When I was at the height of my corporate career, it looked like I had it all. Husband. House. Car. Vacations. Job.
But in real life, I was overwhelmed by my calendar. Drained by the unread emails that were always waiting for me. Feeling unfulfilled at the end of each day.
When you’re feeling that overwhelmed, drained and unfulfilled, you're willing to try just about anything.
And let me tell you... Google has millions of ideas.
So how do you know where to start? Honestly, my approach is… Which one feels right? Or interesting? Or oooooh, I never thought of that!
Keeping all the dishes clean
Eventually, I came across Joshua Becker’s post Why I Stopped Using a Dishwasher. And, I thought I had really hit the jackpot this time.
The idea was that dirty dishes are stealing our energy, our focus and our joy. It's as if the dirty dishes are distracting us from living fuller, more meaningful lives.
I mean this guy had essentially given up his dishwasher and was happy while I was miserable.
If washing a dish after I used it would help me feel a little better, I was willing to give it a try.
On top of all this, I actually liked washing dishes. Growing up, my grandparents didn’t have a dishwasher. And, it was kind of fun to help my grandma.
What do you think I thought I’d find? Peace? Joy? Fulfillment? Maybe.
So I gave myself a month. I would try out this approach to dishes for 30 days and see what happened.
In reality, I made it about three days and it was insanely stressful.
I realized I was actually making myself more miserable and stressed out than I already was. Apparently, this guy has never experienced a snowball of dirty dishes.
When it comes to cooking, I'm ridiculous. As hard as I try to make a one-pot meal, it always turns into 30.
For example, let's say you're making soup. You cut up a bunch of the ingredients, put them in the pot. Then, you put the cutting board and knife into a sink with dirty dishes.
You're humming along cooking your soup. Then you realize that step four of the soup is to add minced ginger.
Well, you already put the cutting board and knife in a sink of dirty dishes, so you get another cutting board and knife out to deal with the ginger.
Oh and on top of this ridiculous snowball of dishes, I really hope, slash want, my husband to wash them. Because, after all, I cooked soup!
What I took away from this experiment is that doing any one thing won't make you feel more joy, peace or fulfillment.
When it comes to your life and your fulfillment, it’s not about what you do at all. But what you think, feel and believe about yourself and your career.
In the months following this experiment, I have tried a gentler approach to this philosophy. I fill up the dishwasher every morning and wash what's left.
While some argue you shouldn't let them sit overnight to get dry and crusty, it works for me.