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Two years ago I had dirty laundry piling up in real life and in my personal life.
4 Life Lessons That My Dirty Laundry Taught Me
I have a system for doing laundry now but it took me most of my twenties to get here. Sometimes I find myself throwing clothes in the cycle several times a week to keep my hamper from overflowing and I won't be stuck doing it all weekend. I haven't always been as responsible and one time it really got out of control when I didn't do laundry for nearly two months. In my defense, my dryer was broken at the time and while I know that's not an excuse I just would rather continue to let it pile up than confront the issue head on. Ah, enter where this was a double entendre in my life. I had a lot of dirty laundry in my personal life that I also failed to confront. Once I got through two months worth of laundry I realized the process of it all was much more literal than I thought.
1. Separate into piles before washing – Often I try to multi-task the good habits I’m developing all at once and this leaves me every bit of depleted. I’m trying to eat a balanced diet, lose weight, drink more water, meditate, stay woke, save money, live below my means—a girl can be TIRED, OK? I've found that if I choose one habit to focus on and put all my energy into that, everything else is interconnected and can fall into place. An example that I mentioned before is intention. Setting intentions help me to follow a specific course of action to get me to a desired result. Intentions can influence my actual experience by guiding my underlying thoughts and actions. So if I intend to become a freelance writer, I need to write more! My intentions of posting more blog posts as practice to become a better writer will lead me to the desired goal of securing writing gigs. Intention is the overall premise of all my positive habits that I want to stick and helps me separate them in order to get to a positive outcome.
2. It gets easier once I start – I am master procrastinator when it comes to laundry and frankly any other tasks on my to-do list. It takes two cups of coffee and couple more hours of a Hulu binge before I can train my mind to focus on commit at the task at hand. Once I start though, my focus is laser. That’s the trick, all I have to do is start. Recently I have been figuring out what I want from my life in the next phase of it. In this process I can get stuck in a loop of planning, procrastinating and anxious thoughts but all of that lessens when I just start. Much like starting the laundry chore, once I start to make my way through the loads it gets easier and the fear of never getting it done or putting it off again is gone.
3. Don’t let it pile up too high – Each day I come home and take off dirty clothes piece by piece and they continue to pile up as I’m on-the-go over the week. When I get to the end of the week (or two) I find that I’ve been avoiding the pile not thinking it was big enough to handle at the time and now it’s flowing to the brim. This is much like me putting off situations I know I should handle but chalk up to it will handle itself or that things will magically work out, but when I finally get the courage to it’s a bigger fire to put out than initially. Laundry teaches me to be very much proactive than reactive. I’m still struggling with this but at least I’m aware of the pile as it starts to grow.
4. Handle with care – I like to take extra care in laundering the staples in my wardrobe. My favorite jeans I will let air dry and even lay my favorite T-shirt flat to dry so it can stay soft. I realized I needed to treat myself like this too. I need to take the time to be proud of the small wins and ways I’ve kicked ass in adulting up until this point. Too often I am caught up in what I don’t have or beat myself up for eating the cupcake in the break room at work. I have to understand to treat myself like I treat my hand wash only pieces: kind and gentle because after all I’m doing the best I can.