A Happy Accident

Oh-oh! Here it is, about 24 hours before this column’s deadline and the distraction of the holidays made my mind go blank and late. I wanted to write something wise and wonderful about this quiet, magical time between Christmas and the New Year. That’s when a person can reflect on the year that just flew by and contemplate the next one. But my mind was empty again. Were there any profound musings that rumbled in my head as I stared at my keyboard? Yes!

Over the years I have unplugged from making much ado about Christmas. Oddly enough, the more I do this, the more fun it is. Liberation from expectations and the time pressure that a whirlwind to-do list creates frees me up to savor each moment. I can fully enjoy the now, regardless of what happens or does not happen during the holidays.

We have all heard the cliché expression “go with the flow”. But what exactly does that mean and how can we be flexible? I think of it this way: my current experience is what it is ‒ something else is not happening even though at times, I may wish it were. No amount of wishing things were different will change an unwanted situation. But I can adjust the way I see and accept or adapt to the circumstances. Maybe even embrace them. This is so much more effective than resistance.

An example: just two days before Christmas, the drain in the kitchen sink got plugged up; what an inconvenient mess! The kitchen rapidly became a big mountain of yucky dishes. Then it occurred to me: why not put the dishes in the bathtub? I filled the tub with hot water, added half a cup of dishwashing detergent, and dropped all the pots, pans, and dishes into the tub. Then I went on my merry way, free to relax and enjoy the food, the company, and a clean kitchen. I was thankful we still had water.

The next day I finally had time to tend to the dishes. Since they had soaked for nearly 24 hours, they had literally washed themselves. A quick rub with a sponge cleaned them; there was no need to scrub. I rinsed them with the hand-held shower head and let them dry. Doing the dishes in this way was so easy, particularly the large pots and pans. What a great idea. Grace!

I call this a “happy accident”. What a surprise it was to discover I can have self-cleaning dishes. Then I can be free to spend time with friends and family instead of with a mountain of pots and pans. And then I will have time to conjure up things to write about. Happy New Year to all!