Laundry. It’s really nothing more than the simple act of cleaning your clothes so you have something sparkling and fresh to wear out into society as opposed to looking like an utter goon. Seems simple enough, right?
Well, I never have a problem doing laundry. Heck, most times I am down lifting in my gym, I will snag some clothes out of the hamper and get it cracking while I’m pushing some iron. Two birds. One stone. All win.
Putting the clean clothes away once said laundry was done? Well… suffice it to say I’m not going to be winning any sort of awards, medals or commendations for bravery on that particular point. For reasons I cannot fully fathom, I had a very long run of perfectly clean laundry piling up in front of those gleaming white machines pictured above. I would tell you how long, but I’m going to save myself the embarrassment. Just know it was baaaaad. Real bad.
Well, over my recent holiday break from work, I was taking a nice chunk of time to think over things in my life. It’s really become one of my favorite things to do during the Christmas to New Year’s timeframe as one year closes and a new one begins to shine on the horizon. This matter of my laundry jumped to mind during this period of reflection… and not just in a “Damn… that’s a mess in need of cleaning” kind of way. Instead, I saw it as a bit of a symptom of something that had been nagging at me for a while, but I had not been able to put my finger on. And it was so obvious once it occurred to me. What was this realization, you ask in breathless anticipation? I will tell you:
That I simply got lazy and sloppy in the name of being more laid back. And I hated it. All of it.
See, I kept telling myself for so long that I needed to be less tightly-wound and more mellow. I have a tendency to be way-to-keyed-up for my own good and was in serious need of a chill adjustment. However, there’s a great deal of difference between being more relaxed and just letting everything get messy by being passive.
But it wasn’t just about the pile of laundry that needed to be folded and put away. Hell, my realization was barely about that. What I realized is how easy it had become for me to stop doing little things because I convinced myself it was a sign of being anal or would lead to me being stressed out over minutiae. The problem with this approach is: (a) I didn’t feel any more relaxed and (b) I feel so much more on top of my life when I am taking care of the little things. Not obsessing over them. Not stressing over them. Just knocking those suckers out.
Because you know what happens when you start knocking out the little needed things? You start to build momentum on much bigger things. At least I do. So that’s what I started to do during my break. Clean up everything. Put everything in its place. Never leave crap out for no apparent reason.
It all sounds completely silly doesn’t it? Hell, I feel a little silly just typing it for the whole world to read. However, that mindset of taking care of business really began to snowball and I was looking for more ways to keep that productive momentum going. And this played in beautifully to one of my biggest goals for 2014: Being more proactive in all areas of my life. Less letting things happen and more making things happen.
And I owe it all to a neglected pile of laundry. Life gives lessons in the strangest places. This time it was from a mound of clean clothes and little steps of momentum that came from taking care of them.
Never saw that one coming…