Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I've been working on growing up, becoming an adult. Finally. Sometimes I almost feel like there was some kind of basic lifeskills class I missed along the way. You know, the one that teaches you how to be fiscally responsible, how to keep up with organization around the house, basic patterns of daily life that reduce stress... I could go on in pretty much every facet of life.

Regardless, the skills and habits I'm trying to keep are so basic that it feels like I should have been doing them all along. But I haven't.

The First Example: Dishes

There is no good excuse for dishes to build up. I have known this for years, and in fits and starts, I have been successful at keeping up with daily dishwashing. Then something happens. It doesn't matter what the excuse is, but there is some day when it just doesn't seem convenient to do the dishes. Then, like randy rabbits in another day or so, they multiply. Before long, the kitchen is barely usable, and the dish coup is fully established.

My new resolution after moving into the new house is to make sure that the sink is empty every night. After a couple of weeks, I have been mostly successful.

The brilliant part of this is that life feels much calmer and more settled when the pieces are in place. That's the little pay-off I always forgot before--just how much easier it is to function in the mornings when I don't wake up to a mess.

There are, of course, small important details to this. For instance:
1. It is essential to use fewer items to cook. Done well, this does not inhibit my creativity or capability while cooking.

2. Wash or rinse dishes as used.

3. Clean and organize all dishes and cooking utensils as soon after the meal as possible. The inertia of a mess is quick.

Mind you, I know this is all common sense. Some of us just take a little longer to put skills like this in practice.