No question... today's dilemma is going to be about laundry. My nemesis! Three days into the week and already I have laundry piled up. Have I mentioned that I still have three baskets of laundry from Monday sitting in the corner of my room waiting to be folded and put away? And, should you think I am just lazy... sitting on the couch eating bon bons... blatantly ignoring my responsibilities as a laundress... think again. My dried hands and cracked fingers are just recovering from the seven loads of laundry I washed, dried, and put away on Sunday. The real question is, why the heck has it taken so many weeks for me to raise this topic anyway?!?!?!?
Now for the whack on the side of the head that I need so desperately in order to either (1) solve this problem; (2) view it from a different angle; or (3) develop some coping mechanisms. Remember, a whack on the side of the head is a principle that challenges us to think more creatively about whatever dilemma we are facing. If you want to play along at home you can purchase your own deck of cards (Roger von Oech's, 1992) at Barnes and Noble or any other book store.
Now is when I close my eyes and randomly draw a card. Drum roll please...
Drop An Assumption. Columbus challenged the Spanish courtiers to stand an egg on its end. They tried but failed. He then hard-boiled one and squashed it down. "That's not fair," they protested, "you broke the rules." "Don't be silly," he replied, "you just assumed more than you needed to." What can you let go of? What unnecessary assumptions can you eliminate?
- Ok, the natural assumption I might be able to drop is that I am the one that needs to do the laundry. True, true. In my own defense, however, let me say that Ricky - the 15 year old - does his own (I can't bear the idea of sending a child off to college without his knowing how to do laundry). I could, however, alternate weeks with my husband. One week I do laundry and he grocery shops. The next week we reverse. Oohh.., but I HATE the supermarket. I'm sounding like a naysayer. I'll keep moving.
- Why is the assumption that laundry is to be dreaded (because there is so much and it's never ending!!!!)? Maybe I should attach something positive to doing laundry. How about this... each hour spent on laundry each week is repaid with an hour spent by myself...either reading or doing something else totally indulgent.
- That's it... Laundresses get paid, don't they? Why am assuming I shouldn't get paid too? Maybe I can figure out the going rate for a laundress these days and pay myself. That could accumulate into a healthy little rainy day fund (maybe then I could get the manicure I need to help my cracked hands recover).
- Why do I assume that just because it is in the laundry basket it is laundry... Ooohhh, but I don't. I am Queen of pulling things out of the laundry basket that I know full well have been worn for six minutes and then thrown on the floor so he doesn't have to hang it up
- Why do I assume that I am supposed to wash, dry, fold, and put laundry away all in one day? Maybe I could give myself permission to wash and dry on one day and fold and put away on another day. That way, I won't always feel behind the eight ball.
- Why do I assume I have to put it away? While Jack might be a little young, Matthew and Daddy can certainly take charge of their clothes.
- Why am I so all or nothing? Maybe Matthew could take charge of underwear and Richard could take care of socks. Remember, that's what the chore die is for (2/23)
- Do damaged hands have to be part of the deal? No. I shouldn't assume that. Maybe one of my trusty readers has a great secret tip for keeping my hands looking good.
- Why do I assume my kids have to wear clothes? No clothes, no laundry. That's it. Today I implement the walk-around-the-house-naked-rule. Just kidding. Clearly I am running out of legitimate solutions, but I bet our buddy Roger von Oech would be proud of my taking it to an extreme. That, after all, is when you know you've been whacked on the side of the head.
Ok. Now it's your turn to take a crack at a whack! HA! HA! I love it. Crack at a whack.... What else can I let go of? What other unnecessary assumptions can I eliminate? And if you can't relate to my dilemma (then I want to meet you...), then try applying it to a predicament of your own.
Signing off until tomorrow...