Have you ever had a setback or inconvenience that turned out to be a blessing in disguise? This recently happened to me, and I thought I’d share my experience with you.
See, about three weeks ago now, my washing machine started to act wonky and I couldn’t figure it out. My husband’s been working a very busy schedule and I knew there’d be a few days before he could get to it, so I decided to go to the laundromat. I couldn’t rightly recall the last time I’d been to the laundromat – maybe college? Maybe never?
I wondered a little bit about the logistics of it. Would it be busy? Do the machines take debit cards now, or still quarters? (Quarters, I’d soon learn.) At first I was annoyed by the thought of lugging all our laundry there and back. What a time suck this would be! What an utter inconvenience. (Yeah, I had a rather woe-is-me attitude about the whole thing.) But on the drive back home from the laundromat, I was singing another tune.
Today I wanted to share a few things I discovered about doing laundry at the laundromat. Perhaps some apply to life’s road bumps in general.
1. Doing Laundry at the Laundromat Means It All Gets Done Faster.
To my delight, the washers and dryers at the laundromat are huge! I found I could shove 3-4 times the amount of laundry in one of their washers versus my own. Also, there are many washers and dryers at the laundromat so this means I can have everything wash all at the same time.
That first day, I had 7-8 loads of laundry washed, dried, and folded in about 2 and a half hours’ time. What would’ve easily been an all-day task at home got done so much faster. There was such relief at accomplishing a huge weekly task so quickly!
This challenged me to consider what other tasks and chores I might try in a new way. Just because I’ve always done something the same way, doesn’t mean it’s the best way.
2. Doing Laundry at the Laundromat Means I Can Maximize My Errands.
The laundromat I’m using is conveniently close to my local Fred Meyer. Last week, as my clothes were drying, I was able to swing by and pick up everything I’d need that night for dinner. I even had time to run some household goods off at the Salvation Army drop-off. When I returned to the laundromat, my clothes were ready to be sorted and folded.
3. Doing Laundry at the Laundromat Means Discovering New Places.
Down the block from the laundromat was a new coffee shop I’d not tried. While the clothes were washing, I got to go meet the new owners, enjoy some delicious coffee and support a local business. (Not to mention supporting the local laundromat business!)
It can be easy to get stuck in a rut of going to the same places that are along our same route. This made me wonder what other gems are in my community I’ve not discovered yet.
4. Doing Laundry at the Laundromat Means I Can Sit and Relax.
On the flip side of errand running is the option to just sit and read a book (or take a silly selfie!). Since I’m not at home, I’m not tempted to deep clean the kitchen or do other chores. My laundromat has WiFi so I can sit and chat with friends on Facebook, or do some blogging.
How often do we take time out for ourselves? To sit with a cup of coffee and just be, enjoy a good book or crossword puzzle, or pause from life’s busy pace? There’s something about doing a task like washing clothes at the laundromat that gives me a good chunk of time where I’m able to do exactly that. But of course, did I really have to wait for the washer to go on the fritz before carving that time out?
5. Doing Laundry at the Laundromat Means Interacting with New Folks.
As a work-at-home mom, I actually don’t feel lonely. I’m interacting with people all day long…only most of them are online. There’s something special about washing your clothes in a room with other people washing their clothes. That might sound weird, but it’s very much a “we’re all in this together” sort of thing.
Plus, I actually get to talk to people IN REAL LIFE, even if it’s just “Oh, that dryer’s broken….found out the hard way. Heads up!” or “I’ll be done with this washer in 3 minutes if you’d like it.”
It’s nice to actually talk out loud and interact with the world.
6. Doing Laundry at the Laundromat Reminded Me How Much I Take for Granted.
For me, doing laundry at the laundromat is a novelty. I know that soon I’ll have my washer in working order again. (Although truth be told, three weeks dealing with this issue I’ve kind of fallen in love with my local laundromat!)
But this experience has shown me how much I have taken for granted…running water, electricity, appliances that work (most of the time), and so many of life’s other conveniences. Right now, there are people that don’t have the luxury of just popping their dishes into a dishwasher, or hopping into a nice car to pick up groceries from the store. I also recognize that there are people that struggle with even affording some of life’s necessities. Once again, I am filled with gratitude for all that I have.
Yeah, yeah, I know. Not my most glamorous photo ever. But hey – I managed to fish some lipstick out of the bottom of my purse. And, I’m smiling. So there’s that.
The next time you encounter a roadblock (as we all will from time to time), I encourage you to look at what positives you can take away. Maybe cloaked in that inconvenience is an opportunity to experience life in a new way.
Can you relate to my post in any way? Maybe you have a similar story to tell – I’d love to hear it. Please leave a comment below!