I don’t know why, but for me doing the dishes is one the worst aspect of life, especially when you have to do it after one of the best aspects of life, eating. Since I’ve been struggling to wash the dishes as soon as I use them, the result has always been a sink full of dirty and stinky dishes.
I have tried many ways to overcome this laziness. One of those ways is to look at it as an act of mindfulness. When I say mindfulness, I mean to be present at the moment and observe my feelings when I’m washing the dishes. You might ask, why don’t you focus on a piece of music and enjoy instead of focusing on the dishes and suffer? The honest answer is I don’t know, and the more complex answer is maybe by observing and being present at the moment, I can find an answer to why it feels painful to do the dishes.
Last night, after seeing a lot of dirty dishes in the sink, I told myself: “I won’t let that happen again,” then I laughed inside and said: “Bullshit, you’re saying this every fucking time when you have to do dozens of dishes.” then I started to wash.
The first rule of mindfulness is to realize the only real moment is the current moment. So I decided not to think about the next time or how all of these dishes ended up unclean. The only real thing right now is a lot of dishes that need to be washed.
Don’t judge yourself
While I was scrubbing a frying pan as hard as I could, I was thinking, why didn’t I move my lazy ass and wash it before it gets dry and stinky. The second rule of mindfulness is to don’t judge yourself, so I stayed at the present moment and without any judgmental voice, told myself: “you fucking idiot, do the dishes whenever you use them!”
I got impatient when I was trying to clean up a frying pan from a few days ago because It was impossible to clean it without extra effort. I remembered another rule of mindfulness which is being patient. I reminded myself that being patient usually pays off, so I scrubbed it harder patiently until I could successfully clean the frying pan.
Don’t try to make every feeling logical
When I was disgusted by the shape and the smell of the dishes, I told myself why I’m doing this to myself? What is the purpose of living when you have to wash so many dishes? I was about to experience an existential crisis when I remembered another rule of mindfulness to don’t try to make every feeling logical. I mean the whole eating and washing cycle doesn’t make sense at all, so at this point, it’s better to try not to make any sense out of it.
No feeling is final
During the washing, my mind tried many times to focus on something more exciting, but I forced him to get back and focus on the dishes. I wanted to observe my feelings after all, even though the feeling was nothing except pain. As Buddha said: Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. I didn’t know how to feel the pain but not suffer (and I still don’t), but the fact that I believe no feeling is final in this world made it easier for me to deal with the pain of doing the dishes.
Anyway, I’m going to continue to do the dishes with the mindfully present at the moment. Maybe in the next few centuries, some people start to follow my path. There will be some books on how to achieve Nirvana by doing the dishes, and maybe they start a new religion and call it Saeed-ism. Let’s hope not.