Clean Dishes and a Free Mind

Austin - Las Vegas, Nevada
Entered on April 7, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, peace
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I believe in washing dishes by hand. As my siblings and I were growing up our mom had us wash the dishes and load the dishwasher after meals. This is not what made me believe in dishwashing. In fact dish washing used to be a chore I did not enjoy. I looked at it as time spent on cleaning when I could have been doing something more fun like playing outside with friends. Over time I began to see that there are lessons to be learned from this simple chore and I started to gain an appreciation for washing dishes. Rinsing dishes and loading them into the dishwasher was beneficial in this learning process, but washing dishes by hand with a scrubber and soap is what truly helped me gain the appreciation and love for this chore. I once had a job at Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt, and working there we had a lot of dishes to wash all the time. I would wash stacks of dishes at least once if not twice a day. It was work, but I began to find the time spent doing this daily chore relaxing and therapeutic.

One day I was talking with my friend Courtney about washing dishes and in that conversation I realized the benefits that come from the time I spend at the sink each day. We realized that washing dishes gives us time to think and ponder, and allows our brains to wander freely from one thought to another. There are often positive thoughts or reflective insights that come to me when I’m washing dishes. Other times my wild imagination will create a story or play out a scene that would only be seen in a movie. Sometimes it’s an intense action sequence involving cars and explosions, and other thoughts are of what life would be like if people were cartoon characters. When the mind is free, I find that a great amount of creativity is released. With that creativity and freedom I am able to explore my true self. Sometimes my thoughts are concentrated on specific people in my life who may need help and I often times end up talking to them about their issues later on. Other days I’ll spend my time washing dishes in thought about my educational goals, religious beliefs, and ambitions in life concerning possible career options. The liberty of exploration provides endless avenues for the mind to explore.

A great aspect to this mind freeing activity is that it can be done anywhere. I wash dishes in my apartment, at my parents’ house, work, and sometimes I’ll help my friends wash their dishes. I’ve found that helping wash someone else’s dishes, as small of an act of service as that is, can make that person’s day brighter. Everyone loves a little help with dishwashing. The task may be small, but the mental freedom and sense of accomplishment gained is truly priceless.