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.

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On Edge? Iron!

ironing-2http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/daily-prompt-activity/

I love to iron. Yes, you heard me right. When my life feels a little jumbled and disordered, crumpled like an old sheet, I iron.

I’m not on edge too often. I have an easy life, mostly free from drama. When I get tense, it’s usually because I feel like I have a lot to do, so the usual methods of relaxation simply don’t work for me. If I try to “relax relax,” I fidget and worry, completely preoccupied with the things I should be doing.

So, I’ve figured out I need to “work relax,” I need to do something that counts as work but is mindless and repetitive and, yes, relaxing.

So, I iron. As I iron, my mind can wander freely. I can sort through all those things I think need to be done, and figure out a plan for accomplishing them. I can plan a blog post. I can gain perspective.

I don’t iron shirts or ruffles or anything fussy. I iron tablecloths and napkins and big expanses of linen. I take big messy messes and, with a few sweeps of my iron and squirts of my spray bottle, turn the messy messes into gleaming, crisp fields of smoothness.

Hey, you meditate your way. I’ll meditate mine. And I’ll wish that all problems were as easy to solve as wrinkled linens!