Sometimes, I feel oppressed by the laundry. I see it glowering at me in its baskets. Clean, dirty, it doesn't matter. In fact, the clean is the worst. The dirty laundry, it isn't that bad. It can be divided and conquered, but then, it's clean.
Ah, but the clean laundry. Mountains. I used to be intimidated and overwhelmed by the dirty laundry, but now, it is the clean that scares me. The time it will take to fold and sort and put away. The enforced servitude in the basement. The time I could be using for something else. The laundry is keeping me from writing, cleaning, creating, editing... Yep. It's the laundry.
Only, it's not just the laundry. It's everything. Work gets in the way of doing things that are fun, and because I don't want to do the work, I don't let myself do the fun things. *insert petulant whine here* I put up with having to come down to the basement to find clothes for the family, tolerate the digging through baskets for socks or underpants. The fact is, I have spent far more time digging and searching for clean clothes, than I would have spent on just getting them folded and put away. And now, I've spent a lot of time writing about it. See how insidious it is, this laundry? How it grows and takes over my mind, my life?
How can I be a good parent, how can I be a storyteller, how can I do anything, when the LAUNDRY is holding me back?!
And if it weren't the laundry? What else would I create to keep me from writing, storytelling, painting, singing, adventuring, playing? Dishes are sometimes a stand-in. Or getting dressed.
I don't have an easy answer to this, because the answer is already so easy, so simple. Just do the laundry. Or don't. Just doing it might be easy enough. But things are going okay the other way, too. And when I get sick enough of how things are, I'll change. Not worth wasting my time worrying about it. Truly.
What's your laundry?
Good New Year's morning, everyone!
So, I realized over the last month that, if I don't have a regular practice of posting -- every single day -- it isn't going to happen. Life gets in the way. Life interrupts and clamors. Silly old life.
What are you doing to prepare for this year? Making lists? Choosing a word or phrase to guide you? Promising, planning, resolving? I am working on choosing my word for the year, one that will be part of my planning and reflection, my moving forward and my looking back.
I have deep hope for 2014, and a resolve to let go of the past and step boldly. We will see what happens. Many people, as soon as the going gets hard or the fat hits the fire, retreat back into habit and safety. Habits can be good. So can safety, being safe and all. But to stay in habit, to stay hidden in safety -- that deadens the story, that kills adventure, that binds the hero(ine) in a bond of iron that no fairy magic can undo. Only the work of human hands can undo iron. Only our fierce, heart-warmed courage can untangle the webs of the old and allow us to move unfettered into the new. We need grace, and gentleness, and encouragement. Find them where you do, and trust that you will know where to go when you step out of the cave.
The sun is already coming back to us. Can you feel it?
Sara is a storyteller, writer, artist, teacher, wife, mother, and singer living in Minnesota. I write about storytelling, and about living a life with stories.