I waste a lot of time - or maybe it just feels feels like I waste a lot of time because I don’t know what else to call it - I circle around things before I sit down to do them. I like to wash my socks and make coffee and cut the vegetables before I answer emails. Hell, I just like to wash socks and make coffee and cut vegetables. Theres something in this day to day prep work that helps me feel ready to write or work on a project but there’s also joy to be found in these movements all by themselves. For the better part of a year I have been doing my laundry by hand. I wash everything in the sink and then the sun and wind dries it all. It’s mostly free. I pay for some soap. It’s pennies on the dollar compared to how I used to handle it when I was living in the city. I think I was willing to pay a lot to do my laundry because I was in such a rush to get back to work to earn more money so I could afford to do my laundry. It was justified in the name of “getting back to work” as were so many things I did before I got rid of everything and started out on this traveling experiment. men
But back to laundry - when I am staring out the window, toward the horizon, beyond the mountains, and into the cloud filled sky while my hands are immersed in warm soapy water, I am not simply cleaning my socks. I am creating space for my brain to sort out whatever loose ends are dangling in there; left unattended and almost forgotten. In the half conscious half subconscious plane of menial taskery, there’s some magic brewing. I have solved most of my problems while washing socks or, better yet, sweeping a large hall. I KNOW THERE”S A VACUUM IN THE CLOSET. Life isn’t always about getting through things the quickest. Life isn’t meant to always be efficient. Life isn’t on the other side of the thing that is in front of me. The dishes are life. Making the bed is life. There’s no such thing as “saving time”. You can no more “save time” than catch a rainbow in a jar. (Unicorn Frappuccino’s aside.) Some might like me to believe that the faster I make my bed, the faster I can get to “work”, to the office, to the job and that this would be a “good” thing. Can we step back for a moment just enough to see how fucked up that thinking is. That thinking would lead me to believe that I need to work overtime for someone else so I can afford to hire a maid to make my bed for me because I have no time to do it myself and besides I’m never home. Caveat: there is nothing wrong with hiring a maid. I was a cleaning lady for many years and I thank the universe for all the work I got. The thing is I shouldn’t HAVE to hire a maid because I’m spending too much time at an office and not the home I pay a ton of money for but am never at. In my thinking - that does not make sense.
Now I don’t want to seem like a conspiracy theorist, but who’s interest is it in for me to have to work like a dog to pay for stuff I don’t really need? the answer to that question is different for everyone. All I know is that if I continue to wash my clothes by hand when I move back to the city in a month, I will be not spending about $15 a week, maybe more. I reckon that’s a good chunk of my phone bill or a ticket or two to a play I really want to see, or a few hours of not having to be sitting in a cube in an office owned by a man who doesn’t even know my name. And I've timed it. It takes less time for me to wash my clothes by hand. I wonder what else I can do myself because look at it this way; convenience isn’t convenience if it ultimately takes away my freedom.
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