No one enjoys cleaning dirty dishes. If you do, we could use some assistance here at my home in College Station. For those of you like me, cleaning dirty dishes can be…well, quite dreadful. Now, if the sink only has like 3 forks, then cleaning dirty dishes can be quick and not so bad. On the flip side, let’s say there are like 12 forks, 8 plates, 3 big pots, a strainer (with meat…good luck), and a million cups lying in your sink WITH food from 3 days ago still on it. How do you feel now? Probably somewhere in between “Agh…” and “Okay, that’s it, I’m quitting life…” Well, yeah…same. It can become frustrating when you realize that if each dish was just cleaned as it was used and placed in the dishwasher, or even hand washed, then this issue could’ve been avoided. I think of this analogy when I’m faced with different emotions and situations of adversity in my life. Each emotion and challenge in my life can be compared to a different dish that I leave in my sink. My sink represents the place that I like to hide all of those unsettled emotions and challenges.
Let’s say the lady at Starbucks writes my name as “Eva” instead of “Eve” on my cup. That would be like a dirty fork in my sink. It’s not something I should allow to ruin my day because it’s easy to clean and settle. Something more severe might be me failing a test, getting into a car accident, getting into an argument, or even just having a visit from Mother Nature. Each of these things could collectively be things like dirty plates, uncleaned pots and pans, plus cups with milk that has sat for days (ew….). Obbbvioouussly, the second list of things will take a little more of my time dedicated to the sink to clean those dishes. Or, I can just hide them in my sink and act like they were never used to begin with. This method of pretending like my dishes don’t exist might be tempting, but unfortunately I cannot hide from them forever. The longer I allow my dirty dishes to stay in my sink with gunk on them, the harder it may be to clean them later.
So, clearly I’m not a doctor nor am I legally authorized to state the claim as an expert like I’m about to. If you are like me, this may be helpful to you. I’ve found that sometimes little annoying things happen in our lives that leave us upset or annoyed. It’s okay to spend a second or two annoyed, but it’s best to just let them go. I probably would end up more annoyed and frustrated if I talked all day about the lady that misspelled my name on my Starbuck’s drink. I need to let go of this in order to continue having a positive day. I don’t have any control over it and I doubt the lady misspelled my name on purpose. But, if I’m dealing with something slightly more severe such as a failed test, I don’t need to ignore it and act like it never happened. Some situations in our lives need our attention.
Newsflash: It is okay to be sad sometimes. It is okay to cry.
By refusing to give certain situations the right type and amount of our attention, we are creating a bigger issue. I don’t want to develop negative feelings of bitterness or hatred, this would just add to the dirty dishes. Over-analyzing can also lead to additional dishes being dropped in the sink. I want to give attention to the adversity in my life that will leave me happier.
It’s probably not smart for me to let several dirty dishes to pile up. If I’m dealing with failing test grades in ALL of my classes (don’t worry mom, I’m not), a car accident, Mother Nature, arguments throughout the day, AND the Starbuck’s lady that can’t spell….9/10, that Starbucks lady is going to make my world just crash into a million pieces by calling me “Eva”. Now, of course I’m over exaggerating a little bit, but sometimes that’s what it feels like. Sometimes everything in life is going awful and we allow each issue, big or small, to get bottled up inside. Sometimes life goes way too fast and we struggle to slow down and settle some problems that really do need us.
Personally, hiding my feelings and ignoring things that cause me a good amount of frustration, doesn’t work. Normally, I will try to deal with life as it goes. If something happens in my day that might strike me as severe, I allow myself to feel the natural emotions my rational mind wants to produce. I don’t try to ignore how I feel. I noticed that if I don’t settle things in my life as I go, I will go to bed frustrated or uneasy. I’d rather face life’s challenges head on, give the attention necessary (if any), and keep it moving. This gives me the ability to quickly let go the annoyances that occasionally are produced by merely existing. At the end of the day, I may have dirtied a few plates and maybe a big pot, but since I cleaned them as I went, I was able to go to bed with a clean sink.
But, as much as I love to go to bed with a clean sink, sometimes my day just beats me up before I can even make it there. Sometimes I don’t have the energy to handle the dishes and just need to recollect myself first. Sometimes I might even need to have a buddy clean them with me, and that’s okay too. I think ultimately, it’s about knowing yourself (this means knowing when you can no longer do things alone). You must know yourself to love yourself. Then, you can take care of yourself.
“Your success and happiness, both now and in the eternities, depend largely on your responses to the difficulties of life.”
With the deepest love,