Semi-Conscious column: How to get the laundry done
What I should do is laundry. What I want to do is watch hummingbirds and sparrows and geese. And my friend the bald eagle, if I’ve been a good girl and my timing is right.
Laundry and I have only just met. I was not the laundry fairy in my household until recently. I had to call my friends multiple times (but not the same one because wouldn’t that be embarrassing) to ask what temperature corresponded to the spectrum of the rainbow I was about to agitate. But we are developing a relationship, laundry and I. It’s more off again than on again, but we’re making progress. Cultivating a routine. I think we have successful LTR (long-term-relationship) potential. I think my friends and family hope so.
The secret is balance. And space. Lots of space. And patience. Sometimes I get anxious and upset with things, like how long it is taking, or the damn sock thing and I have to take a time out. I have to take a cleansing pranayama breath, and realize that this is about me.
I have asked the Maytag to be in a place it’s not ready to be in. I want it to be on spin, but it’s still on rinse. It’s not the Maytag’s fault. It is just working through its process, genuine to its own nature. I can’t ask a Maytag to be a Ferrari. I must come from a place of love and let it be what it is. Let it eat the socks it needs for its own nourishment. I must see the beauty in its gentle rhythm and unhurried, cleansing process and hear the music in its hum.
I step back. Check in with myself to manage my frustration. What do I need right now? What would fulfill me in this moment that I can give to myself? I remind myself that it is not laundry’s job to make me happy or content. It can’t do that. It just can’t. The power is within me. I decide I need some bird watching and a cup of adaptogenic herbal tea. I think holy basil. Or ginseng. And also a blanket because it is raining out here. But when it is, man, you should see the colors. There must be a thousand shades of green.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Relaxing with my calming tea, I look at the clock and realize that I am still in loungewear and it is almost 3 o’clock. Immediately, my Shoulda Angel starts to harp. It’s like a shoulder angel but is cranky and critical, and every sentence starts with a variant of “should.” You should, you should have, you should’a (which is pretty much just gangster for “should have”) — you get it. It’s more a gremlin really. All cute sitting up there when it’s calm, but feed it a crumb of anxiety or self-loathing and out come the claws and fangs.
“You should have gotten much more done today than two loads of darks. Like, for example, get dressed … or maybe indulged in an intimate relationship with your toothbrush?” Shoulda Angel has permanent resting bitch face and a tone to match.
Wait. Underneath the yammering, I hear a different voice, a much softer one whispering to me. It is peaceful and gentle. It says breathe, be quiet, and look again. I shush the Shoulda, and take stock. I review the progress laundry and I have already made today, through our mutual allowance and respect of each other’s process and timing and needs. Because I must be a good girl (I am, I am I am!), I did see the bald eagle cruising, hunting, high above the mountain. I saw a flock of geese fly upriver, a frenzy of sparrows hunting and playing on the breeze, a hummingbird drink out of my planter, and ducks. An osprey flew so close to me I could see his eye. I think he winked at me.
In the non-avian realm, I have given closure to a complication, made breakfast for my boys, taken pictures of some rain-kissed flowers, said hello to an old friend. I also had a lovely texting chat with a new one. Oh, and bathed. Oh. And wrote this column. And two loads of darks.
It’s been a charmed day, I decide. I think I’ll ease up on Maytag for a bit. Let him rest. Do his thing. Bug-watching or whatever. Besides, there’s still the folding. I don’t want to strain myself. As I turn the light off in the laundry room, I smile and pat Maytag. Barry Manilow starts singing in my mind. Looks like we made it … his voice rings.
One day at a time.
Mari Rose Hale is a Glenwood Springs writer. She blogs at mariroseland.wordpress.com. Semi-Conscious appears on the fourth Tuesday of each month in Body & More.
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Aspen Glen residents and other speakers at a public hearing lobbied the Garfield County commissioners to keep a protective buffer in place on about 25 acres of the golf club to protect wildlife. No decision was reached.