Appreciation in What I don’t Have

I do not have an automatic tumble clothes dryer. You know, one of those machines you can put your wet washing into, close the door and then press a button that makes the machine go around and around with hot air to dry the clothes, sheets, towels or blankets.

Sometimes when I don’t have something I can begin to wish that I did, feeling a sense of lack without it and even becoming incredibly distracted, planning how I could achieve acquiring it either now or in the future.

However, I have realised in the case of the humble tumble clothes dryer that this is simply not the case. In fact, today as I took my freshly washed feather down jacket to the local laundromat (because this item does require tumble drying), I found myself not cursing that I did not have a dryer, but deeply appreciating everything that not having a tumble clothes dryer offers.

For example:

  • Mostly I air dry my clothes, which requires taking each item and hanging it on either the outdoor clothes line or an indoor drying rack. I love the finer details of working with and feeling the delicateness of my fingers as I place each item to dry, and the exposing but very loving awareness when I am caught in a rush or momentum of disregard that is clearly shown to me in how my clothes are left to hang!
  • My clothes, sheets and towels generally receive sunshine to dry (either direct outside or on colder days and months via the north-facing windows of my unit), which is a beautiful natural sanitiser and whitener.
  • There is never a risk that my delicates can get mixed up with my other clothes and accidently spoiled in an electric dryer!
  • My clothes do not shrink!
  • It makes my budget more manageable (less electricity, plus the cost of the dryer itself) and reflects the choice I have consciously made to not purchase a dryer when (1) it has not been affordable for me in the recent establishment of a new home and (2) in my case it is not truly needed (acknowledging of course that for others it is).

On the occasions when I do need to tumble dry my items, like today with my feather down jacket, it is literally only a few minutes’ drive to my local laundromat to use a shared laundry facility, which I love because:

  • It takes me out of the comfort I could easily otherwise stay settled in at home.
  • It offers the opportunity to connect with fellow brothers and sisters of humanity, from all walks of life, which I love and constantly learn from.
  • It is an equaliser – we all do laundry!
  • There are no digital screens in this laundromat, thus offering the opportunity for connection and space in the day with no distraction. Today this offered the opportunity to commence writing this blog with pen and paper, connect with other visitors and do some gentle exercises and stretches.
  • The dryer at the laundromat runs on gas and this gives a lovely, deeply warming heat that I prefer over the electric versions.
  • I can feel how lovely it is to share me, my grace, beauty and warm presence at the laundromat.
  • There is an amazing view of the skyline as one looks out of the window.
  • It is fun to observe the different expressions in how each person does their laundry, for example, the style and colour of washing baskets, yet while we all remain the same in the activity we are doing.
  • With three to four industrial driers going at any one time, the laundromat remains reasonably warm (I love being warm).
  • On returning home the experience of my own laundry has expanded to not only be my laundry but, for the reasons shared above, a dear reminder and reflection of a connection to all of us.

Becoming aware today of what I love about not having a tumble clothes dryer has also brought awareness that appreciation is not only reserved for those things that we do, have or are good at, but is also present in what we do not have. This leaves me to ponder on other parts of my life where I may be missing an opportunity that is patiently waiting for me to embrace and to appreciate everything that is on offer.

With appreciation for not owning a tumble clothes dryer.

By Susan Hayes, Wendouree, Australia

Related Reading:
The Magic of the Mundane – Appreciation is the Key
Conscious Presence while Cleaning our House
Washing my Car: a Lesson in Appreciation and Self-Care

544 thoughts on “Appreciation in What I don’t Have

  1. A beautiful reflection on appreciating all that we are and all that we have offered to us rather than wishing for something.

  2. Reading this blog reminds me the joy and playfullness from my childhood. Every moment was so full and alive, an opportunity to learn and enjoy…it was so simple. This makes me ponder how much we complicate life when we try to control it and get so caught in our ideals about how things should or shouldn’t be. This invites me to explore life from a different perspective, a life lived moment by moment, as a learning loving process full of appreciation about all what we actually have.

