Advice from a dishwasher

           There are times of the year when life just gets busy. So busy, in fact, that dreamers like me who prefer to live on wishful thinking and sunshine end up with so many things on my to-do list that I couldn’t stop to smell the roses even if I could slow down enough to see them.
            While I would love to sit cross-legged in a golden field and contemplate life, I find myself instead slugging away at chores and schedules and an overabundance of busyness. So I’ve had to turn to familiar items to inspire me to keep going. As I stood there, scrubbing a pot of with caked-on pasta, my dishwasher hummed away scrubbing clean all of the plates and 4,000 cups I picked up from around the house. And call me crazy, but it swear I heard these life lessons coming out…
            Stay organized. Plates on the bottom, bowls on the side, cups on the top, silverware however you like to toss it in the basket. Any good kitchen worker knows that you can fit 50% more in if you follow the simple map of dish placement. Not only that, but things come out a little cleaner when they are not piled in a ceramic heap.
            Keep it clean.  Rinsing the food gunk off the plates may seem like a waste of time, but there may be times in your life when you might not get to run the dishwasher for a few days. Or you forget to buy detergent. Or even push start. The odor of your entire house may depend on whether or not you brushed off the last bits of chicken and your own laziness.
            Don’t overheat. Sometimes life give you reason to be a little more intense, a high temperatures scrub if you will. But most of the time, just playing it a cool 140 degrees Fahrenheit will do the trick just fine. Tempting as it may be to bring the heat, a regular cycle may be the best way to go.
            Rack up something good. Fill up everything you have with things that are good—your mind, your home, your days. But make sure you put things where they belong because no one likes to find their favorite plastic container in a mangled melted mess too close to the drying unit.
            Have faith. You know when you’ve got a plate that’s been sitting out too long and you’re not sure if you should scrub it up by hand or let the dishwasher have a go at it? Have faith that it’s there to help and can do the job. Sometimes you’ve got to put your problems in someone else’s hands and learn to trust what happens behind closed doors.
            All that, and clean dishes, too.

Originally written 9.25.16


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