The kitchen sink works. It’s been six months of it being blocked and totally unusable. but somehow, it started draining a week ago, after many months of heroic and failed attempts to clear it.
Now, it’s still not right, because the sink disposal has a broken out blade assembly, so it doesn’t pulverize food properly+ and therefore is unusable, but a least I can run the water until it runs hot, can rinse every plate.
Still, though, I have the dishpan in the sink and I find myself using it like I did for the last half-year, dumping it into the toilet. It has become a habit over time, deeply ingrained.
I’m just not sure that whatever happened last time won’t happen again, so I work gingerly around the sink, wary that it could block up again.
My experience have shaped my habits, and my lack of resource to control leaves me tender and wary.
We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it and stop there lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove lid again and that is well but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.
— Mark Twain
I know that my life is shaped by hot stove lids from my past, not by the temperature of stove lids today. My fight, freeze or flee habits are deeply ingrained, just like my approach to that beat up kitchen sink with the broken disposal and the leaky faucet.
I use my rationality to push past my experiences, but always at a cost. Will in the human mind is limited and finite, which is why habits are so compelling; brain routines cost a lot less to operate than engaging the new and challenging. There is a significant price to always having to fight the past so you are willing, able and present to become new.
Those sunk experiences have the power to sink you if you don’t have the wherewithal to fight them everyday.
The past, especially for me, doesn’t just drain away, rather it pools and ripples, revealing patterns, yes, but also blocking the way to the future. I have low levels of latent inhibition so the past doesn’t slough. This is my blessing and is my curse.
Mindfulness has a cost, and that poor cat knows it in the pads of her feet, scorched and still echoing with the past searing pain of a burning hot stove.
There are so many reminders of the hot stoves of my life, of the blocked sinks, everyday echoes of the reasons I learned to stifle my heart and attenuate my life in the first place.
I know the importance of only getting the wisdom that is in an experience, the requirement of trying again and again and again, of being open to change in every moment. I understand the importance of detachment, even as my lifelong chronic deficit of attachment gnaws at me. Been there, done that, ate the t-shirt, as Lindsay used to say.
Still, I bear the scars of many hot stove lids. All I can do is work to be in the moment, to move past history and biology, transcending expectations to find a bit of new. Change requires change.
Day by day.