In a rush to get to Maryland from Philadelphia, I ended up leaving my baked bean residue infused pan to soak. I was in a rush, so I thought that at least let me soak the pot because of course it needs to soak before it gets washed and I don’t have time to wait for it to finishing soaking - Right? Well, this was the excuse that I told myself. The result of ‘letting it soak’ was that when I returned 3 days later the stink in my apartment was overwhelming!
I found this experience a superb analogy of how we sometimes deal with our problems. You might be having relationship issues, so you go on a 3 day vacation away from your partner only to come back to a stinky apartment – the problem started off as baked bean residue but now it’s full on seeping through the air and you’re stuck with a mouldy dish. Letting it soak is sometimes a band- aid solution to a deeper wound. Ironically, when you walk back into the stink, you ask yourself ‘Why didn’t I deal with this problem earlier? Why didn’t I just wash the pot?’ In my case, I have a dishwasher – I could have just rinsed the pot and put it in! I literally had the perfect tool to wash my pot but I didn’t use it.
Different problems demand different solutions – some need a little soak and some need to be scrubbed hard, NOW! The trick is to be honest with yourself with which approach is needed on a moment to moment basis. If you are always letting your problems soak – you’re going to be left with a huge mess eventually. Same goes for if you scrub too much – you might break a few dishes or end up with raw hands. It’s totally up to you what you choose and sometimes you need the stink to smell the extremity of the problem. Soak or Scrub – it’s up to you.