Thinking Can Wait

IMG_9246I’m ironing again.

Almost exactly a year ago, when feeling kind of overwhelmed, sort of stressed, I wrote about how ironing helps me chill out.

And, this week, I find myself ironing again, for the same therapeutic reasons.

I had what was, for me, a full and hectic week last week. A number of you suggested I needed to get back to making and creating and crafting, as a way to return to bliss.

I think you’re right . . . next week. But this week, even thinking about making something seems too much.

And, so, I found my iron, the one from the garage sale that gets really hot and has no steam function at all.

I found the big spray bottle, the one I sometimes use to stop naughty cats in their tracks.

I set up my ridiculously expensive ironing board, the one I treated myself to. I tell myself I’m worth it.

I dug in the pile of clean but mussy linens, and I found ones that make me smile. First, a set of heavy, lush damask napkins that make me think of being pampered. IMG_9262

Next, another set of damask napkins, with a pale pink stripe—they press up beautifully and say “garden party” to me. IMG_9253

Then, for fun, some jazzy, mid-century dishtowels.

There are linens in my piles that speak to any mood, any need.

Slowly, methodically, I iron. The heat and steam are blown away by a breeze coming in off the lake.

The pile of crumpled, disordered, hectic fabrics shrinks.

The stack of beautiful, orderly, crisp linens grows.

To paraphrase the old saying, “Sometimes I irons and thinks and sometimes I just irons.”

This week, I’m focusing on just ironing. Thinking can wait.


54 thoughts on “Thinking Can Wait

  1. Ironing can be so comforting, especially when ironing cloths as beautiful as yours!
    I am suffering from dishcloth envy…I loved the ones in your collection!

    • Most of the stuff I’m ironing these days is going to my Etsy shop. I keep items I can’t resist but pass a lot on to other homes. I’m glad to know you find ironing soothing, too!

  2. I think you’re the first person I hear of that irons to relax; but I can understand how it works… not because of the ironing, but handling all those beautiful linens. They would make me smile, too. 🙂

    • It’s the handling of beautiful things, and making them more beautiful by smoothing them out, that appeals. If only all of life’s problems could be dealt with as easily!

  3. Dashing away with a smoothing iron,she stole my heart away…..think my Dad used to sing that very old song! It’s the sense of achievement maybe that soothes you….and of course handling and looking at your fabulous linen stash. Enjoy!

  4. Oh you wise woman…of course, regain balance in domestic bliss! And I just crabbed one of my own napkin as I was drooling whilst looking at the photos of all this glorious kitchen linen…the jazzy ones and oh that dainty pink in white. I think you should write a book with poems on ironing!!!

  5. Those beautiful linens call out “whole cloth quilts” to me!!! They are gorgeous and i can understand the ironing ‘thing’, even though in my world the iron is only a sewing tool!!!!!! LOL!!!!

    • It’s funny–I hate ironing my quilting. All those fiddly seams and corners get me down. I think I like expanses of smooth cloth. I’ve thought that it would be interesting to turn a damask tablecloth into a whole cloth quilt. But I’m a hand quilter and have worried about how difficult it would be — I’ll need to try and let you know!

  6. I completely understand – feeling a tad over extended myself, yesterday evening I decided that today I would simply iron all the bed linen that is in the airing cupboard waiting for the day when I feel like ironing it 🙂 It is so satisfying isn’t it, watching the crumpled pile shrink as that neatly pressed and sorted pile grows…….. it’s the Virgo in me I know! I also adore sliding into bed between cool, soft, pressed sheets – nothing else in the world says ‘sweet dreams’ quite like that! And additionally, I awoke to find we have snow today, so it is the perfect day to ‘just irons and thinks, or just irons’. 🙂

    • A snowy day, a hot iron, smooth sheets = BLISS! I suspect a love of ironing is more a Virgo thing than a typical Scorpio thing but it soothes me like few other things do!

  7. I love to iron! My husband has this ridiculous notion that I should send my clothes to the cleaners to save time on ironing, but I enjoy the solitude and time spent ironing. I, too, also iron my linens, which shocks many of my friends and family, but I don’t want to use crinkled napkins. Love your collection!

    • I totally understand–if you’re going to use cloth table linens, they have to be ironed! Much of my collection of linens is transitory–I sell most of them, ultimately, on Etsy. But I love taking care of them and making them pretty while they’re with me!

  8. I remember my mother used to iron every day. I was just a child and I’d watch her iron sometimes. She’d iron my father and brother’s underwear, shirts, handkerchiefs and assorted linens. It seemed to me that she enjoyed it. I hardly ever iron tbese days. Maybe I’m missing something.

    • Maybe you get a similar satisfaction from something else? Polishing silver? Weeding? It’s the idea of creating order from chaos, I think, that appeals so much.

  9. Oh I love the napkins with the pretty pink stripe! They totally say garden party or tea with the girls. I have never been much for ironing (somehow I tend to make things more wrinkled) but I know the feeling of needing to de-stress after a week of “go, go, go”. Sometimes you just need that quiet time before getting back in the game!

  10. Ironing, and other similar tasks, can be wonderful stress relievers. I haven’t done ironing for extended periods of time in years, but this posts brings back memories of how it can be an enjoyable chore.

  11. Good plan! I hope all that ironing brings you a bit more calm. As well as being therapeutic, all your ironing means your linens are looking very pretty! I’m not very good at ironing so I don’t find it calming, but I do enjoy doing repetitive tasks like working on my granny stitch blanket when I need some calm xx

  12. I dread ironing. I’m glad to hear it’s therapeutic to some people. Music is the answer to all my troubles. My mood changes in seconds. Enjoy the week!

  13. Hi. I’ve been offline a lot for the last couple weeks, so I’m still digging through old posts. I’m glad I found this one. Ironing… I don’t mind it, and the process itself is soothing. Plus I enjoy the transformation of wrinkled to flat. I have … issues, though. When I dealt with the anxiety disorder in 2012, my disordered thinking would spin the most during a couple of different times. Ironing was one of those. Since the process is relatively mindless (which is what we like about it,) it also left my mind open for the worst of my mental processing. (Certainly that’s not the only time I had trouble! But ironing was consistent that way.) Though I am healthy again, I still notice my hesitation to iron as I hadn’t before.

    On the other hand, this morning I pressed a quilt back and didn’t have any thought of that until reading your post. 🙂 It’s good to be healthy. Not a thing to take for granted.

    Rambling comment. We’re on our way out the door again and I’m hurrying. But perhaps you’ll understand anyway.


    • I haven’t been following your writing for lone enough to know about the struggles you faced (assuming you even shared them in the blog)–I’m so glad to know you’ve emerged on the other side! I can see how all that would make you skittish about ironing and, really, there are lots of other mindless, soothing activities one can do. But since quilts do need ironing, it’s good to hear that you’re able to do what needs to be done! I hope you’re having fun with your off-line time!

      • I started blogging here a year ago, and I was past the worst already by then. I have mentioned it but not a lot. I don’t mind talking about it. If you have any questions, you’re welcome to ask. Anxiety disorder and depression (which I also experienced) are illnesses, of course. They are just things that happened, not something about which I’m ashamed.

        Off-line time — busy! Partly brain-busy and partly just busy. This past week-plus has been filled with friends and family. I’ll have a few days to recuperate a little now. Thanks.

        • It’s good to know you’re doing so well now and that you are so sensible in understanding that what befell you was illness and not flaw. Enjoy your quiet time of recuperating from the hectic times–what is it about late summer that can get so overwhelming?!

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