I'm only borrowing the term. I'm not discussing a research or advocacy group or organization for social policy, political strategy or economics. I may, however, adopt a little of its purpose “to solve complex problems or predict or plan future developments.”
Right off I'll explain that by my “think tank” I'm referring to a dishpan of hot, soapy suds in my kitchen sink where I sometimes do dishes. “Do dishes?” Some of the younger generation don't even know what that term means. Stacking dirty dishes into an automatic dishwasher and later pulling them out clean is all they have ever known. Not so when I was growing up. Besides, the automatic dishwasher was not yet invented!
Standing at the sink while sharing the washing of dishes, rinsing and drying them with a dish towel and replacing them on the shelves was a task I shared with my Mom. Sometimes it was reluctantly and under duress when I was impatient to run off and play with my friends. In my teens that changed somewhat. That task became a leisurely time of intimate exchange with my Mom when we talked confidentially about all sorts of things without the pressure of formal face to face, “Let's sit down. There's something we should talk about.”
With hands deep in warm suds sometimes my mountains turned into mole hills and “complex problems found a solution and future plans were developed” like the big time strategy think tank folks hope to achieve. Whenever I had a friend from school over, we shared the doing of dishes and we were in no hurry to finish them while enjoying our private giggling girl talk.
A good friend and I recently discussed the pleasing and positive aspects of hand washing dishes, although we both had the latest models of automatic dishwashers. My friend claimed that with her hands immersed in warm soap suds, she looked upon that unhurried time as the “think tank” interval in her day for quiet reflection and the counting of her many blessings and thanking God for them. In our often frenzied, over-committed lifestyle these days, why not look upon this largely bygone activity as an opportunity for a refreshing oasis to bring some quiet order to our lives several times a day, if we wish? Don't we all need such a window of opportunity to put everything in perspective?
It doesn't matter what brand of dish washing detergent we choose, of course. It may be Ocean Breeze, Sparkle, Lavender, Coconut, Aloe, Lemon, or old standbys like Palmolive or Dawn. As far as I know there isn't one that's called Drudge, Galley Slave, Chore or Bondage. There must be a reason.
Why should I limit my adult JOY in this activity to my childhood? What matters is the attitude I bring to this household practice and the quality time I invest at my think tank haven that will determine my peace and pleasure either during a humdrum or a hurried, harried day.
Why not join me today? Let's make lots of suds and take a swish in that dish pan and see whether it might bring us into our own corner of peace? Most of the detergents tantalize us with the promise of softer hands. So what's not to like about that?