Looking on the Bright Side.

Source: Noricum via Flickr.


Source: Noricum via Flickr.

Source: Noricum via Flickr.

Over the last 30+ days, I’ve somehow developed the habit–a real live actual habit–of keeping my dishes washed. This is nothing short of a miracle in my book. In the course of my entire married life, I have almost always had a sink full of dirty dishes and a dishwasher full of dishes needing to be put away.

The routine was this: my son loads the dishes after dinner (with his sisters helping to clear the table and bring him the dishes). If not full after dinner, I would continue to load the dishes throughout the following day. Sometime in the early afternoon, I would wash and unload the dishes. Something about knowing someone else would load the dishes if I got the previous load washed and unloaded was really motivating.

Something else that helped? Enforcing the rule: no dirty dishes in the sink! It is utterly depressing facing a sink so full of dishes that it’s next to impossible to rinse and load.

Notice I’ve been using the past tense here? Well, naturally, this week my dishwasher stopped working.

Crap. Crap crap crappity crap.

To avoid a full blown panic, I did two things. First, I went into Frugal Dish Mode. Dishes were only used as a last resort. Everything was rinsed and stacked neatly beside the sink immediately. (I’m not handwashing crusty nasty dishes here people.) Lunch was on paper towels, and dinner used only the bare minimum of dishes, and only after foraging for a few paper plates I had stuffed in the back of my pantry.

Second: I looked on the bright side.

After all, at least it wasn’t my sink that stopped working. That would have been a disaster.
At least my sink wasn’t already overflowing with dirty dishes–I could have been a full load behind.
At least I had those two paper plates leftover.
At least my husband can fix most dishwasher issues, so we don’t have to pay a repairman.
At least I have a dishwasher!
Hey, at least I have a husband.
At least half of my kids are old enough they can wash a few dishes themselves.
At least I wasn’t out of dish soap.
At least I was kindasorta caught up on laundry so I had clean dishrags.
At least it wasn’t my washer that was broken.
At least we’re all healthy.
At least I have all of my appendages, all the better to hand wash dishes!

My husband didn’t have time to fix the dishwasher within the first 24 hours, but the following night he looked at it. He pulled it out, looked at some switches or something, figured out which switch wasn’t allowing water to run, and switched it.

Dishwasher = fixed.

All without my habit falling apart completely.

Have you ever had a vital appliance go down? How did you handle it?

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3 Responses to Looking on the Bright Side.

  1. Tristan says:

    We had our dishwasher die last year and I have seven young children primary age or younger. We go through a lot of dishes! I spent weeks washing dishes by hand and used the time to do a lot of counting my blessings, praying for my family, etc. And then called in a child to dry dishes and chatted one on one with them while we worked. It was wonderful but I was so thankful for a new dishwasher when it arrived.

  2. Nicole says:

    My mom is a FlyLady fan, and since I quit working a couple weeks ago, I’ve been trying to be more organized so Husband doesn’t have to come home from work and clean. FlyLady’s first rule is to clean your sink. Admittedly, I haven’t been perfect, and when we went out of town this weekend I left the dinner and cookie-baking dishes in the sink, but it has been a relief to have a clean sink as a goal. Don’t worry about the other stuff, just take care of the sink. I’m glad your husband was able to fix the dishwasher, and that your family is working as a team to keep it going! Good luck!

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