Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Space Between

It was a laundry day here at the house today. We've had a dryer that runs but doesn't get hot for a couple of months now. Which meant putting off laundry and then doing several loads in a row and taking it all to the laundromat down the road to dry. A moderate pain in the rear, but not horribly off-putting. And the money for a new dryer hasn't been in the cards yet. My sister suggested I go to our local Freecycle group and ask if anyone had a dryer they were looking to have taken off their hands. And it happened that someone did. So we got a free dryer that needed some elbow grease to take care of some rusted water stains on the exterior. We had everything needed for the project at the house, so it really just cost several hours of work on our part. And I've got the time to spare. Turns out it also needed a vent pipe and some wiring. But all in all the dollar cost was just around twenty-five bucks. Not bad for a working appliance. Certainly cheaper in the short run than the trips to the laundromat. And absolutely cheaper than a used or new machine.

Needless to say, I was a few loads behind in laundry until we got it hooked up and running a couple of days ago. So, laundry day. Which I admit that I now enjoy. Not because I like doing laundry, but because of the rhythm of laundry. It takes an entire hour for a load to run through the washing machine. That's an hour of waiting. Which used to drive me crazy in the pre-cancer days of never-stop-moving. I couldn't take on anything that would take more than an hour, or that couldn't be interrupted in the meanwhile. There was a strong sense of wasted time and limitation back then. But now I flow into the rhythm of it and enjoy all the space between minding the machines. I'll just do little things: have a cup of tea, read some poetry, watch a few videos, revisit bits of books or blogs, watch the birds at the feeders, tidy up small spaces, prep for dinner or other projects. There's a lot of space in an hour. Sometimes it passes quickly, sometimes it feels slower. But the timer will go off and I'll find myself gently pulled out of my reverie or activity. And when moving clothes to the dryer I recognize how much work was done without me having to lift much of a finger. How extraordinarily convenient.

I've always had a pretty positive outlook. But I had a very difficult relationship with time. There was never enough, it was always passing too quickly; I couldn't find the balance between things that needed to be done and the time available. Ironic that I likely have less time in front of me than before, and yet I no longer feel like there isn't enough. I may not get as much done at the end of a day as I used to, but most of the time I still do. And rather than wasting some of that time lamenting time, now I just exist in it. Looking on this change sometimes feels rather astonishing. Cancer may do a lot of horrid things to me, but I truly believe it has helped me become a better person as well. So... I guess, thank you Cancer. But I'm still out to kick your ass.

1 comment: