Now, I wouldn’t say that I love to do laundry – but there is something about it that I find quite satisfying. First of all, in my household, we all have enough underwear and socks to last at least a month. Everyone knows that those two items are the limiting reagents of laundry. Once you run out of those, you kind of have to wash your clothes. Your jeans and shirts, as long as they’re not dirty in terms of overt sweatiness or actual dirt, they can be reused as often as you wish.

So, at least once a month, (but more like several times a week since I do not nearly have as many clothes/bibs/diapers for my babies), there is laundry to be done! What I like most about the task, however, is that there is a definite beginning and a definite end. There is a pile of dirty clothes at the start. At the end, there is a neatly folded pile of clothing ready to be put away. Lovely!

Now, one could complain that the laundry itself is never-ending since we are constantly getting clothes dirty and then cleaning it. So, in that sense, laundry is never done. However, in the small daily part of things, it is very satisfying, in this open-ended world, to have something that is obviously done.

This is also why I like washing dishes. (But for some reason, I abhor putting them away. I’m not sure why since that is clearly the easier of the tasks.)

Which also brings me to something essential about my nature that I truly wished I had understood in my 20s. Of all my varied occupations, in retrospect, my favorite job was my first job out of college. As a laboratory technician, my job was essentially the same thing every single day. We started out with empty tubes, did various procedures throughout the day, and ended up with results. It was very satisfying because at the end of the day, it was very clear what I had accomplished.

All my other jobs, yes, there were “ends” to tasks (eg: putting up websites, editing copy), but the majority of tasks were very open-ended and not easily tracked. There was no figurative inbox or outbox. I found (and still do find) it extremely demoralizing.

Moral of the story? I’m sure there is something… (such as my future jobs should have definable outcomes) but we don’t learn anything from our lives here! 😉

Happy Monday, peeps!