When we bought our first house, 12 years ago or so, there was a hole in kitchen that cried out for a dishwasher. Oh yes. This luxury white appliance changed our evenings forever – no more filling and re-filling the washing up bowl with hot soapy water to get everything clean after dinner; we could just bung it all in the wire racks and the machine would work its magic overnight. We knew just how much we had gotten used to it when it broke down… one luxury I’m afraid has become the norm for us.
But of course I do know what it is to wash up. And I don’t mind doing it on occasion. When I lived at home we would share the dishes – in fact when I visit mum and dad now it’s still the same (although they have also now given in to the dishwasher life and had one fitted in their new kitchen). One family member washes up, one or two dry up, and another puts things away. Who did which job would change around, but separating the jobs made the whole chore of washing up the dinner pans much easier.
This is all fine until you are washing up after Christmas Dinner or the like. Every cup, plate, pan, knife and fork in the house is used on Christmas Day, and so after dinner it all needs washing up. It all needs drying up, too. Several bowls of hot soapy water (always too much soap if I’m on washing duty, that mostly ends up all over the worktops) are required. And several tea towels. You need more than one tea towel as as each one gets so wet it becomes useless at the drying part of its job – smearing the water around the dinner plates rather than soaking it up and leaving you with crockery that can go back in the cupboard. You end up with a line of soaking wet tea towels on the radiator all afternoon, drying out ready for the next meal.
Just like a tea towel gets so wet it needs drying out before it will be useful again, we can get so tired and exhausted that we are no good for anything until we have taken a break. I don’t know about you but I like saying yes to things – I like to keep busy, I like to have fingers in many pies, and I like to please other people by taking part in activities they want me to. But that desire to always be doing something can take its toll, and I know that sometimes I have to stop, say no, and put my feet up for a while. We all need time to recharge – without it we become pretty useless – we can’t concentrate, can’t focus, can’t make decisions, get ratty, and lots more besides. Taking time out, whether that be an actual holiday away from home or just an evening in front of the fire in our OnePiece and a mug of hot chocolate, offers us the opportunity to dry out and get ready for our next big challenge.
Life is all about the journey. Know when you are as wet as an over-used tea towel and allow yourself to dry out a bit.