let dirty dishes lie… and other wive’s tales debunked!

At one of my bridal showers, some sweet, well-meaning woman gave me this advice, “Don’t ever go to bed angry! Talk and work things out.”
And we tried.
and tried.
and tried.
But it seemed that for us, with any argument that came up, regardless of how small it was, if we tried to stay up and iron it out,
the only thing that happened was
we got more tired
and more grouchy
and more fighty
After a few years of this (I said we tried and tried!) (or maybe it was that we just plain got too tired to stay up anymore!)…
We started to just go to sleep.
still angry.
but sleeping.
By morning time, 9 times out of 10, we both looked at each other and said, “I’m so sorry!” almost simultaneously. Sometimes we even wondered why we had gotten so bent out of shape over really small things.
For us, this method works. We have found that our energy levels are at their peak in the early morning hours, so those are the times that have morphed into our ‘deep thought’ moments.
I am fully aware that this doesn’t work for everyone.
But it works for us.
I just wished someone had told me that not ‘everyone’ stays up to duke it out at night many years earlier.

… in fact, this philosophy works across the board.
One question that I pose in my nutrition seminars is, “what is the best time of day to exercise?” I get many different responses, depending on what studies people have heard about exercise and health.
What we then discuss is the fact that this is a trick question.
The best time of day for you to exercise
Is the time of day that you WILL exercise.
In other words –
If you are not a morning person, DON’T set the alarm to ring at 4:00 am and expect to bounce out of bed and do a quick 5 mile run. That plan is going to last as long as it takes for you to reach over and find the ‘snooze’ button.
Find YOUR rhythm.
Know YOUR body.
We all have different peak energy levels at different points of the day. Don’t fight yours, learn how to utilize your peak hours, and give yourself a break on your ‘off’ hours.

… which brings me back to the dirty dishes.
Well, as with my marriage, I have found that my kitchen is another area that I can best work in the morning.
In many circles, it is often heard, “oh, I can’t go to bed with dirty dishes, it is such a mess to wake up to – I have to wake up to a clean kitchen.”
… and I have fallen victim to this thought pattern, thinking that if the ‘other moms’ do it, then it must be the way it should be done.
So I have spent many nights cleaning my kitchen.
Being very tired
and grumpy
and yelling
and not snuggling the kids
and not reading extra books
because I had to go to bed with a clean kitchen!

… but I have in recent years started applying this ‘go to bed’ scenario with my kitchen.
And guess what?
It works!
Not for everyone, mind you,
But for me…
Leaving this:

(don’t worry, I did put the hamburger in the fridge!)

right where it is,
and heading off to bed
is the best thing for me.

You see, when I get up in the morning, and I am once again greeted by this:

(only minus the hamburger, I just didn’t take another picture – deal with it 🙂 ).

I instantly have something tangibly productive that I can do.
And I dive in. It kind of becomes a rhythm
and me cleaning the kitchen,
lets the kids know that it’s working time,
and they start doing their chores.
and by the time we head off to school,
I get to feel so productive because my kitchen then looks like this:

(okay, maybe not ALL the time when we walk out the door, but I’m creating the mo-jo here, so just go with me!).

… and instantly I feel like the day has been a success.

So I invite you to site back,
Do a little introspection,
and if it works for you…

Let the dirty dishes sleep 🙂