Lessons from Laundry

Doing the wash seems so-o-o-o ordinary. Yet there are things I've learned about life from laundry. Here's a short list.

1) Know your colors.

"Wash with like colors" means some people will understand you, and some won't. Those people who really get you can see your deep-down colors. This has nothing to do with your surface coloring, by the way.    

A true friend can be washed with another. When you throw kindred spirits into the rough-and-tumble world, they keep each other bright, with no bleeding or fading.

2) Be patient with the world.

Socks are going to get separated, no matter what. When I find a lone sock, it goes into the Counseling Basket above the washing machine. The other sock needs time. Sometimes it comes back; sometimes it doesn't. Either way, socks can learn to be happy.  

3) Go low-tech.

 "Line dry," is the instruction. Yet most of us throw everything into the dryer, because it's fast and available. Going back to simplicity actually saves time because it preserves the things you care about. By contrast, when you're always tumbling around in the dryer, you are prone to shrinkage.  

4) Give your personal life extra attention.
"Gentle wash. Tumble dry low."

Things such as underwear are fragile. It's tempting to wash the heck out of them. But the garments hardly anyone sees are probably the most important. This is exactly opposite of how society thinks: the focus is on the outside, the visible, the flashy. Are you gently taking care of your personal life? Are you giving it the attention it needs?

So here's a guide to laundry instructions. While you're at it, what life secrets is your own wash telling you?

Write them down.


  1. :-) I like thinking of those lone socks, out on the road, learning the hard way. May they all make it home!

  2. Thanks Dale - that's a fun and hopeful image!


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