I open the dishwasher. Warm steam pushes into the room, momentarily fogging my glasses. I methodically pull out the bottom drawer and reach for a large plate. Then I freeze, my hand midair.

Why the large plates? Why not put away the silverware first? Or the heavy blue coffee mugs with cream colored stripes running around their tops? I could even put away the juice glasses, then go back to the lower drawer. That would be a change. Take the opportunity to do a routine chore in a way that makes me think about it.  Plan which dish goes away first? It feels liberating to make a choice and put away my dishes backwards. Maybe tomorrow I will change where things are stored in the cupboards.

I unfreeze, pulling out the bottom drawer and reaching for the large plates. I’ve done it methodically, mindlessly for 20 years. I snatch back my hand and stand dumbfounded with epiphany – if I change my routine just a hair, the tiniest degree, it will be a start.

Slowly, I reach forward and pull out the silverware basket, normally last. Sorting it into the drawer, I wonder what might be next.

LindaTCooper © 2010

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