Inspiration from a Kitchen Sponge…

I often get inspiration in the kitchen… In my small, New York apartment kitchen.

It’s a kitchen with the basics: stove, sink, refrigerator…yet it lacks a dishwasher.

I realize that a dishwasher is not a necessity — but it’s a nicety.

A dishwasher quickly washes away grease and grime in a flash…And saves delicate hands and manicured nails from disaster…

But since a dishwasher could never fit within the miniscule confines of my kitchen walls, I often thought that my life, sans-dishwasher, was limited.

I was wrong.

Today, as I toiled with a strainer full of stuck-on spaghetti and with a pot of pasted-on potatoes, I realized that the ritual of washing dishes allows me to be “in the moment”.

I wasn’t thinking about my past, nor about my future…

I was just here and now…

Just the lemon-scented bubbles…the neon-green sponge…and me.

And so yesterday’s pasta party is but only a memory.

And tonight’s tagliatelle or tomorrow’s tortellini hasn’t happened yet.

Thanks yet again to my kitchen, I got inspiration today.

To live in the moment…and to cherish it…

Just the bubbles…the sponge…and me.

sponge

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68 comments

    • Hi Janet!!!
      Thank you for your message: ) Ah how lovely to be in the garden. I can imagine it was a similar experience to what I had with the dishes this morning: )
      Sending you many sunny hellos from NY… Finally a warm spring day here.
      All my very best,
      Lia

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    • Thank you for reading and for your comment: ) indeed I enjoy the meditative quality of getting the grease off the dishes with nice smelling suds! Keeps me grounded while doing housework!
      Thanks again for the visit and have a great weekend!
      *Lia

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  1. How perfect! I love this mindful approach. I think I do some of my best thinking when I am doing mundane tasks. I am going to be spending time with family on May 11th. Would you like to do a guest post for me for my Mindful Monday? I would love your insight. Let me know if you would be interested. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love washing dishes! I find it so relaxing. When I lived in Washington D.C. last summer, my apartment had a dishwasher, but it was so small we ended up having to wash things by hand on a daily basis or we’d have been running the dishwasher four or five times a day. I was the only one of my roommates who did the dishes regularly–if I didn’t do them, they would quickly pile up in the sink. I thought I would be annoyed by the lack of clean up effort from my roommates, but I really didn’t mind at all–washing dishes gave me the opportunity to reflect on my day and ease my anxiety if I had any.
    Great post, Lia!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Alas, I also cannot fit a dishwasher into my kitchen. I sometimes have moments of zen while doing my dishes but not very often unfortunately. It’s a task that I despise. I’m glad you can be at one with the dishes 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My sister-in-law refuses to have a dishwasher in her house. She says she enjoys the rhythm washing dishes puts her in. I know that my kitchen was what got me through the initial stages of quitting smoking. I would hand wash the dishes rather than loading them in the dishwasher, and I spent hours chopping up fruits and veggies. It was calming and kept my hands busy!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. After my dishwasher broke 10 years ago, I never replaced it, saving the needed space for storage. I actually enjoy doing the dishes by hand…it does allow for a few moments of quiet time and some hand warming. Great post and reminder of how quiet moments can appear even in the mundane!

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  6. Washing dishes (even scrubbing pots) – is one of those satisfying chores. You get to win a small battle…. in your own time ….. and in your own space. I love that you find inspiration in your kitchen. What better place? No matter how big or small, it’s yours and you get to infuse it with your own energy. “bubbles and sponges and me” Beautiful! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. How nice! I love your positive mindset, always seeing the glass half-full in all occasions. You are an inspiration to many of us, Lia.
    Even that mundane event in a kitchen makes you reflect deeply and make the best out of it. Isn’t life so simple, if we are open to see it without labeling it good or bad?
    Thanks my dear!
    Have a beautiful day!
    Lucile

