Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Samsara of Laundry

Although I am not a Buddhist, I can appreciate some of that faith's truths.

Laundry is a great example of "escaping the wheel of illusion".

In my family, I am the person who does nearly all of the laundry.  I used to feel happy or anxious because of this responsibility.  Being caught up with laundry gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling.  Having a lot of laundry to do caused discontent.

Neither feeling had any solid foundation.  We own enough clothes that an empty laundry basket offers no real benefit compared to a half-empty laundry basket.  Days when I really had to laundry were never miserable because of that chore.

The situation was also an overall negative.  The warm, fuzzy feeling from finishing laundry was never as intense as the anxiety from urgent laundry.

All this exemplifies "illusion".  It was all in my head, and an overall source of unhappiness (albeit a very minor one).

Moreover, the only choices were to stay within the illusion or completely depart.  I needed to let go of the warm, fuzzy feeling of completed laundry if I wanted to cast away feeling anxious on urgent laundry days.  Trying to hold onto the former would keep me from being able to cast away the latter.  Overall my life would be less happy if I tried to retain one particular happiness.

Having left behind that particular "illusion" it seems a very silly thing when I view it from outside.  There are many issues that a far worthier sources of contentment or stress in my role as househusband.

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