I’m not sure where the habit started or the reasoning for it but for most of my adult life I have waited, procrastinated perhaps, cleaning up. Now, just to clarify, my house is not a pig pen but it could be kept better. I tend to wait till the counter is full to do the dishes, in my head I think it’s wasting water to do the dishes if you don’t have a full load. Same with laundry. Wanting to break this trend I have created is a big deal to me and something I have half-heartedly attempted to break over the years but nothing worked.
If I am being completely honest “doing the dishes” is a point of contention with me that has festered for 20 years or so when a certain person attacked me irrationally about it. Since that horrible Thanksgiving Day every time I do the dishes it comes to mind and I have an argument with her all over again, in my head.
The result is I now have a counter full of dishes but I am putting that off till after work so I can write this blog now, before work.
I fall onto excuses too often. My internal dialog is: “it can wait till later” or “darn, I meant to do those earlier but got distracted” or currently “I am injured and just don’t want to stand at the sink to do this”.
This morning I came across a blog and the below linked post seemed to hit the mark with me.
So simple, lets see if it works. Starting after work (yes I know I’m putting even this off but honestly I only have a few minutes before having to get ready for work) with breaking the habit of waiting till the counter is full to do the dishes.
Zen Habits (click that to check out his blog)
I don’t normally paste actual posts but I want the words here to reference. I hope the author doesn’t mind.
Getting Started with the Discipline Habit
By Leo Babauta
What do you do if your life is a mess, you have no discipline or routines, can’t stick to anything, procrastinate, and feel out of control?
How do you get started with the discipline habit when you have so much to change?
You start by washing your dishes.
It’s just one small step: when you eat your cereal, wash your bowl and spoon. When you finish drinking coffee or tea, wash your cup. Don’t leave dishes in the sink or counter or table.
Mindfully wash your dish, right away.
Form this habit one dish at a time, one day at a time. Once you do this for a few weeks, you can start making sure the sink is clean. Then the counter. Then put your clothes away when you take them off. Then start doing a few pushups. Eat a few vegetables.
One of these at a time, you’ll start to build the discipline habit and trust yourself to stick to something.
But for now, just wash your dishes. Mindfully, with a smile.
This is in relation to this time of year, a good time to start new projects and self improvement.
More on Beltane later.