I did eight loads of laundry this past weekend.
And that wasn’t even all of it.
If that “you’re an expert when you’ve done it for 10,000 hours” thing is true, I am a fucking expert at washing and folding laundry. I have been doing laundry since I was 14 – that’s 25 years of laundry.
I should have three honorary Ph.D.’s in it, I think.
Suffice it to say, it is something I do a lot of.
But I don’t always like it very much.
Only, this weekend, because I had so very much of it to do…I had to find a better way.
My husband and kids had been complaining about having to ‘dig for clothes’ out of the laundry baskets (from the clothes that were actually clean). Luckily for them, as they wore more clothes, and I washed less, there was far less to dig through each day.
Yes, I am that kind of mom and wife sometimes.
Okay, so, laundry. And doing it better.
Or, at least, not hating it so much that I don’t do it.
As I pulled two baskets filled with 2 loads each into the living room, I thought, “This is going to suck. What can I do to not make it suck?”
This is what I did.
1. Put on some funky, sexy music. Stuff that’s okay for the kids (!), but also still made me wanna shake my hips. Bopping while I folded the shirts was fun.
2. Did the conga or danced with each thing I folded. Yes, I danced with my laundry. And you know what? It made me and my kids laugh.
3. Really enjoy folding something. I like to fold towels and the old, cloth baby diapers we now use for living room napkins (for pizza and movies on Fridays). Towels just jam: fold, fold, fold, done! I took joy in those tasks.
4. Send love to each item. I just thought about the owner of each item as it passed through my hands and sent some love to it and them. This really felt good; that warm opening, deep in my chest. I let love flow through me into those clothes and into my family.
5. Notice the purpose of each item; imbue it with goodness. When I was folding my son’s shirts, I thought about how they protect his sensitive skin and I imagined the shirt as an armor breastplate.
My daughter’s jeans became pom-pom strings – moving her joyfully through her tough days.
My husband’s bike gloves (pro tip: don’t fold those) reminded me of how dedicated and loyal he is; I sent gratitude for their sacred purpose, which is to stick him to the bike he loves and receives love from.
Did these spiritual perspectives help?
You bet they did.
In one sense, I got through the laundry. But in another sense, they made folding the laundry a sacred task. A prayer.
As I held each piece of clothing in my hand, I felt it, saw it- the different fabrics, textures, colors, shapes. And as I held each thing, I connected with it in one way or another. And that connection brought me deeper into life and love.
I don’t love doing laundry, allofasudden. But I do see how good it is.