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Turn On The Dishwasher

Updated: Nov 22, 2020

I forgot to turn on the dishwasher last night. That’s OK, I just turned it on this morning when I woke up. It will be done in an hour and then by the miracle of Whirlpool, we will have clean dishes.


What if I didn’t turn it on last night? What if I was on my way to Cincinnati and I was halfway to Albany International Airport when I realized that I forgot to turn on the dishwasher? Would my wife and kids not be able to eat for the next several days? No. That is ridiculous. They would either run the dishwasher or take a dirty dish out of the dishwasher and clean it. Maybe they would take a dirty dish out of the dishwasher, look at it, decide it was clean enough, and eat a bowl of cereal out of a dirty dish. Doubling up on bowl usage-Nice!


I am working to get better at letting things go. I’m sure I have forgotten to turn the dishwasher on in the past and we had to deal with it. Has that ruined my life? I don’t think so. I think I might have used a sponge and washed one out. Maybe I just skipped breakfast that morning. Either way I have completely forgotten about not turning on the dishwasher that time.


In the past I would look at something like not turning on the dishwasher as a black mark against me as a person, as a father/husband, as a man. I would beat myself up. I would talk bad about myself to myself. I would generally say things to myself that I would never say to anyone else.


I am working hard to improve my self-compassion. It is something that I have not discovered until fairly recently but it really makes sense to me. Why are we allowed to be our fiercest critic? It doesn’t help us improve at whatever we need to improve. It doesn’t give us the confidence to try again if we struggle with something. We need to be our own champion. We need to be a cheerleader to ourselves and make sure that if we forget to turn on the dishwasher, it’s OK. We are enough and we will survive the dirty dishes.




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