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Stimulation and How I Learned to Love Dishwashing

When I bought a house ten years ago, I also bought place settings for six and silverware for twelve. Then I developed a minor fascination with bone China and bought settings for eight. I probably had four dozen glasses. About once a month or so, all of these dishes would be piled up in and around my sink, begging to be cleaned. I didn't have a lot of dinner parties-- I just hated doing dishes so much that I'd procrastinate until washing became a full day event. Those days were some of my least favorite.

A few days ago, I was doing the dishes for the six of us that ate dinner. There were pots, pans, plates, serving utensils, and glasses. The works. For the first time ever, I found myself enjoying doing the dishes. I could appreciate the warm water on my hands and the shine in the pot when it was clean. When I washed everything that wasn't dishwasher safe, I started handwashing the things that could have just gone in the dishwasher. It wasn't fun exactly, but it was so enjoyable that I actually found myself looking forward to washing the dishes the next day.

Work has become the same way. I don't love all aspects of it equally, but when I wake up and know I have a tough day ahead of me, I feel great. Pant of it is that I know the day will end with a nice chunk of progress made, but most of it is the actual act of working. I love it. I can't wait to face off with a bug that's been bothering me for weeks, trace it through all of our code, and fix it. It's relaxing, like an internal Swedish massage.

My friend Constance wrote me an email today. She was talking about me with her sister and some friends, describing my hyperfocus on work, learning, and other productive things. An excerpt from her email:

What about the present?

On A Day In The Knowledge from Above

"If we examine our thoughts, we shall find them always occupied with the past and the future." -Blaise Pascal

About a week ago I read this quote and didn't really pay much attention to it. Today, however, as I was doing something, I started thinking of the future and then I remembered this quote. In reality, how many times do we spend thinking about the present? It truly blew my mind. I used to be nervous about the future because you just didn't know what was coming, and that was frightening. But now, as I think about (my plans or what I want to accomplish), I think to myself about how I may not accomplish them since I don't know what is coming. And I thought, 'Isn't a lot of the source of unhappiness thinking about the future or of the past and how it affects the future, and not focusing on the present and being happy with what you have?'?

I make the commitment to myself to think about the present and not worry so much about the future but be happy with currently feeling [happiness] and life. And I challenge you out there, think about your life (even if some things aren't right), and thank God for your life and the chance you have to live today for "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." -Psalm 118:24.

Because truthfully, if you just look at creation God has made, you should feel ecstatic for seeing all the beauty out there.

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