My mother used to tell me, “Deborah, always be sure you live in a house with the kitchen sink under a window or you’ll never want to wash your dishes”. I considered those words poignant but old fashioned, an antiquated statement about a woman’s place. In fact, in the 1994 film ‘Muriel’s Wedding’ Muriel’s mother sets fire to a tree outside the window over her kitchen sink. For 20 years she watched that tree get taller and taller while she was stuck in the same place. I understood completely.
Yet as I got older and was faced with a life of renting houses, I found myself discarding choices where the kitchen sink faced a wall in favor of a window of any size over the sink. In this modern age of automatic dishwashers, we don’t spend much time contemplating life from the kitchen sink, or any other place, but we never get away from mundane chores. Mundane chores are a constant in our lives, no matter who we are.
I’ve found I like to use this ‘window-over-the-sink’ trick myself now, or something like it, to make hand-washing my dishes, or peeling shrimp, or loading the dishwasher an enjoyable experience. Now that I’m sort of a grown up and a homeowner, I can bust out any claustrophobic wall or too-small window with confidence. I recently knocked out my ordinary kitchen window and replaced it with a custom ten-foot monster, and I’m here to tell you, it changed my life. Now I get to look out over the Hill Country, let my mind wander and almost like magic, my dishes are done and all’s right in my world.
Now that I’m sort of a grown-up, I see my mother’s kitchen sink advice as an ‘always-take-the long-way-home-style metaphor. I like to find the best view of nature wherever I am because looking at beautiful things makes all mundane chores easier, don’t you think?
When we consider what this life demands of us choosing the prettier commute, or a nicer way to say something, or a window over our sink, can be imperative for our own inner peace. Now that I’m sort of a grown-up, I always try to find the best way to maintain my inner peace, and I’ve found it’s a little easier to do with a view of nature wherever I am. Try it—it works.