Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dishes=Your Life

****This Post has NOTHING to do with dishes***

When I moved into this shared residence, back in November, I took up a few bad habits. One of them being my level of cleanliness. My ability to wash the dishes and put them away had withered to almost zero. When everyone is doing it, it become easy to do it too. 

And who wants to wash someone else's sink full of dishes in order to wash their own dish? 


So we all just add it to the pile.

I dont like it. I don't like this habit I've picked up of not-caring.

So I made a sign.

Its simple.

So Incredibly simple that it has become quite complicated. 

Since Implementing this One rule, I've been met with a whole host of ideas surrounding how a person can get out of doing the dishes now that the sign is up. Or how a person could make the act of doing them easier. Here are just a couple examples:

1. I have been told that I would have to PAY for the dinner that was made, in order to eat a serving myself. (Thus the person cooking, would have the money to put in the jar so that he or she could simply forgo the dishes.)

2. Someone bought "Dish Drying Gloves". (Yeah, I was also surprised that these exist), but the idea here is that this will increase ones ability to wash dishes.) 

3. I was confronted with someones purchase of a household item and asked if the cost of it could be 'deducted' from the amount that this person would have to put in the jar in the future.

Heres the thing, and this is going to be a little hard to believe, but this has nothing to do with the dishes.

For me, this practice of washing my dish after I have eaten, is practice for my life. 

It is a practice in paying attention. 
A practice in following through.
A practice in finishing what you started, even once you are satisfied.
A practice in sharing, in caring, and believe it or not, In TRUST.

Because if I can make washing the dish as vitally important as eating, than I can make my dreams as vitally important as the work that I need to do to fulfill them.

So, hes my translation of what is going on in this house now:

1. The idea of charging for a meal in order to get out of cleaning up: Lack of trust. We all must see that the dish is part of the meal. With the meal, comes dishes. They are connected. One is not good, the other is not bad. They just come together, like pills come in a bottle. 

When one cooks dinner for others, and they eat it, they then become connected to the dishes. 

If you are asking them for money up front, to put in the jar, you don't trust them to do their part.

TRUST. Ask for help. 

Explain to someone your feelings: "I am very tired right now, could you clean up for me? I promise to clean up for you next time." There is only one rule about the dishes, and nowhere on that sign does it say you cant ask for help.


2. Dish Drying Gloves: This stems from the belief that we NEED something to follow through in life. "If I had that filing cabinet, Id be more organized". If I had a nicer car, I'd take better care of it". Thats all Baloney. If you aren't doing it now, you wont do it when you get this thing either. Practice with what you've got.

3. Putting dollars in the jar, for future dishes you might forget to wash: This is you making the decision that you are going to fail. If you have your mind set on failing, you will. Every time.

What you do HERE, at home, with the people that are close to you is practice for what you do out THERE, in your Life.

Screwing up and putting a dollar in the jar is what you want. Every time you have to pay that dollar you're diligence and mindfulness grow exponentially for the next time. 

Would you rather put 500 dollars in the jar and end up landing a super amazing job out there in the real world, due to your newfound attention to detail, your capacity to share and care, your uncanny ability to follow through and your unshakable trust...

Or would you rather find 500 ways to get out of putting money in that jar and then make all your mistakes out THERE in the real world?

This is your LIFE.

So, wash your dishes.


  1. I like it. I get what you tried to do here, and how there are people who will simply pay to get out of things. *sigh* Here, there's a simple rule - if you cook, you don't clean. That's it. So if I make lunch, and others eat it with me, they figure out who cleans up after.

    And here's the thing - there are some days when I'm so busy or just having a bad FMS flare up, and would LOVE for some help -- and would give them the dollar or whatever for their KINDNESS, not because I expect them to do it for me. Make sense?

    Also, are we going to try to kidnap Connie this Friday? ;)

  2. What if I just wash my dishes, and ONLY my dishes? Afterall, ultimately, I'm responsible for me and no one else. Therefore, if they want to let their dishes pile up, it's their choice, but I know I've done MY dishes! I can't, and WON'T be responsible for anyone else's! Maybe this is why I live alone!


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