If you find yourself discouraged in life and assuming you have access to laundry facilities in your house, I recommend not doing your laundry at home for a month – to put things into perspective. I began to ponder this because the washing machine in my house broke down and because they do not make them like they used to, fixing it wasn’t a viable option – I needed a new one.
I suddenly realized how much I had taken for granted, having a washing machine. I also realized that I was washing my clothes more frequently than necessary. I became aware that since I would need to pack up and haul my clothes away, the t-shirt that has been worn for a day, that has not been soiled, could be folded and worn again another. Perhaps the towel that has been used for three days could be used for a fourth or a fifth. How much water, soap and energy had I been wasting?
Then the day came, when I put on my last clean pair of underwear; I’d put off going to the Laundromat for as long as possible. I piled the mountain of clothes into a hamper and off I went. As I drove, I thought – at least I have a car to commute with, and not only did I have a car, but I had the ability to drive it.
The Laundromat wasn’t like the kind I had used during my early twenties while living in downtown Toronto. It was bright, clean and relatively empty, thankfully my vision of having my elbows out, monitoring each machine and placing bets on which machine would be finished it’s spin cycle first (kind of like how you gauge which line up at the grocery store will move faster) did not come to fruition. I loaded the machines, I found out that they would be finished in thirty minutes; I left ran a few errands and returned just as they were completing their cycles. Voila, it was done.
Well, not quite done, since my dryer was not broken I now needed to load my clothes back into the hamper, to cart home to dry. What I hadn’t budgeted for was that the volume and weight of everything had changed – wet clothes are a lot heavier than dry. I had only brought one hamper, which left me no choice but to carry it all in one load. Regardless, I persevered and with the exception of losing one sock I made it through this process gaining a greater appreciation for having the health, and strength to carry its weight – something else I take for granted.
Eventually, a beautiful front loading, energy efficient and water conserving machine arrived to my house – I never imagined that I would get this excited over a household appliance or that being without one would cause such an epiphany. I began to examine my life and became mindful of a multitude of things to be grateful for. As ridiculous as this may sound, one outcome of my washing machine breaking down was that I made a vow to my self. I vowed that the next time I allowed something in life to get me down, I will remember to pause and take stock, it isn’t difficult to find many blessings seemingly in disguise.
Dory Montague is a creative writer who aims to inform, inspire and provide insight to others through her writing.