My Mom does laundry and it is nothing short of spectacular. I don’t know how she does it but it is fluffier, cleaner and brighter than any laundry I do myself using the same detergents. Even when I use the same washer and dryer she uses my laundry does not turn out the same. I just could not figure out how she does it so one day I watched her.
What I learned is that Mom is present when she does laundry. She does not just toss it in after sorting and then throw some detergent and fabric softener in. She carefully checks all the clothing. She looks in the pockets, closes the buttons, zips the zippers and looks the item over for stains and problems. She pretreats any stains and turns some pieces inside out because she knows they will fade and pill less when you do that. Then she puts it in the washer, selects the right setting, tests the water as it fills to make sure it is the temperature she wants, and then, she adds the detergent and fabric softener. Most times she waits to put the fabric softener in until that portion of the cycle begins.
Me, I sort, do a cursory inspection, put it all in, fill the dispenser with detergent and fabric softener and then turn it on. Oh yeah, then I often forget I put it in because I am doing ten other things. When I do remember to take it out, I pull the stuff out and throw it in the dryer or hang it to dry. Then I forget it is in the dryer and finally pull it out all wrinkled and have to start the process all over again because that is easier than ironing! Mom individually takes things out of washing machine, straightens them out, pulls the legs on pants to insure they don’t shrink in length after the drying cycle and decides what needs to get hung. Are you getting the difference in styles yet?
After watching Mom do laundry I realized that her laundry comes out better not just because Mom did it but because she cared about the laundry while she was doing it. It only took her a few more minutes than my method but it looked significantly better than mine. Being focused on the laundry while she was doing it made all the difference in the outcome. Mom is also intentional about cooking, ironing, dusting, volunteering and anything else she does and the results reflect the care she puts in. I like to call it Mom magic but really it’s caring and being present.
What are you doing in your life without being present to it? The next time you do anything, laundry, cooking or delivering a proposal to a prospective client, try being present throughout the entire process and see how it changes the outcome and the way you feel about it. Then come back here and share with me what happened.