Are you a sponge?

Posted by Doc
Mar 19 2009

I’m one of those odd folks who finds chores like washing dishes and ironing pleasant. I find them pleasant because they require no real thought, allowing me to enter somewhat of a meditative state while doing them.

I was just washing some dishes (yes, I like to clean up after myself when I’m done eating), and holding the sponge, and the analogy hit me.

My wife and I have kept a sponge in the sink for years. And for years, after a while of using the sponge and leaving it lying there wet (maybe 1 – 3 months), the sponge would start to smell a bit. So we’d throw the sponge away and replace it with a new one.

While I was working in Calgary last year, I opened a new sponge and actually read the package. It said “squeeze out all the water when done using.” So I did. And I found that two things happened: the sponge dried out between uses, and it didn’t start to smell.

I came home at one point, and said to my wife “we should squeeze out the sponge when we’re done, and maybe it won’t smell so soon.” That was around September or October of last year, and we’re still using the same sponge, and it doesn’t smell.

Why do you care?

What occurred to me just now is that we – we human beings – are like the sponge. If we absorb stuff and don’t get rid of it, we start to turn bad. If we hang onto the anger, hurt, frustration, distrust, disappointment, and other bad feelings – the soapy, dirty water – then after a while those things affect us so that we have a bad “smell.”

Certainly, I’ve found that the sooner I squeeze out the water – get rid of the bad feelings, let them go – the sooner I feel comfortable with myself and my situation. This applies, as most things do, both to my professional world and my personal world.

Just squeeze it out, and let yourself dry out between uses.

Yeah – dry out.

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