Every woman recognizes that series of sounds and knows it’s interpretation: “Hey- you? You’re killing me here. if you don’t come up and balance this load – I’m gonna cost you an expensive repair visit. And- you;ll NEVER be able to get to the next load- which involves underwear and socks. And I know you want that done…Sheesh. You’d think that after 25 years of laundry you’d know how to do this.”
Okay, maybe my washer is the only one with that much attitude. But you get the point. The dreaded: unbalanced load. I’ll be honest- I have been trying to wash my comforter since Sunday. I have an Extra heavy duty washer. Part of the advertising is that it can handle a comforter. I’ll admit- at first I was trying to wash the sheets as well. But as you can see- I tried to balance things out by removing the giant soaking sheet wad. I then lifted the 5000 lb soaking wet comforter out, rearranged it and restarted the load.
36 minutes into the 38 minute cycle- when the comforter is at it’s very most soaked and heavy-this:
“Thump. Thump. Thump, BANG. BEEEEEP. BEEEEP. BEEEP” happened again.
I now have a soaking wet sheet wad in the hamper- growing stinkier by the moment- and a laundry load that is REFUSING to cooperate. While i battle the comforter- the rest of the laundry is continuing to pile up. I fear for my life. the pets must be kept out of the laundry/bathroom because an 8 lb shorkie has no chance of survival in a laundry avalanche of this magnitude.
I re-distributed the comforter wealth and then tried just running it through on rinse and spin. A shorter cycle- which only led to This
“Thump. Thump. Thump, BANG. BEEEEEP. BEEEEP. BEEEP” again.
I had a King Solomon moment where I briefly considered cutting the darn thing in half and sewing it back together after it’s washed.
Instead -I tried again. the heavy duty cycle….maybe that will work. 42 minutes into the 81 minute cycle:
“Thump. Thump. Thump, BANG. BEEEEEP. BEEEEP. BEEEP”
At this point I’m considering- throwing the stupid comforter out and buying a new one.
However- i’m pretty sure the weight of it -soaking wet as it currently (still) is- will exceed the sanitation department’s weight limit. (OSHA at work.) Which means that after the trash is picked up- i’ll be stuck with a garbage bag of mildewy comforter- sop.
I’d let it dry outside and then burn it in the fire pit- if it weren’t: RAINING.
So there, now you know the truth. I can’t even balance a laundry load.
Or, the rest of my life. The laundry is just smelly the tip of that iceberg.
I think balance is a lie. There is no balance in life. You can’t take one thing and trade it for another- moving things around without the whole scale flipping over like some “young grasshopper” in Kung Fu training.
Life doesn’t work that way. If it did- I’d do laundry and stealthily exchange it for cooking dinner. But is that balance? Maybe on a time schedule. But, in real life it would equal- mutiny. My days are not balanced. If I spend time writing- I lose time doing housework. If I spend an afternoon helping my in-laws- I still have to pick up my kid and make dinner and have the ever popular common-core homework battle. And do laundry. Of course.
If I take time to take care of myself… I still have to take care of everyone else. Just like moms everywhere.
For years I tried to maintain balance- kid time? check. Husband time? Check. Laundry? Check. Ministry stuff? (my equivalent of work) check. Quiet time? Check. The truth is- trying to balance all these things every day left me doing this:
“Thump. Thump. Thump, BANG. BEEEEEP. BEEEEP. BEEEP” Only, maybe switch out the “beeps” for bleeps.
The problem isn’t finding balance each day. The problem is being overloaded and not being smart enough to know when to just take the stupid comforter to the laundry mat or dry cleaner and let them handle it. It doesn’t really matter that the marketing dept. for the washing machine says it can handle it. Today? It can’t.
Somedays? I can’t either.
The truth is: I can’t balance everything. Cancer center days mean: nothing else gets done. Test result days- can mean the same. Somedays I clean all day- others I write all day. Somedays all I manage to do is drive back and forth to school because my kid gets sick- and needs ibuprofen and the school can’t give it to him. In-law days require recovery- because dealing with grieving and dementia and stubbornness is: exhausting. Somedays- I fight with the washing machine. Occasionally- I win. Some days I cook all day- others I order pizza and hope no one dies of scurvy or mozzarella and carb overload.
I give up on balance. I think it’s a myth. Instead- I’m embracing the mess of an unbalanced life- and praying that God will give me the wisdom and strength I need to know what to pour myself fully into each day.
“Dear Lord- help me to know what to focus on and what to let go of. Please help me not to feel guilty because I can’t do it all and balance everything. I love fairness- keeping things even- and balanced—but life just isn’t working out like that. Not even in my washing machine. Please help me lord- and if you could- just let the stupid washer run all the way through his time- people need underwear here- including me. But lord-I promise- if it does’t run through this time? I’m giving it up- and taking that sucker soaking wet and smelly as it is -to the dry-cleaner. Message received- sometimes I just can’t balance things- I need help. Thank you lord- I love you- stinky comforter or not. Amen.