I used to despise washing clothes by hand. Even a few months ago, I would do everything I could to get out of having to get my hands all sudsy. I’d keep the dirty jumper at the bottom of the dirty laundry basket for months on end. I’d choose not to wear an item if I knew it needed to be hand washed. Or I’d simply put it in the washing machine with everything else and hope that it didn’t get ruined. More often than not, it would get ruined.
While we were overseas I became very closely acquainted with hand washing clothes. While we were on the Camino we only had two sets of underwear, two pairs of socks, one pair of hiking pants, a pair of tracksuit pants and two shirts. Everyday after finishing for the afternoon, and after our showers, I would wash myself and Dave’s underwear and socks. It became the norm after about a week or so, and toward the end of the hike I didn’t even seem to mind doing it.
As one of our suitcases was lost en route to Europe, we had very little clothing. I very quickly noticed that we’d run out of clothes for Isla before we’d have enough for a load of washing. I hated the idea of doing tiny loads for such a small amount of clothes; and so began my love affair with hand washing.
At first a pain, I gradually began to enjoy the time it took to manually wash, clean, rinse and hang out clothing. I began to take more time to appreciate the process; getting the temperature of the water correct for the sort of clothes I was washing, enjoying watching the dirt run out as I scrubbed away, sitting Isla up on the bench, explaining to her what I was doing.
Life goes by so quickly. The years seem to go by faster each and every year, we are constantly connected to everything, and continually on the go. I like being busy, but I have so enjoyed employing different tactics to slow down and live in the moment more. Sometimes this looks like putting my phone in a different room, and making sure I’m completely present at the task in hand (I need to do this more often!). Enjoying the process of taking out my hand cream and moisturising my hands. It’s the slowing down enough to take the time to step away from the busyness of life that I so love.
It’s my hope to explore more of this idea of slow living: being purposeful in the way we spend our time. Taking the slower route. Taking delight in the process. Finding the craft and beauty in the mundane everyday. Documenting our stories.
How do you slow down in your day-to-day?