  3. Susan love the plenty of opportunities you found in not having a tumble clothes dryer. I find it very inspiring as we can apply this approach in every aspect of our life. Seemingly we may think we don’t have many things but we have all when we embrace life as you are doing it.

  4. This really cuts the pictures that there is a certain way to be, and of the things we need to own. If we don’t have the picture we tend to think “poor me”, but actually life is just offering sets of conditions and it’s up to us to feel what’s on offer and maximise it. We might tick the box and have all the mod-cons but live in withdrawal and be unaware of our true inner beauty. Susan what you’re sharing here is that there is always something to appreciate and a way to be in life that allows in the opportunity to grow, to connect to others, and to share the love we are.

  5. Appreciation, energetically is that things are more than just from a physicality they all have a divine presence and before we can Truly-appreciate we have to have Joy in our life.

  6. From experience what I have found is the more we love and care for ourselves and the more we are open to being supported everything we need comes to us. It really is that simple all we have to do is let go of the control and surrender to the love we know within. … a great reminder to myself 🙃

  7. Thank you Susan, and adding to the Deep-humble-appreciative-ness of who we are as appreciation of our essences is True energetic appreciation and thus has nothing to do with physicality! Humble being reconnecting to our Soul-full-ness ,and, deepening in those things that we have as a Soul-full foundation as appreciation comes with a true authority and confirmation of our connection.

  8. This is a great talking point on appreciation something I know we as a society do not do enough off we tend instead to take things for granted.

  9. Appreciation has to keep rolling otherwise life gets depressing very fast. My qualities, what I do have and don’t have. Every angle of life can be covered by appreciation!

  10. Such a simple blog about appreciation that offers us a reflection of how every moment there can be something to appreciate rather than go into comparison. One feels expansive and the other feels capping.

  11. I absolutely love this blog, what if everything we consider a disadvantage is actually to our evolutionary advantage? It’s worth pondering on…

  12. It is beautiful to be reminded that we are part of the whole when the entire world seems to be spinning towards having less and less direct contact with others and the world and being self-contained and isolated. Not having a watch used to make me ask a stranger time. But now, with mobile phone, that does not happen very often. When we can allow ourselves to appreciate, life becomes so much more richer.

  13. Susan, your gorgeous blog reminds us that we can appreciate every moment and everything in life. With appreciation, our life feels full, complete and joyful, whereas when we live with lack of appreciation everything seems like a problem, hard work, dense and miserable. Appreciation brings much joy to life, why would we shy away from accessing these beautiful quality appreciation offers?

    1. That’s lovely Chan, and what you have expressed is so true for me, once I turn off appreciation the seeing everything as a problem begins to take up space. Truly appreciation helps us to tap into the magic everyday.

    2. I agree with you chanly88, Susan,
      I feel the way we have set life up there is no time for appreciation as we are all too busy looking to the next thing we have to or need to do. So it make complete sense to me that everything would then feel like a problem or it’s too hard or we go into overwhelm and so we have a tendency to withdraw within ourselves as a coping mechanism.

  14. I love hanging washing out on a line in the summer but living in a flat have not been able to do this for a few years. However, I deeply appreciate the flat I live in as it currently is the most nurturing place I have lived in. Also my Dad found this amazing clothes dryer which heats up so like a huge radiator for clothes that can be used in the flat. So what this highlights for me is the importance of appreciation (something I could do more of!) in what we do have as it is very confirming and consolidating for us.

    1. So do I Vicki. On holiday recently, I loved being able to hang out washing to dry on a line in glorious sunshine, it brought back memories of my childhood. Not the same, but have a fabulous clothes hanger/drier that keeps expanding so I can hang up almost everything I need to on it. A small but simple pleasure.

  15. There is always more for us to appreciate of how every situation that we are presented with offers us the opportunity explore and deepen and bring the greater love to life. For when we are with this, with our love, we are with everything and are precisely where we need to be.

