Let me start this post by saying, I’m sure that my laundry breeds while I sleep. I mean there is no other reason I can think of as to why the laundry basket refills at the rate it does. If only my bank balance, refilled as quickly. Sigh! Of course, things are a lot better, now that I’m married. Now, I’m forced to do it. Which brings me back to the days of yore – or bachelorhood, as I like to call it. Back then, the only time I actually did the laundry was when the following predicament presented itself to me – Laundry today, or naked tomorrow.
However, as I said, now things are different. As you get older, you sometimes get reflective and wiser. So previously while I had enough time to go through a book while waiting for the laundry to be done, these days I just put the laundry in the machine and then hobble around the house picking toys or getting other stuff done. Now you, my dear reader at the back of the class, might be wondering why I’ve decided to bore you with lectures of how my “laundry” habit has developed over the years. Fear not! I do not intend to.
The only reason that I’ve talking about laundry today, is because it was as I was separating clothes – coloured from non-coloured, intimates from well…non-intimates – that’s when a thought struck me. You see, along with the laundry bit, I also have trouble with folding clothes. And as I was chatting up “Google-Devi” trying to convince her to accompany me in my quest to find that magic folding thingy that Sheldon Cooper (Yes, the very one!) uses to fold his clothes, the lovely Sumeetha pinged me to ask for my post. Something that I’d promised and (conveniently) forgotten because as it goes, life happens. But I digress. Anyway, as I was separating the laundry today, I realized that it is quite possible that there is more to laundry than dirty baniyans and shorts.
So here are a few lessons I believe doing laundry teaches us.
Wash – Dry – Wear – Dirty – Repeat
This is what I normally call a laundry cycle. And lots of things in life follow a similar pattern. You have to keep doing them over and over again. Yes, some days you feel like you’re stuck in a rut and repetition often feels monotonous. But remember, repetition also helps make some things perfect. So some times, it’s always worth learning those lessons over and over again, till you perfect it. And no, before you ask – laundry IS a never-ending vicious cycle. If you want clean clothes, that is.
At some point, you will lose a sock. Sometimes, every single time
The point I’m trying to make is, that sometimes no matter how carefully we plan everything or be cautious, we lose things or people that are important to us. There is nothing we can do to prevent it. Yes, we feel frustrated about it and sometimes even get wildly possessive about it, but sometimes “sh*t happens” and socks get lost. Deal with it!
Read the label
I agree – life doesn’t come with an instruction manual. But as philosophical as it sounds, sometimes the universe sends you signs with directions to people who have those instructions. And some other times, it’s there – just like the label on the inside of your favourite t-shirt. And it’s there for a reason. And if it’s too much for you to handle, sometimes it’s okay to call your Mom (or whoever else you need to) for help. We don’t have it all figured out always.
Stains and holes
Wouldn’t we love it if everything were perfect? Just like how we wanted it. Like not having food stains on the brand new white shirt or mud splatters over that pink dress that you decided to wear even though it was raining. But just like the sock, no matter how hard we try to avoid them, life splatters a bit of mud all over us. And that’s okay. You know why? Because the stain is only on the outside. Eventually you will stop wearing that stain, just like you will stop wearing that particular dress or shirt. Grow out of it, so to speak.
Don’t let it accumulate
Just as with dirty laundry, often in life, we tend to let things bog us down. We procrastinate and look for the easy way out. Could I get away once more with that really stinky pair of jeans? Or maybe nobody will notice that I smell like a wet, raggedy dog? The REAL easy way out here is – do not put away something that can be done today. Oh, and in case you do let it accumulate, do this – STOP over analyzing it and get to the bottom of the basket as quickly as possible.
One load at a time
This is probably the most important lesson of all that you can learn from doing laundry. So you’ve let things pile up and you feel bogged down by the weight of it all. So much so, that you’re starting to feel like Atlas with the huge globe on his shoulder. Tough luck! But all isn’t lost. As they say, Laundry is nothing but sorting out life, one load at a time.
Now that my gyaan is officially over, I should get back to doing my laundry. Else that “naked tomorrow” part, might just come true. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, there is a sign in our house that says: “This home has endless Love and Laundry”.
Well, what did you expect? We have a toddler who believes rolling in the mud is his birthright. On a separate note, that might explain the rapid refilling of the laundry basket.
About Sid Balachandran
Academically an engineer and a product manager by profession, Sid believes that his true calling lies in writing. Having recently relocated back to India after an eight-year stint in London, he writes short stories, social satire and about his parenting escapades involving his toddler son. He can be found weaving his tales at www.iwrotethose.com