I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all

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I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, sewer, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all, blogging, Costumed Beagle enthusiast. I am not always pleasant, although through intensive cupcake therapy I have learned not to throw knives at people anymore.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Meaning in Monotony

This Post was originally published last March also.

My day started out something like this “Mom….when I can I put away my clean clothes?” Now even if you don’t have a ten year old boy, you will immediately recognize that the universe is out of alignment when one asks to do some sort of chore—particularly one involving their general appearance. As related in my previous post, I do wash the clothes….but life has kept me from sorting, folding or dealing with them in any way past the dryer (or even out of the dryer some days…) So, despite the mounting pile of To-do’s on my work list (I work from home on Wednesdays) I chose to put a show on Hulu and climb the ever building piles of laundry. This photo is only about half the story….truly. It is daunting. Particularly when you consider that there are only three people and a dog in our household.
I caught the end of a book review on NPR yesterday afternoon and never did hear the name or author of the book, but the reviewer used the phrase “meaning in monotony.” I do not know how it applied to the book, but the phrase took hold in my brain and stuck with me. Because washing and folding laundry is the definition of monotony. Week after week, no matter whether you keep up with it or not…it is there…looming in forbidding piles in closets and halls and basement laundry rooms. Stained clothes, stinky socks, and the pockets! Oh the pockets! The very act of reaching into pockets for the unknown is an act of bravery.
Yet I do it. I won’t go so far as to say it gives my life some sort of existential meaning, but there is that moment (however brief) when I look at the laundry baskets all lined up filled with clean, folded, ironed (ok, occasionally ironed when appropriate) clothes and appreciate my own usefulness. I can proudly send my kids off to school looking like someone loves them, because I do. I know appearances are really a very shallow indicator of love, and my kids are usually somewhere in the middle of street urchin and coiffed, but clean clothes (even rumpled ones) do represent meaning in monotony.

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