Laundry: One tiny word that invokes horrible visions of being in a dungeon, chained to the washer and dryer, gasping for air while climbing out from under piles and piles of soiled clothes. Well, maybe that’s just my private nightmare. Sorting, separating, presoaking, washing, drying, folding and storing clothes away is not at the top of my at-home list of things to do; just pondering all that makes me restless (perhaps you can relate) ,but I understand that washing clothes are a definite “must-do” if I want fresh, clean garments… and I do! Usually, once I get into the groove of my task I can sail along with an attitude of joy that I finally took time to tackle this unglamorous but necessary chore. During a recent laundry episode in the not so exciting adventures of Shellie Layne, out of sheer boredom with my dirty clothes saga, I decided to read the label on the detergent/fabric softener. I didn’t start using fabric sheets or liquid softener until just a few years ago because when I was growing up we were doing quite well to afford detergent and bleach, and laundry accessories like fabric softeners were a luxury. The label was simple to read but there was something about what I read that leaped off the bottle and almost landed with a splash in the washing machine’s soapy water. It was alive to me, and I immediately thought of you. It’s amazing how sharing my thoughts with you sneak in at such bizarre times – while doing laundry? Nevertheless, this is what came to mind.
It is not what is “on” our clothes that really matters; it is what’s “in” our clothes (us) that makes all the difference. The words on the bottle said, “Clean That You Can See and Softness That You Can Feel”. I began to investigate and think more about my detergent/fabric softener team. What does any of this have to do with you? I am glad you asked. My simple detergent/fabric softener personifies the characteristics that I want to embody and perhaps you do too. Silly? Maybe, but read on.
When I purchased my laundry aid I realized that it was a two-in-one combo, it cleaned and softened. That fact was not so profound at the time; I just needed to wash clothes. This product that I took for granted cleaned my spots and stains in such a way that after the wash it was as if the stains were never there. My clothes looked better after having gone through the wash.
During my visit to Laundryville, (yes, everything has to be an adventure) I pulled the container down and focused on what to do. The label on the bottle explained exactly how much detergent/fabric softener to use in each load; it took very little to make a huge impact on the clothes. When poured it immediately changed the color of the water. The detergent/fabric softener changed the feel and the smell of my stinky clothes; well, they weren’t really that stinky. But, days after using the delightful fragrance lingered in the garments. Finally, after coming out of the dryer heat, they were smooth and I wasn’t zapped by the electricity of static cling that usually pulsates throughout the clothes. Hmmm, I thought; what’s the lesson here?
If we were to take on the characteristics of my detergent/fabric softener we would realize that neither our presence nor our deeds have to be grandiose. It’s possible to make a great impact through small deeds and timely words. When we pour ourselves out and change the focus from our small, dirty, laundry-list of problems, we can change someone’s situation or maybe just their day. How fresh would we feel and make others feel by not adopting, but instead breaking down the harsh fabric of negative attitudes of those we come in contact with and leaving a lingering positive fragrance of encouragement, support, and praise behind? And you remember, my detergent/fabric softener minimizes static cling. There should be less static and unrest at home and in the office when we are present and we should cling less to the problems and more to the solutions.
The next time you are chained to the washer and dryer for a few hours visiting “Laundryville”, you might give thought to this profound quote: “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong, because someday in your life you will have been all of these”. – George Washington Carver
And just in case you might want to know, my favorite detergent/fabric softener is Tide with Downy.