Lessons from Laundry | gratitude prompt

How do you feel about laundry?

It’s not a generally a crowd-favourite among the list of household duties we each have to take care of. Depending on the amount of people in your home, it can involve a small mountain or clothes or at the very least, a small mound of items. Either way, as long as we’re clothed during the daytime, at some point, laundry will need our attention.

i’m a fan. As in, it’s something I enjoy – though that wasn’t always the case. It became a pleasant activity when i tweaked my approach to it.

For those of you who still set clothes out to dry in the fresh air (I do, in this season), this is an opportunity for an outdoor serenity moment. In a world where pace is often given priority over quality of life, we can choose to use this time to be present, enjoy the atmosphere…sunlight, cool breeze dancing through the trees, the plants, birds, or your precious pet in the garden – all this is a form of refreshment in creation that can help you face the rest of the day bubbling with gratitude and resonating with a quiet joy.

white textile
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Laundry is a reminder that most things in life require maintenance, whether we like it or not.

If it’s your preference or in your pocket to hire a cleaning professional to tend to this home task, it doesn’t mean that you’re missin’ out on some epic life-altering moment. But, if you work from home, or you’re a mum who takes care of doing the washing among other household tasks, since this is an activity that’s set on ‘repeat,’ you can decide on how you treat this portion of your day and how you can fill up and be refreshed, while expending energy to get it done.

Here are a few light activities that harmonize pretty well with this household duty:

  • listen to birdsongs on nature’s playlist
  • enjoying inspirational music 
  • after setting out clothes on line, take 5 mins. to sit in the yard/on the deck and just be
  • baking
  • listening to a podcast / YouTube tutorial
  • having a look around the garden to note any plants that may need tending to (at another time)
  • observing any new flowers and picking some for a bouquet to set in the house 
person looking searching clean
Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Do you use a dryer instead of an outside line? Have you ever pressed your (clean) face against a freshly warmed towel? Ohhh, it’s so lovely and I imagine a slow smile and deep breath happen to you too.

Structure & rhythm

Ask everyone in the house to please set clothes that need to be washed, in one central area or in a designated spot per person in the same zone, so there’s some sort of structure. That way, you won’t be collecting items throughout the house, like it’s some sort o’ smell n’ seek treasure-hunt. Eeek!

Set a laundry day and time-frame. Right now, it’s ‘hurricane season’ in Barbados and this year’s had far more rain than usual, so assigning a specific day doesn’t always work for hanging clothes on the line outside. It doesn’t need to be set in stone, but assigning a rhythm helps make doing laundry a priority and subconsciously something to look forward to especially when you align it with other things you enjoy (like the activities mentioned above.)

Some days gratitude spills into my thoughts, and sounds like:

Thank You for limbs that can lift and fold these clothes
Thank You for sunlight
Thank You for how happy my jack russells are to lime with me in the garden
Thank You for that light introduction to my neighbour as she does the same across the wall
Thank You for provision through these clothes

…sometimes, laundry day is one that’s filled with a calm sense of quietness – and other times, there are sprinkled sighs of fatigue in between deep purposeful breaths. On days when unexpected rain pelts down on almost-dry-clothes, and “aww-mannnn” springs into my thoughts, it’s an instant prompt to check myself and ask for any ingratitude to be weeded out and thankfulness to be invited in.

Household duties may not always include sunshine smiles, but we don’t have to let these tasks hold our joy hostage…we can choose how we approach them, and look for the bright side within the moments we’re taking care of them.

Can you think of another plus + in doing the laundry? I’d love to hear and learn so please feel free to share…

Posted by

Hi sister, your life has a purpose way beyond your to-do list...but you already know this. Joyful Life On Purpose is designed to be a refreshing place to come to online for content steps for the creatively-inclined, organic things and encouragement. If you're called to reset the quality, pace and volume of your life for the better, there's lots of inspiration here. Join the journey with Indra, a writer, singer, homecook and farmer from Barbados. As a teen she almost gave up on life; now as a woman saved by grace through faith, she encourages the overwhelmed and lives life joyfully with purpose. Check out her new 'Wake Up Call' EP available on all digital platforms and stay tuned for more songs of freedom on the way. Feel free to subscribe for firsthand updates on new posts, music releases, guest features and tropical recipes along the way.

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