What I’m Doing When I’m Doing the Dishes

It’s about the dishes.

But it’s also not about the dishes.

The dishes benefit.

Me, not always so much. Same goes for those around me.

 

There are times when keeping busy, being task-focused and immersing myself in the myth of productivity is all I can do from facing whatever it is I can’t.

(Edit: Whatever it is I haven’t the courage to face)

I might be upset about something.

Chances are I’m caught up in a loop of negative self-talk.

(Edit: I am for sure caught in a web of negative self-talk)

Not every time I’m doing the dishes, though. Sometimes they just need to be done, and not everything fits in the dishwasher.

Let’s take this opportunity to expand the range of what I’m talking about here:

  • General household domestic activities.
  • Putting on washing.
  • Hanging clothes on the line.
  • Vacuuming.
  • Cleaning surface tops.
  • Putting stuff away.

Doing the weekly grocery shop, filling and unpacking the trolley meticulously.

Getting home and putting all my purchases in their proper place, meticulously.

All the while there’s some broken record in my head going over and over and over how hard I have it, how much I have to do, how little appreciation there is for all I do.

It goes on like this and it gets hard to stop.

So, no, I don’t want to talk.

I don’t want to talk because I’m afraid of what I might say.

I’ll snap for sure.

I’ll whinge.

I’ll be all like poor little old me and I hate being like that.

I know my thoughts aren’t rational, aren’t right. But I can’t get my thinking all ironed out inside, so whatever I say it will come out all muddled and I’ll be misunderstood.

Please, just leave me alone.

But don’t leave me alone.

I want to be on my own.

But I need to know you want me around.

Confused?

Join the club.

Somehow this stuff bottlenecks around Friday evenings if I’ve let it get out of control.

I’ve written off whole weekends by my inability to get outside of my own head.

Not so much the last year or two, though I’m prone to the odd afternoon, or maybe even day of intense self-loathing mixed with an overwhelming sense of importance all tied together with feeling completely ignored and unseen as I move about my day to day life.

So, I do the dishes.

I pour my energy and my focus into being productive.

Getting stuff done.

Showing others, no matter how badly I feel, I can still do, still function, still be a man and keep my domain together.

Sometimes, I just do the dishes because they need to be done.

Good luck figuring out which reason is which if you ever catch me elbow deep in suds at a sink!