Remember the Bad Stuff

I hate washing dishes.

You know you hate washing the dishes when you’ve got a leaning tower of grime-caked dishware towering over the sink like some nightmarish, who-ville, kitchen creation.

It gets ugly.

I mean sure, we have a dishwasher, but some stuff doesn’t fit, some stuff won’t go, and some stuff has to be washed, before being washed.

So this morning as I was drying the dishes coming out of the washer and putting them away in huff and puff mode, I had a realization.

I wanted this once.

At the age of 24, Sarah and I had enough money to buy our house with cash.

Here’s the thing you’ve got to understand though. We said no to a lot of things to say yes to paying in cash. I’ve written about that before. But one of the things we said no to was a nice, finished house.

We knew that it would need a lot of work after we moved in. For the first few weeks we didn’t have a door on our bathroom. And for the first year we didn’t have a kitchen.

It was a hot plate and a microwave on a card table.

Our kitchen was studs and insulation with a baby gate to keep the kids away from…you know…death.

It was a weird part of our life because every plate was paper. I remember drinking coffee on Christmas from a styrofoam cup, in my mind, missing the feel of a ceramic mug. Every food was take out or canned. Every refreshment was canned or bottled and a walk to the garage to our “garage-fridge”.

So when we went over to other people’s houses we loved the simple stuff. Like ice! Or hard dishware! Or washing and drying after a delicious home cooked meal.

But I forgot about all of that.

Isn’t it funny? I had asked for all of the stuff I was begrudgingly doing. Prayed for it even.

Next month we’re talking about Contentment in 252. It’s deciding to be happy with what you’ve got.

It reminds me of the Israelites. They’d constantly complain about something, get it, forget it, and complain again. And when we read that we think, how? But I do the SAME thing. What is that?

I think the problem is that my assumption is a thing, situation, or change will make me happy. But that’s the whole problem. It’s a decision.

I can decide to be happy with what I’ve got.

I can decide to be happy drying dishes.

Sometimes I just have to remember, on purpose, the bad stuff. Maybe “bad stuff” isn’t the right phrase. But I need to stop and remember the things I used to complain about and maybe the things I used to hope for. When I do that, I don’t forget about all the good in front me, right now.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

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