    PS. I am also ‘in the zone’ when cooking and washing dishes…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post! we don’t have dishwasher either, and as strangely as it may seem, I don’t mind washing the dishes of the tribe. I actually see it as some privileged moment, just as you so perfectly described it. It gives me more time to pause, to be grateful for the food we have on our table, thankful for the precious times we spend together … Plus when I am the one doing washing the dishes, it means that my husband is the one in charge of the “negociations” (no bed now/ I am not tired/another story/wait wait wait!); at the end of a long day, those 15′ all by myself almost come as a treat 😉

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  9. Lia, your wonderful title reached right out and grabbed me, and what an interesting angle to use to make your points, which BTW, I totally agree with. First, anything can be a meditation – not wanting to get to philosophical about it – but the Taoists would say it requires something like an “unfocused focus.” Regarding washing dishes, we have a dishwasher that we rarely use. I can understand that dishwashers are a Godsend for big families, but when there are only 2 people like us, I’m not actually convinced that they’re a labor-saving device when compared with hand-washing a few dishes from a simple meal. ~James

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, James!
      Your comments mean a lot to me and I agree that anything can be a meditation; walking, cooking, dancing…I like the Taoist philosophy of “unfocused focus”…it’s exactly what I felt as I washed the dishes!
      I agree that a dishwasher indeed comes in handy with a big family or after a big party/holiday — but for 1-2 people, it would remain half empty for a while until being full enough to do a load!
      Thank you for visiting my blog and for reading. I’m glad the title of this post was interesting 🙂
      Cheers and have a lovely rest of your weekend,
      *Lia

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  10. I’ve never had a dishwasher, so I can’t really understand the necessity. I think it’s nice when you have a lot of guess, so you won’t end up washing dishes for hours, but it you are alone…. I agree with you, making dishes can be relaxing 🙂

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  11. Oh Lia – this was just fun – and I love what you other reader shared:

    “Because you don’t need much to feel inspired! It’s all a question of attitude…”

    ditto on that from me – and I like how you said about being in the moment. and seriously, sometimes when you do tons of rinsing, it is almost as much works as hand washing – and actually some dishes I prefer to hand wash.
    💦💦💦💦💦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! There’s that great moment when you scrub the dishes to a squeaky clean and then stack them on the rack to be dried…it’s a total “in the moment” moment!
      Indeed I liked too the comment Estelea made!
      Thanks again for your kind comments, as always! And happy weekend!

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      • my pleasure – and I tried to find the article (but could not) but one of the Williams’ sisters (tennis players) once noted that they were rather tense for a tennis weekend that was ahead – and after dinner – they washed the dishes and it was so “grounding” – and this post reminded me of it too

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh what an interesting article! I can look it up on Google maybe? That’s so cool that I have something in common with them 🙂 Thanks for sharing this info!
        Have a lovely Sunday — I’ve got to go wash the breakfast dishes 🙂
        Cheers!
        *Lia

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  12. I cook so my hubby does the dishes. He hates hand washing them so he sneaks them into the dishwasher. Often times when I cook a huge meal, he knows that involves a lot of pots and pans, so I take pity on him and I tell him to “open an account”, our code for using the dishwasher. But for me, it is folding clothes from the dryer that puts me in my moment. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello and thank you for your comment and visit!
      The arrangement you’ve got with your husband (cooking and doing dishes) sounds like a very fair deal! And indeed, a dishwasher comes in handy for large meals or bigger items 🙂
      I forgot the feeling of folding clothes direct from the dryer! Now that you mention it, it’s also an amazing way to connect to the moment…and nice and warm and fuzzy too!
      Have a lovely weekend!
      *Lia

      Liked by 1 person

  13. As usual I can’t remember whose story I’m repeating, but I do remember a well-known woman writer (it could have been Tilly Olsen) writing about having a rare and treasured opportunity for a writer’s retreat and realizing that a good part of her inspiration came when she was washing floors–which she didn’t do there.

    Liked by 1 person

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