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.
- 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