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 enjoy laundry days, though that wasn’t always the case. It became a pleasant activity that stirred up a sense of quiet content 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.
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 spiritual songs
- after setting out clothes on line, take a few moments (or more) to sit in the yard/on the deck or in the gallery and just be
- listening to Scripture or a YouTube tutorial
- having a look around the garden to make a note of 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
Have you ever stood barefoot on the grass and set damp sheets on a line in a strong breeze, or pressed your face against a freshly warmed towel? It usually inspires a deep breath that seemed like it was waiting to happen.
Ask everyone in the house to please set clothes that need to be washed, in one central area or a designated spot per person in the same area, so there’s some sort of structure. That way, you won’t be collecting random items throughout the house and possibly missing something that was due for a wash.
Set a laundry day and time-frame, as much as you can. 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.)
Gratitude amidst both the vibrant and most mundane chores spills into my thoughts, and sounds like:
Thank You Heavenly Father for a new day, sound mind and able limbs that can lift and fold these clothes
Thank You for sunlight and sweet breeze
Thank You for the opportunity to greet a neighbour as she does the same over the fence
Thank You for provision of these clothes
Most times, laundry day is filled with quiet contentment- and other times, there are sprinkled sighs of fatigue in between deep purposeful breaths. Yet always, it ends in clean and freshly fragrant clothes. On days when unexpected rain pelts down on almost-dry-clothes, and frustration springs into my thoughts, it’s an instant reminder to check myself and ask for any ingratitude to be weeded out and for thankfulness to be invited in.
Household duties may not always include bright 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 gifted moments we’re taking care of them.