums away! Everybody wins!