At Home: Washing the Dishes

I must confess, I enjoy washing the dishes.

While I like a clean bathroom, I do not enjoy cleaning it. It is perhaps the task I struggle most to get through – though it is done every week and before guests come over, and it never takes as long as I think it does.

But the kitchen? I enjoy cleaning the kitchen, and most of all washing the dishes.

I have never lived in a house with a dishwasher, and now washing them myself is the job I appreciate the most – something I could not say as a teenager.

I like the time to think while I am washing up. The task is an easy, known one, allowing your mind to do what it likes. It is simple, an almost effortless accomplishment. Something tangible to complete and to notice the difference before and after. Is there anything better than an empty, clean kitchen counter? All the better with some fresh flowers – my go to is lavender from the garden, though this week there are flowers from Valentine’s Day.

Of course, after a big cook-up the cleaning that follows is less than desirable. I made lasagne on Monday and the saucepans do feel like a pain to clean, especially after standing for so long already. However, I always try to wash up immediately or the job feels incomplete. Besides, the relaxing that follows is well-deserved, and you can rest easy knowing the job is done.

Perhaps the downfall of a clean kitchen is once the task is finished, it is time for a cup of tea. And when the tea has been had, of course – the kitchen is no longer fully clean. But the joy lingers, and loveliness is found in what has been done.

When I clean the kitchen or wash the dishes, I do not rush. I take my time and properly enjoy the project. While cleaning the bathroom is something I do hurry and do not enjoy – perhaps one of these days I will change my attitude – the kitchen is a place I happily spend time in. I love cooking, and what is more enjoyable than cooking in a clean environment where everything is as it should be?

I have been unemployed since October, and in that time there is something extra sweet about cleaning the house. It is a difference that can be seen and felt and enjoyed. It is something for me to do, and something grounding and important. It makes a difference.

Of course, there may be times when I complain about having to do it all myself – but most of the time the contentment found in housework outweighs the fact that it is just me.

Sarah xx

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