Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Five Stages of Laundry

DENIALDenial is the first of the five stages of laundry. In this stage, laundry becomes meaningless and overwhelming. Laundry makes no sense. You are in a state of shock and denial. You go numb. You wonder how you accumulated so much freakin' laundry. You try to find a way to simply get through each day without washing anything, including yourself. 
ANGERAnger is a necessary stage of laundry. Be willing to feel your laundry anger, even though it may seem endless. The more you truly feel it, the more your hatred of doing the laundry will dissolve. Underneath anger is pain, your pain, from lifting that heavy laundry basket and shlepping it up and down the stairs for what feels like eternity. Anger makes you shout, "Enough already with the eff'n laundry!" The anger becomes a bridge to the open washing machine that you must fill. The anger is something to hold onto as you sort the whites from the multi-colored schmattas that never seem to get clean, what with the stains and the wear and tear of life itself. 
BARGAININGBefore doing a load of laundry, or, who are we kidding, five loads of laundry at least, it seems like you will do anything to spare yourself the loss of your precious time and whatever sanity you have left. You start to make a deal with the Big Girl upstairs. “Please Goddess,” you bargain, “if you make someone else do the laundry, I will never kvetch about it again. Just let someone else do the laundry, Goddess, please. Goddess? Are you listening? Hello, it's me, the SJG. I'm telling you I will devote the rest of my life to doing other people's laundry if just this once, you make someone else do it for me. Stop laughing. I'm serious."
DEPRESSIONClearly, no one is coming to do your laundry. You feel empty inside, disappointed and depressed, and who can blame you? But don't worry. Your laundry depression isn't a sign of mental illness. It's the appropriate response to all that stupid laundry you're facing. Why do the laundry at all? Everything you wash will just get dirty again. What's the point? No wonder you feel depressed by the futility of laundry. Depression is one of the many necessary steps along the way. If that laundry's going to get done, you're going to have to get down and do it, eventually. But not yet. You're not ready. 
ACCEPTANCEAcceptance is often confused with the notion of being “all right” or “OK” with all that laundry that awaits you. This is not the case. Most people don’t ever feel OK doing the laundry. But this stage is about accepting the reality that your laundry needs doing, and it won't kill you to do it. You don't have to enjoy this reality or make it OK. But accept it, already, and stop bitching about it. You must put a positive spin on it. You must learn to reorganize the delicates that need their own setting, and the sturdier items that can stand a stronger cycle. Instead of denying your laundry, you can accept it and roll with the High-Efficiency Tide. You can begin to do laundry again. This is a good thing, people. Rinse and repeat.

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