Allowing My Impulses to Lead Me
I am sitting at the kitchen table where I have just finished a delicious dinner. An hour ago I wouldn't have thought I could ever eat at this table again. Why? Because I got a dishwasher.

An hour ago the table was covered with screws and screwdrivers, cheesecloth, copper canisters and copper polish, salt and sugars and rice and other assorted items that may or may not fit into copper canisters, plumbers tape and wrenches, buckets and sponges and cleaning supplies and a thermal cooler. All very necessary items for installing a completely portable dishwasher.

A few months ago the guy upstairs moved out and left me his portable dishwasher. It's a nice one, fairly new and with a cutting block top. Ever since moving out of my last apartment I have wanted one, but then, when opportunity knocked, I didn't want to answer the door. I'd grown accustomed to hand washing again and had even begun to like it. Sinking my hands into the warm suds reminded me of being a child, standing on a chair and exploring the mysterious depths to feel what was underneath the soapy cover. It was sensuous, relaxing and I actually enjoyed it; everything except the silverware, which I found tedious. Besides, I didn't think I'd have room in my small kitchen.

So I tried to give it away. I let all my friends know to let all their friends know. One day the thought occurred to me that perhaps the guy upstairs had left it because it didn't work. Sure enough, when I went upstairs and tried it nothing happened. Luckily no one called to say they wanted it. Now all I had to do was throw it out. Thus began the attack of the dirty dishes.

My husband and I had arranged what we thought was a pretty good distribution of kitchen duties. It was not equal, but then what is? And it worked for us, for awhile. I would make dinner and he would tidy up. I would do the dishes and he would put them away. Great, except he liked to put the dishes away after dinner or before going to bed and I wanted to wash the dishes right after dinner and wake up to a tidy kitchen. I couldn't wash the dishes after dinner because the drainer was already full and by the time he got around to putting them away after dinner and coffee and tidying up, I was already into my nighttime mode and had moved on. So I would wake up every morning to a pile of dirty dishes with crusty hardened-on remains. Yuck. Or soaking in cold mucky water. Double yuck.

The idea of a dishwasher became more appealing. I was sure I could fit it in somewhere. So upstairs again I went and plugged it in and low and behold it worked! But now my husband didn't want it because it was stained and dirtied on one side. Easily remedied with 409 and paint and so began the incorporation of the dishwasher into the kitchen.

First there was the descent down the stairs that only half way thru did we figure out the easy way of doing it. And, of course, I first had to clean the floor where it was going to be. That's when I remembered the heating vent on the floor that would be partially covered by the dishwasher and that ages ago I had wanted to cover with cheesecloth to keep the dust in the house down. So off I went to find the cheesecloth. Not there. Not there either. Not anywhere I looked. And I did not want to cover the vent without first putting the cheesecloth in place. Hence my first conflict: should I stay focused on the task at hand till finished, searching out the cheesecloth? Or simply follow my impulses which were now saying I'd like to clean out that bookcase over there. I noticed I have many beliefs about finishing something once I've started. I try to stay on course, thinking that following my impulses "all over the place" will not lead me to where I now want to go; to that the sense of accomplishment and value fulfillment. And I begin to restrict my flow of energy and creativity in order to get things done.

Although I had no idea when or if I would ever get the dishwasher in place, this day I opted for moving to the bookcase. That's where I eventually found the copper canisters that I decided to polish and then have fun figuring out what to fill them with. It's also where I found the oil and vinegar bottles that I didn't want anymore. I decided to give them to a friend and, as she had left a thermal cooler here, I put them inside where I found 2 packs of cigarettes, which was quite nice because I had just run out and didn't want to go to the store. From there I went to the porch door. Out came the screws and screwdrivers and on went a new lock. Then it was time to reorganize the cabinet that used to be in the soon-to-be dishwasher corner and as I placed the pot holders on top of my microwave, there was the cheesecloth! I had come full circle (literally, as there WAS a dishwasher in the middle of my kitchen) and I now put on the cheesecloth and put in the dishwasher.

Up I filled it with all those dirty dishes, plugged it in, hooked the hose to the sink and BLAST! Water sprayed everywhere! Seems the connection wasn't connecting correctly. So out came the wrenches and off and on went various nozzles - until I had the idea to go upstairs and, sure enough, he had a special nozzle on his faucet. I switched it with mine and it leaked a bit so enter the plumbers tape and now I finally had my dishwasher.

I guess I CAN trust that if I allow myself to follow my impulses, everything will get done. And perhaps a lot more!

If you enjoy these, check out my Adventures in Consciousness, brief musings inspired by daily life.

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