It was a normal Wednesday morning. I had a huge pile of washing to get through. The previous few days had been raining nonstop, but that day was bright and cold. I’d put on a load of washing but the machine stopped with an error message about halfway through. “For Fuck’s Sake!!” I thought, “I have so much bloody work today (I work from home) why does this have to happen now?” Enter feelings of rage and frustration. Some days we are going to be closer to the edge than others, right? When your cup is empty you cannot give to others or even yourself!
But, I had to get on with it, so I pulled up a You Tube video on how to clean the filter and began the process. Water poured out everywhere at first and, even though I had put a shallow oven tray down to catch it, the water it spewed out at an alarming rate and the tray quickly overflowed! Luckily, there was tones of dirty washing on the floor to soak up the mess! Eventually, I worked out how to pull out the little black, thinner, waste pump. This was a smaller, more moveable, opening and I was able to position it to fill into a bigger container BUT bloody hell!!! Did that machine have a lot of water in it!!
As my mind continued to flick through the negative “why me?” and, “FFS” chatter I caught myself. “How can I turn these thoughts around?” I wondered. “I am grateful to have a washing machine to fix rather than having to sit by a river to wash these clothes?” Yes…….. that kinda worked. At least it made me giggle. Don’t downplay the importance of not taking life too seriously!! First world problems, right? But then, I also began to notice how lovely, and warm, and sunny it was right there and then, in my laundry, as I knelt on my soggy, dirty, laundry water knees. Hmmmm…. perhaps I can just enjoy this moment? How warm it is….. How sunny.
Like I mentioned above, there seemed to be about 500 litres of water draining from the washing machine tub, but as I watched it flowing gently and steadily out I thought, “Why me? Why now? Well, why the Fuck not me??? And why the hell not now???? Was I so bloody important that this type of daily pain in the ass was NEVER going to happen to me??? Of course not! This is life!!! This type of shit happens ALL THE TIME BUT, we can certainly make it harder on ourselves with our relentless mind chatter.
So, what’s the process? Firstly, I noticed that my stress cup was a bit emptier than normal, so my negative mind chatter was perhaps worse than normal. I had a head cold and I was tired. Secondly, I noticed it was my thoughts that were causing me greater pain and not the actual experience. It was also the stress of not getting enough done…. A pressure I alone was putting on myself! Given that I was unwell perhaps I could have been taking better care of myself? I mean, if this wasn’t the universe telling me to slow down, take a break, and literally sit in the sunshine and watch water flow (even if it was murky washing machine water) I don’t know what was!!!
I eventually sorted the washing machine problem. Of course, it wasn’t easy. An elastic band was caught in the filter, and it required tweezers and scissors to extract it, but I got there in the end. I also allowed myself to feel a bit proud for a job well done. Noticing and laughing at my mental mind chatter also meant I was able to continue with my day with a fuller cup. I hadn’t expended my precious energy wishing that things were different. They were just what they were! And so, I was kinder to myself in that moment. I observed the negative thoughts and emotions arising. We can never stop them and, we shouldn’t try, as that can lead to other problems, but we can transform them. We have a choice. I saved my precious energy for better things rather than on pointless anger, frustration and getting more stressed. I sat in the beautiful warm sunlight in a small suburban laundry and watched the dirty water flow. xx