    1. Beautifully expressed Carola and spot on. Appreciation brings much joy to life and if there is more for us to appreciate this means there is more joy for us to also access. How beautiful is life when we live with appreciation?

    1. Yes it is Eduardo. It differs greatly from feeling needy and empty. This way is to feel full, and blessed with where we are.

    2. It certainly is Eduardo, and this beauty is within us all, hence why it is free to access and abundantly available as it originates from a divine source.

  16. It is almost like we can actually only appreciate all we have in life because when there is something not there is always something because of that that we do have now.

  17. I love the different perspective of appreciating something that you don’t have… and as shown in your blog, there was so much to appreciate. I love how appreciation expands our awareness.

    1. Yes I loved this part too. There is so much on offer if we stop for a moment and be open to appreciating what we do have in our lives. There may be a moment when we say, it is time for more support and a clothes dryer is my next step. I have found being prescriptive is where appreciation shuts own and gives power to the contraction of control.

  18. The more connected we are to ourselves the more we deepen our awareness and realisation that every day life is constantly offering us opportunities to appreciate ourselves and others and how we can learn and evolve from that awareness.

  19. Appreciation of the things you don’t have could be seen as having a ‘glass half full’ attitude to life. But this article shares that appreciation is way more than a mental activity of being positive or optimistic. It comes from noticing and enjoying what you feel, such as the smell of fresh, sun dried sheets or the how it feels to hang washing with precision and care.

    1. I love this Fiona “It comes from noticing and enjoying what you feel.” being present with what we’re doing and appreciating fully the very many small activities of daily living.

  20. Talking to refugees that have had in their past very little makes me so very humble. We really don’t appreciate what we have enough.

    1. I made friends with a local family when I was on holidays in Vietnam, they invited me into their home and treated me like a family member, they gave what they had in full, and they had such a joy yet they had very little material wealth. They popped into my hotel room and couldn’t believe the opulence, yet I felt it was quite sparse really which opened me up to more appreciation and understanding what I had from a different perspective. The young father in the family had fingers amputated from his hand because of a burn, which they didn’t have the first aid education to treat and I’m not sure the hospital treated it correctly either. After seeing that I become so much more appreciative of the medical services I have here and using them – truly a blessing what I have here in Australia.

  21. Reading your blog Susan I was pondering on what I don’t have that I can appreciate and what immediately came to mind was the fact that I have so much to appreciate about not having a car. I get to meet some amazing people at bus stops on buses and on trains and some of these people I have now become friends with. I also have lovely conversation and learn a lot from the Taxi drivers I meet and health wise I very much benefit from walking to places rather than sitting in a car…. Wow lots to appreciate!

    1. Thanks Elizabeth for your comment, reading everyone’s input and the way they appreciate things has reminded me how children are, their days are filled with wonder and awe and everything is amazing. It’s showing me that everyday is filled with a richness and it’s up to us to tap into it and appreciate everything on offer, as well as what we bring to life.

  22. Reading this got me reflecting on the fact that I have believed that I don’t have time to sit down and appreciate what is in my life. That it takes too long. When things become more accustomed to life then it’s easy to do it ‘on the fly’ so to speak. But at first it does require the commitment to make space for such expression.

  23. With the weather here in the UK a tumble dryer is probably more important that in Australia where the sun (almost) always shines, but I agree the point, no gadget however great is completely essential although I wouldn’t want to do all the floors without a vacuum cleaner!

  24. Lovely Susan, it brings back the appreciation on what is on offer meaning that if you have or havent got something in practical sense, it doesnt matter as the connection is not based on the amount of things you got.

  25. Appreciating what you don’t have is a very different approach, as mentioned with your list of benefits by going to the laundrette to tend to your clothes. I love how you have turned this around.

  26. Appreciating what we don’t have is another way of saying we accept and appreciate what we have, and where so-called limitations are seen as blessings.

  27. I like the approach of appreciating what you don´t have, it raises awareness for the quality we know we actually want and or should naturally have and live in our lives but have not yet made the choices to establish and care for. Great evolutionary and loving approach to unfold one´s potential.

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