The Comfort & Joy of Laundry

My son and my husband are at the barber this afternoon getting long overdue haircuts for both. In a couple of weeks my son and I will be traveling down South to visit with my father and his side of the family for a couple of weeks. I’m really looking forward to a little time away with my Dad, non-Mom, and sister (my son’s Aunt who is just over a year his senior) and my little guy. My son, who will be flying for the first time, is experiencing both curiosity and a little apprehension at the prospect of air travel. Much like our car trip down South last summer, I’m billing our trip as a wonderful journey and adventure and he seems to like that characterization. I’m saying this as much, if not more to myself, for while I actually enjoy flying (and even more reaching the vacation destination), I more often than not find that the strict arrival/departure deadlines, packing, etc. bring out the anxiety in me. I feel rushed, agitated, and hurried times 10 (make that times 1000! yet again) whenever I fly. That said, it is my sincere goal this trip to keep that anxiety under control as my son will inevitably take his cues from me and to truly enjoy the journey as well as the destination. My husband, who initially felt disappointment that we’d be going with out him, has just realized that our going without him means two weeks all to himself – something he hasn’t experienced in quite some time – and now he just may be secretly counting the days until he’s on his own (I know I would be).

It’s a hot, humid, overcast day here and I’m reveling in my couple hours of “me” time as well as in getting a few chores done including our laundry which has become a bi-weekly event with my husband working full-time again and my son beginning T-ball and running around outside on hot, sweaty summer days and nights. Although I often procrastinate doing the laundry I actually find comfort in the routine of it. It’s mundane and repetitive yet it has a definite beginning and and end. Not to mention, I love folding warm, fresh smelling clothes (especially my son’s little shirts, shorts, and socks) and putting each item in it’s proper place. For those few hours (or sometimes the day depending on how much I’ve procrastinated doing said laundry) there is a slow, comfortable rhythm to the work and to the moment and I find a quiet peace and solace of sorts in this so-called chore. Even as a child I found comfort in this sort of routine. In what some might call drudgery I found a certain joy and fulfillment. This doesn’t mean that I always do the laundry joyfully, but I do find that once I get over the “I don’t want to do it” phase I generally do enjoy it. Go figure.

I find this same comfort in the routine daily life, of balancing the checkbook, going to see my therapist, the school year, being on time for an occasion or appointment (not including airline travel), and generally knowing what to expect on any given day. Intellectually I realize this is all a construct of my own making to give me the illusion that I have control over some small part of my life and therefore control over my life as a whole. Yet there is a comfort, a sureness, in it which I find soothing and I’ve stopped questioning it so much as being thankful for the simple peace and simplicity it affords me on a given day.

As I look over this post now, the day following the afternoon I wrote it, I’m not sure I have anything else to add so I’ll just leave it at that and continue on with the routine of today.

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