Sunday, August 10, 2014

Meditations at the Laundromat

These last three and a half weeks have been crazy.  After spending a week in absolute heaven with my family welcoming the precious Atlas & Zoe, I came back and, as I mentioned last week, was thrown into moving madness.  Marc has been working his butt off taking catering jobs left and right to help us through the move, and between his work schedule and mine, we were almost never home together at the same time - until the night before the move.

Emotionally, it was an insanely hard week.  I was missing the babies more than I could have ever imagined and felt heartbroken beyond the telling of it.  On one hand, having to get my butt into gear on moving helped me from wallowing too much, but on the other hand...oy.  Moving, even when it goes well overall like ours thankfully did, is stressful.

We said goodbye to absolutely spectacular friends as they made their way to London on Tuesday, July 29th, and on Thursday, July 31st we said goodbye to our very first home together - of four years! - and then hello to our gorgeous new place which was already filled so very much with love (and incredible style and furniture) by Billy & Ramsey.

After seven days of hard work, we became completely box-free in our beloved new apartment - and now the work that lies ahead of us is organization, putting up our art and pictures, and laundry.

So.  Much.  Laundry.

It turns out when you use your clothing to pack all of your valuables, those clothes should probably be washed.  I did a massive load last Sunday, and it's how I've been spending the last two plus hours of this Sunday morning as well.

Laundry has never been such a nuisance to me as it is as a New Yorker.  Down home in the South, your washer and dryer (that only you and your family use!!!) live in your house or apartment with you.  Even as a college kid, I was deeply spoiled by Christopher Newport University's kickass dorms and with the exception of the laundry room freshman year (and maybe sophomore?), we had washers and dryers in our apartments.

Here in New York, large loads are the order of the day.  Colors, textures, instructions on the tag be damned - you fit 10 pounds of clothes in a 5 pound bag in a 2 pound washer and call it a day.  Hauling stuff back and forth from the apartment in lord knows what kind of weather...yes, I'm aware that it is a massively first world problem, but when you have an overflowing to-do list, laundry sometimes just feels like a damn expensive waste of time.

Which is why I am always baffled whenever I go to laundromats and see people just...sitting there.  Just sitting there!  Not at home vacuuming or working, not at the grocery store, not doing anything useful with themselves - just sitting!  It always strikes me as a monumental waste of time.  They might as well be staring at the clothes as they go through the spin cycle - or watching it dry (at least it would be more interesting than watching paint dry).

This morning, as I struggled with my four extra large loads and figuring out the timing and the hauling-back-and-forth of it all, I was stressing about having to write this blog and that I hadn't yet done my meditation practice for the day, and I finally realized I was being ridiculous.  I've been caught up in this constant go-go-go pace - slightly different from my usual go-go-go pace.  Between spending a week helping my sister keep two tiny infants alive (which didn't feel like work for one single second, but which did involved a lot of running around and multitasking), a week packing up everything I owned, and a week unpacking everything I owned with a lot of cleaning and teaching and working along the way...I have anxiety about the empty, unscheduled, unstructured space.  I feel guilty if I'm not doing something useful, something to push our place towards being done.

The truth is, there won't be any kind of finish line for the apartment.  Even after we organize it all and hang up our art...we'll always be making dirty laundry.  We'll acquire new things that need homes.  We'll make messes and break things and sometimes the place will be a disaster area.

I decided to take advantage of an awkward 15-minute gap between my loads of wash being done and sit on one of the plastic chairs outside of the laundromat, and just sit.  Enjoy the uncharacteristically mild August weather.  Enjoy the sights and sounds of the new trees, the new mildly obnoxious guys on the street, the new families walking by.  The late summer sun and leaves and the joy of being fortunate enough to sit in that chair on that street on a lovely Sunday morning.

We are so happy to be here.  Now the next thing on the to-do list is to relax into being home.

After I fold all this laundry.

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