Growing up, the dishes were always -- and I mean always -- done immediately after the meal. All the years growing up, maybe once (twice?) did my father allow, and even proclaim, we'll leave them. "Leaving them" meant for a few hours, likely not overnight. (Yes, Mom cooked; Dad did the dishes. The boys dried. Dried? Now they dry by themselves.)
That has not been the case typically in my own life.
Typically it's a buildup of a few days, mirroring the circadian rhythms of at least my own bingeful ways. I can't speak to anyone else's patterns.
This past Sunday I thought of this dishes pattern in my formative years.
I wondered, what has changed in me? Why the difference?
I made a silent vow to myself and no other.
Never leave the dishes overnight.
Not a vow exactly, but more a watchful observance, an attentive promise to myself, fully realizing the sad, sour history of futility and failure of self-directed moral crusades in my life.
As the Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh has remarked (I'll paraphrase), The only thing unpleasant about doing the dishes is not doing them.
Doing the dishes itself is joyful.
So far so good.