My simple life is changing all the time, just like any healthy process, it's not stagnant. I try to improve what I do so that I get the best results for the time and effort I put in and I'm always thinking about ways to make the more mundane chores pleasant and satisfying.
Ironing has always been a problem for me. I think it stems from when I was a nursing sister. That was way back in the days when nurses wore crisp starched white aprons that crossed over at the back, over a slightly less starched blue uniform. Cuff and collars were almost solid, it always amazed me how stiff they were, and they were attached with removable buttons. All this was held together with a belt that even though it was cotton, was starched to resemble a thin slice of steel. Naturally there were thick black stockings and big clumpy, sensible, lace up shoes. My cap, and later my veil, held enough starch to sink a ship and they were bobby pinned to my head so that movement was almost impossible. I loved that uniform. LOL It's hard to understand why because it was uncomfortable and it took a lot of time to dress, but it symbolised to me and to my patients the long line of tender care I was a part of. But that is totally off the subject.
That uniform was washed, starched and ironed for me. Each week when I picked up my laundry, it was neatly folded and the bundles firmly held with string. When I got those aprons out, they could stand upright without my help. That starch was a powerful force. ; ) I think that level of washing, starching and ironing excellence spoiled me for anything less. I didn't like ironing at all because I didn't use starch and my ironing was always floppy.
Each week when I ironed I tried to make it just another part of a pleasant day. It didn't work. I tried various things, like turning on the TV and listening to the radio, they made no difference. Yesterday I hit the jackpot. I ironed and I enjoyed it.
I think the two key elements to my success where silence and mindfulness. Why didn't I already know this! I decided on silence because I was thinking about something. I was being interviewed by email and I wanted to think about my answers as I ironed. Yes, not being mindful, I know, but let me continue. As I thought about this interview, things fell into place and I was happy with my answers. I continued on with the ironing, still in silence, and started to notice the ironing more. I thought about the clothes, how I would wear them at work, there was a button missing on Hanno's shirt so I got a needle and thread and repaired it while I stood at the ironing board. Each piece of clothing was checked to make sure it was in good repair, ironed and added to a bundle or hung on a hanger. It felt right working bit by bit through the basket, sorting, repairing, ironing and placing items into their own bundle.
When the ironing was finished, I took my bundles to their rightful places. Dishcloths were placed on the kitchen window sill in a wire basket, napkins were folded and placed on the kitchen bench for another week of home cooking. Pillow slips and a table cloth were folded and placed in the linen cupboard. Skirts, dresses, pants and shirts were hung back in our wardrobes. The process of doing this simple task gave me a lot of satisfaction. It was the payoff for the ironing. All items returned, clean and fresh, to their rightful places; order was restored. It felt good. I hope it works again next week. ; )