Hanging out the washing this afternoon it was hard not to notice the variety of what was being hung. Small Elmo pajamas, country road jumpers, basketball bibs, work shorts. Undies that take 10 pegs, undies that take 2.
It got me thinking…
I am not really a fan of the whole hanging out of the washing and generally try to get through it as quickly as possible. So usually skip the pegs. This usually ends up with me, whilst retrieving the washing, getting annoyed at all the items now on the ground. Mostly the single socks. I like to imagine the socks jumping – sad from going into the wash with a sole mate and coming out the other side alone. Not that I am lazy. I just, well, skip steps. I’ve done this all my life.
One extreme to the other. Shall we have a small party – I’ll book the horses, clowns and we need a Ferris wheel, but I’ll skip the invitations, venue, and purpose. My first kiss – sex, but I’ll skip base two and three. I want a family – four step kids, a dog, two cats and a rabbit, but I’ll skip pregnancy and marriage. I think I should study – take on two degrees at the same time, but I skip literal hours in a day. Hey, you seem nice – I’ll tell you everything about me, my deepest darkest secrets, trust you wholeheartedly, but I’ll skip getting to know you and earning trust. Let’s write a blog – look at my aesthetically pleasing website, but I skip knowing how to build a website and actual blog content. This is how I have always rolled. I always then need to pick that floored washing up again – write the guest list, explore base two and three, create a solid foundation in the relationship, YouTube the shit out of WordPress, step back to one degree, get hurt and learn to trust less and more thoughtfully.
Maybe that comes from an anxious mind, it goes a million miles an hour, the socks left behind are all a jumble pining for their life taking partners. I work fast (don’t mistake that word for walk – that is one thing I WISH I did fast). Maybe it’s a product of procrastination and leaving everything to the last minute, maybe it’s if I slow my mind, I will have to let reality in, maybe something disastrous will happen – most likely it won’t. Who knows. I’m not a psychotherapist.
I make myself smile when I reread what I have just written and how sidelined I get. Full disclosure I did warn these posts will contain very little structure and even less sense – also not a novelist.
Let’s get back to the washing line. The delicious smell of coconut fabric softener blowing in the breeze. All shapes and sizes, a representation of my hectically wonderful life.
Has anyone here ever struggled with anxiety? If so, I’m sorry, if not – Stayin in line with the theme….
Imagine being a 2xl 10-year-old pair of trackpants. Filled with holes, bare in places, drawstring absent, multiple patches and paint splats from a good life lived. Just doing it’s thing then wham… the pegless trackpants slip, without warning, a wind a little two strong followed by the assumption of a tornado on its way. You then notice the freshly purchased levis and the Augustine, once warn dress in all its colorful glory and grace glancing at you sideways. They are having the time of their lives swaying in the breeze. You’re jealous at how carefree they seem. You want to ask for help – warn them of the impending doom. The fear is real – you are two puffs away from joining the sock graveyard. But you know when you do, they’ll laugh, they know there is no tornado coming. But for you, the trackpants, it is very real, and this only makes your fear heightened. You now have lost control completely to the point where you almost wish the tornado would arrive because the sock-ghouls seem much more inviting than the judgement you are receiving – none worse than your own. But it never comes. You end up neatly folded (or crammed in the closet). Safe, but a little more worn and a little frailer. You become petrified of the washing machine, the line, the tornado but mostly the judgement. So, the cycle begins.
You cram in as much as you can, you miss steps – you avoid pegs. Anything to preserve yourself but in turn you are stretching yourself too thin. Because if you only took a step back and slowed down, enjoyed the fabric softener and a tumble wash, swing as high as you can in the wind, secured with the pegs – you’re not going to slip. Fuck what the Levis think, and the Augustine dress. You have lived a life, harder than most, with so many stories to tell and you should never be ashamed of that.
Never forget – everyone loves trackpants, they bring comfort and support. They are there right by your side through all the hard times. Even the levis unbutton after a big meal, the Augustine dress only works with head-to-toe tummy tighteners. So never take onboard the judgement, it’s easy to make assumptions from the outside. You have been through a lot. Remember you are loved, remember you are beautifully scared, remember you are not alone.
It’s time to slow down, enjoy the journey, block out the negativity and remember the pegs.
“There’s something uniquely valuable in everyone, and we’ll be much happier and better off if we invest the time and energy it takes to find it. But seriously, if the person doesn’t clip their toenails or wear clean socks, look elsewhere. There are plenty of options.”
And always check in on the socks!!!