Launder Nut… May 17, 2013

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laundromatThe quickest way to experience failure is to complain about things that have to be done. Not only are you wasting your time by lamenting the activity, but in the process of shifting your focus to crabbiness, you are lengthening the process of the task.

First and foremost, I am not a graduate student of this philosophy, but rather, still in elementary school. In other words, I occasionally fuss about things that are inevitable. Somehow or another, I must believe that my rankling over some chore is going to cause God or the people around me to change my circumstances and allow me a free pass. Of course, it’s ridiculous and never happens.

I used to be that way about doing the laundry. Now, I’ve never been one of those men who thinks it is “women’s work.” Since no woman dirtied my clothing, there’s no reason to think I deserve a launder maid. But from time to time, I have grumped about the activity, thinking that made me more mature, fighting the “tide,” or that it let everyone know that I was sacrificially performing the duty without good “cheer.”

Then one day I asked myself three questions:

1. What did they used to do to wash clothes? For you see, what I do is throw them in a washer, pour in some detergent, and walk away to read a book. My ancestors–by the way, not TOO far back–had to go down to the stream with a bar of lye soap and beat their clothes with rocks to get all the soil out of the fabric. It’s difficult to believe that cleansing your threads could be an aerobic workout, but for my great-grandmother, it certainly was. Humbled by the answer to my first question, I asked a second.

2. What do I have to do? As I shared earlier, I have a washing machine and a dryer to assist me in my endeavor, plus any number of additional distractions to entertain me as I wait for the full baptism of my clothing. The answer to my question is, I can do whatever I want to do. The machines do everything else. The only part of the process that resembles ancient times is that the clothes do require folding. But I have learned to turn that into a game. I see how quickly I can do it, how efficiently, or, on a given week, I fold them in a different direction than I did in the previous one. I also allow myself points and pride for taking those inside-out garments and restoring them to their correct position. Which leads to my third and final question:

3. What do I get out of it? Aside from clean clothes, I get underwear that actually smell good. I like the smell. Sometimes when I’m folding the clothes, I sniff them, which to onlookers may have a perverted bend. But they smell good.

And because laundry is a job that most people abhor, when I return with clean clothes, I become the hero of the hour. As people put them away in their drawers, they thank me over and over again for the arduous activity I endured.

And last but not least, I have the confidence that I will not have to do it again for  several days. It is one of those few pursuits that is actually finished for a season–without constantly looming, threatening repetition.

What I’m trying to tell you is that the door to happiness is unlocked when we realize that we live in a “gilded age,” where the blessing of technology has alleviated nearly all of the suffering from the succotash. We also greatly benefit by being able to complete our journey and see the blessed results of our quest.

Complaining is what people do when they believe two very dumb ideas: (1) life is not fair; and (2) that anybody cares that I’m upset.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

*****

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. PS correction: I’m glad that doing laundry is one of the things that does NOT upset you!!

    Like

  2. I care when you’re upset, Jon! I’m glad that doing laundry is not one of the things that upsets you!!

    Like


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