Life lesson: Always wash your dishes

The realization

I woke up to a clean kitchen today, and it felt so good 🙂

Some background

When I was younger (before petrol, rent and tax were a thing) and still living at home, I would literally tip toe around the kitchen. Because I knew without a doubt that if my mother was close by, she would make me pack groceries, unpack cupboards, sweep the kitchen or mop the floor, with the worst case scenario being having to wash the dishes – oh those damn dishes. They never seemed to end, pot after pot, cup after cup, bowl after bowl. The worst part was when I had to clear the plates with the leftover food that people (my lovely siblings) decided to throw in the sink, I mean really guys – who consciously puts dishes inside the sink without emptying the food in the bin first?  *slowly looks away* #itWasJustThatOneTime.

Every day was cleaning day

During my childhood it seemed that there was never an occasion that you couldn’t find my mum washing the dishes: day time, night time, school day, work day, church day, weekends, holidays. Don’t even get me started on the weekends and holidays, because there were those days (and I know a lot of people can relate to this), those days where I would wake up to my mum either singing or playing loud gospel music. Ladies and gentlemen, those were the days, where you knew for a fact that you would spend the entire day cleaning. Yes, you might hide in your room and try pretend that you are still sleeping but you can only pretend sleep for so long. Deep down you know that if you don’t get out of your room eventually, at some point she will come and find you – and my friend you WILL clean, you will clean like you have never cleaned before. You will clean things that are already clean, you will triple double quadruple clean things. Honestly, if my mother had it her way, you would sweep the broom, wipe the cloth, hang the washing lines and wash the water.

I just didn’t get it 

There were days where I would wake up at say 01:00 in the morning to hear the sound of water streaming down the tap and dishes clanking in the kitchen and I couldn’t for the life of me understand why my mum just wouldn’t go to sleep. “We can just wash the dishes tomorrow morning surely?” I thought quietly to myself as a silently lay down in my comfortable bed.

Now it all makes sense

Of course, as a lazy child that just wants to lie down, watch TV and eat the whole day, you really do not see the value of something as trivial as cleaning the house and you definitely don’t see the value of washing dishes. But now as a young adult, maneuvering through the challenges and obstacles of daily life, a lot of the “torture” that I was put through as a child starts to make all the sense in the world and one of these things is the simple act of washing dishes.

To wash or not to wash, that is the question…

Now I am sure you are asking yourself, what meaning could Benjamin Jacob Mmari possibly derive from the act of washing dishes?… Oh..a lot!

What washing dishes taught me

Washing dishes taught me to leave yesterday’s mess with yesterday. Washing dishes taught me not to carry my problems overnight. Washing dishes taught me not to use this morning’s time, fixing last night’s issues. Washing dishes taught me to give each new day the respect that it truly deserves. Washing dishes taught me to allow my mind to start each day with a clean canvas and a clear conscience. Washing dishes taught me not to sweep today’s dirt under tomorrows carpet. Washing dishes taught me that sometimes you have to sacrifice time, effort, sleep and convenience today, all to ensure that you have a better tomorrow. Washing dishes taught me the importance of awareness, self-discipline and structure. Washing dishes taught me the value of keeping my kitchen clean, even if no one else will see it.

I was on my way to bed at 23:30 last night, tired as ever from a long day of hard work. Regardless, I still managed to stay up just to wash the dishes that I left in the sink.

Today I am proud to say that I woke up to a clean kitchen, and it felt so good!

Thanks again Mother dearest!

Love you lots 🙂



2 thoughts on “Life lesson: Always wash your dishes

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