Folding the Laundry

What if I could pretend that each tedious chore was actually a unique privilege?

I don’t enjoy folding laundry, especially the dreaded fitted sheets. But one day this week I caught myself silently complaining about it and chose not to follow that habitual line of thinking. What if folding the laundry was a very special opportunity?  Really, it is not so bad. It is soft and warm and smells good. I pulled the sheets from the dryer and fluffed them over my head. The waves on my son’s pirate sheets billowed and rippled, a soft warm sea.  I began to enjoy the look and feel of each fabric as it emerged from the dryer’s cozy cave. I looked closely at the toasty champagne gold of the sheets that I use on my own bed, as if meeting them for the first time.  How wonderful! How lucky I am to have a warm bed to sleep in with these clean sheets!  I smiled and finished folding without any more complaining.

I plan to experiment with taking this approach to other chores. This week’s drawings will serve as a reminder:

P.S. Anyone who wants to have pirate sheets too can get them from Olive Kids.

6 thoughts on “Folding the Laundry

  1. Folding fitted sheets gives me hives 🙂
    I like (and use a variation of) your approach to the everyday household chores; it helps that I have three eager little “helpers.” It is an absolute riot when they help fold the laundry; I’ll ask them to fold things into different shapes, like making their shirts into burritos. We usually end up laughing, and seeing things differently, more joyously, than we had before.

  2. Laurie – I read a book on this exact subject — “The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and ‘Women’s Work'” by Kathleen Norris. To excerpt a sentence…”It is a quotidian mystery that dailiness can lead to such despair and yet also be at the core of our salvation.” Norris is a poet/author who elevates laundry to new spiritual heights….

    Regardless, I cannot be bothered with precision when it comes to fitted sheets. I fold them somewhat carelessly then stuff them into big bins on the closet shelf….I don’t want to look at them, piled high and always poised to topple over.

  3. Pingback: Even God took a day off | dailymomprayers

  4. I am really enjoying your blog. I remember when I ran into you at yoga over a year ago, and you were cross-eyed with frustration over how far you felt you’d strayed from your original vision of your artistic life. I think you were about to go to Whidbey Island for the first time. It is so deeply satisfying to see someone make the decision to transform their perspective the way you have. This is a brilliant approach — seeing what kind of wholeness you can make of the little, often fragmented moments of a day in the life of a wage-earning, laundry-folding suburban mom. The laundry “fort” is gorgeous! It reminds me of the adage, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” It also reminds me of the act of keeping a Gratitude Journal, wherein you write down five things every evening before going to sleep that you’re grateful for about your day — no matter what kind of day you had, and no mixing in complaining. What you wind up with is a record of the best moments of your life, that would otherwise have been lost and buried among the rubble of the negative things we might have chosen to allow to take up more space. I’ll keep reading!


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