I refuse to gripe and complain.
When I fuss about _____________ ,
that negative energy … those critical words
influence the people around me.
My own spirit is influenced as well.
IF I had been entertaining thoughts of dislike,
my speaking those words confirms those thoughts
in the part of my brain that processes language.
That conversation … that complaint-filled chat …. gives the grade
and says, “Yes. This is crappy. This is bad. Wallow in it.”
And, oh how quickly we can travel the downward spiral to
“I deserve better. ”
” Why do things like this happen to me?”
” Why is this so hard? Why is every.thing so hard?”
I refuse to go there.
Simply because I have so much. I am so blessed.
I have made it my intention
to look for the good in every situation.
For weeks and weeks our dryer made a really unusual sound
that escalated to an annoying, scary sound.
Then … it would quit being noisy and work fine.
THEN …. it would fall ill again to some malady.
When drying clothes, I checked the dryer every fifteen minutes
to make sure it was drying without overheating.
I cleaned out the venting system.
I added a fire alarm IN the laundry room …. as a precautionary measure.
The thought of being the girl who lost her home to a fire
and had to call her First Responder/Fire Chief father to break the news
made me breathe shallow and almost break out in hives.
I was careful to pay attention to this issue.
For a little while, the drum of my dryer
spent time in the middle of my kitchen
while James investigated.
We finally reached a point that we had to stop using the dryer.
Though James worked on it, it couldn’t be repaired properly.
For now, I wash clothes at home
and dry them at the laundromat.
And I love it. What might sound like a job to dread
is actually a wonderful blessing.
Rather than doing laundry here and there during the week
and tossing it into the dryer when I can
and then folding it when I can squeeze in the time,
my whole routine has changed.
Once a week, I wash every.thing that is dirty
and take it to the laundromat
where all my loads are tossed into dryers in a row
and they all dry at the same time.
In thirty minutes, the clothes are dry
and in another fifteen, they are sorted and folded.
*bam* I’m finished.
There have been many times in life that I have done the same.
I had forgotten how nice it is to take a job that is usually very long,
and sandwich-squoosh-it into a compact, fast little task.
I had forgotten what it is like to be among others, working alongside on like-minded task …
everybody busy and focused.
Today, I found myself singing Christmas songs while I folded laundry.
The man folding clothes next to me commented about my being happy
and I replied, “I have a home. I have children who are my friends.
I have clothes to wash and dry. I have a car to bring me to a laundromat.
There are so many who are less fortunate than me. Why would I not sing and be happy?”
From there we discussed our children, our Christmas shopping lists
and our favorite holiday songs. It was such a pleasant conversation ….
one I would have not been privy to enjoy
had I done laundry at home.
And our laundromat of choice, Lucy’s Laundry on Washington Road, is owned by a friend.
It’s clean, open long hours and close to our house.
The business offers wi-fi and has an assistant on duty who is always friendly and helpful.
I am reminded of the verse in scripture that says,
Choose this day whom you will serve. (Joshua 24:15)
I could choose the grumpy way of the privileged world … complaining that the laundromat is an inconvenience.
Or I could choose to praise my God who has given me much,
who cares for me, does not walk out on me and provides for me in ways that refresh.
I choose to love the laundromat.
I choose gratitude.