This afternoon I ignored the dirty dishes on the counter. And I ignored the clean dishes in the dishwasher. And I ignored the dog and cat hair on the staircase. They were yelling at me. “Clean me! Put me away!” I ignored their demands and went downstairs to paint.
At the bottom of the stairs to the basement I saw water dripping from the ceiling. I ran upstairs into the bathroom by the kitchen and the toilet was overflowing. It was plugged and the water kept draining over the bowl. Oh, great. Now I won’t be able to paint. I will have to clean up this mess. I could hear the dishes and the dog hair mocking me, as I ran upstairs to grab towels.
“Hey, hey, clean it up right now, then come and take care of us. Clean me! Put me away! Clean me! Put me away!” said the dishes and the dog and cat hair.
I unplugged the toilet and threw towels on the floor to catch the overflowing water. Then I ignored the demands of the dishes and the dog and cat hair, and the wet towels on the bathroom floor and I went downstairs and painted.
Okay, just to be clear here. The dishes and the dog and cat hair and the wet towels, didn’t actually talk to me. But, they might as well have, because it felt like they did.
The Should Words that we let control us
There is always that tension to be perfect. To always have the kitchen SPOTLESS, and ALL the dishes clean, and ALL the dishes in the dishwasher put away, and ALL the wet towels on the bathroom floor washed and dried and put away BEFORE you get to do something creative.
You should always wash all your dirty dishes. And you should sweep and vacuum every day. And never go to bed with a dirty cup in the sink. And don’t ever leave any clumps of litter in the seven litter boxes.
AND, I made those words capital on purpose. They are The Should Words that we let other people speak into our life. THE WORDS that WE LET control us. Living SOMEONE else’s life. Living according to SOMEONE elses values and rules.
Whose life am I living?
Whose life are you living?
If you want to leave ever single dish in your house dirty on the counter while you are painting a picture, or writing a story, or reading a book to your children. Then do ahead and do it!
Oh, dear. I have never yelled at you before. Perhaps I am really yelling at myself.
And, maybe those are your values, and not someone else’s. Please go ahead and wash your dishes and empty your dishwasher if you want to. And wash and dry and put away the wet towels on the bathroom floor before you write your story, or paint your painting, or read to your children.
But. (Here comes the but.)
Because one day you will wake up and wish you had left a few dishes in the sink. You will wish you had painted more, and written more, and read more books to your children.
Would you let an overflowing toilet keep you from creating?
Here is the rough sketch for the painting
I paint with acrylic paint in layers with a palette knife. This is the first layer of the painting.
And the toilet
p.s. It is 10:16 at night. The dirty dishes are still on the counter. And the clean dishes are still in the dishwasher, and the wet towels are still on the bathroom floor. I would rather put off the tasks that never end, and leave time to create.
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