Can you even imagine the amount of laundry I do? I have seven kids, a dog who likes blankets, and a rabbit who sheds. And I am allergic to them (the pets, not the kids!) Every single day the kids play outside, digging, climbing, running, tearing holes in the knees of their pants…and I have more laundry.
I could despair. But I don’t.
Right now, at this moment, I have seven loads of laundry, piled high on the kitchen table. Did I mention it’s 7:00 a.m.?
I don’t despair because I have a secret.
A laundry weapon kind of a secret.
To be perfectly honest, every time my incredible mom comes over, she throws in a load of laundry before she says hello. If I have artwork to do, or an illustration due, she is the one to show up and fold towels so I have some extra time. But Mom Helping is no secret, it’s a well known fact. In addition to my wonderful Mother, I still have a secret.
About a hundred years ago, when I was in high school, I was complaining about laundry to a friend. In my ranting and moaning about folding shirts and ironing creases in our jeans, which I totally had to do, Missy stopped me.
“I love to do laundry!” She exclaimed.
“No, really. I love to do laundry. I pretend I work at the mall, and I get to fold all the perfect and beautiful clothes. It makes me happy because I get to keep them all.”
It’s a mind game.
It works. I look at the piles of clothing, towels and blankets, and I’m glad to have them. It’s difficult to imagine them new and hanging on a rack at Macy’s, but I have become grateful for my laundry. Grateful to be kept warm, grateful for the quilt and the dog that sheds on it, curled up and cozy when we weren’t looking. Grateful for the holes in the jeans, because the kid found so much joy in climbing the tree.
My laundry secret works in many different circumstances, too. For example, my truck has my son’s name scratched in the side of it. He picked up a rock back about age 5, when he learned his letters, and wrote his name on the side of our truck. He was so proud. And you know what? We left it there. I like it, because I am reminded of the pride and joy in his face when he showed me that he knew how to write his name.
I am free to choose to see the laundry and the scratches and dents of my life in any way I want. I can see things as a burden, as a drain and a pain. Or I can choose my secret weapon of positivity.
It’s called gratitude.