In my efforts to get ahead, to write the imaginary column-in-the-can I talked about in Unorganized Territory a few weeks ago, I have Post-It notes stuck all over my desk, on my laptop, and on the dash of my car. The Post-It notes have phrases intended to give me an idea for a column later. Unfortunately these cryptic notes don’t always help.
At the time that I write them, the notes apparently make perfect sense. However, later if I can decipher my own scribbled handwriting, I can’t for the life of me remember why I wrote “Nellie Bly” or “Canadian spelling” or “gloves in pocket.” These were topics worthy of a column. But unfortunately I frequently don’t leave myself a good enough clue to know what I was thinking.
Over time I’ve become more careful about writing notes to myself. I try to jot something that will joggle my memory later. So I was delighted this week when I discovered a Post-It note in my purse that made sense. The crumpled sticky note reminded me to share some thoughts on the simple things in life.
First, a question. Well actually, first a small complaint— who developed these weird rectangle laundry jugs that stand on a shelf with a spigot? Are there that many people on the planet that have a shelf designed for a big jug of laundry detergent?
I am not one of those people. I do not have shelves in my laundry room at all, let alone one designed to accommodate a pouring spout on a laundry jug.
I bought laundry soap in these convoluted jugs several times before I realized what a hassle they were to use. In my little laundry area, the soap jug sits on the floor. So to use this new-fangled soap container, I have to lift up the big jug, balance it precariously on the edge of my washing machine, remove the cap that serves as a cup, fill it from the little slow-pouring spigot, set the cup down on top of the washer, put the jug back down on the floor, open the washer, pour in the laundry soap, close the washer, rinse the cap so it won’t drip all over the awkward jug and the floor, and finally replace the cap.
New is not always better!
How is this easier than the good old-fashioned jug that only requires opening, pouring into the cap, dumping into the washer and replacing the cap?
After fighting with the unnecessarily elaborate laundry jug, I started shopping not for the type of soap I preferred, but for the type of container. It has been tough. These goofy rectangle containers are on all the store shelves. There is only a tiny section of old-fashioned bottles of laundry soap. But I take the extra time to find them.
I don’t care if the rectangle jugs with the pour spouts are a bargain. Unless I’m getting the laundry soap free, I’m going to buy the detergent that comes in a simple jug with a handle and a twist-off cap.
I know this is an incredibly silly grievance. The point I want to make—the reason I scribbled “weird laundry jugs—who needs them?” on my pink Post-It note—is that I need to not let myself be bothered by little things like this, but instead to appreciate the little things.
There are much more important things in the world to be concerned about, so it doesn’t make sense to be upset about an uncooperative laundry soap dispenser. Instead I will just not buy the complicated new style of laundry jugs and I will stick with my simple, traditional bottle of laundry soap that works perfectly well.
Laundry is easier now. It’s a simple thing, but it makes me smile every time I fill the washing machine.
Now if an enterprising inventor could figure out how to keep socks from going missing in the wash, life would be truly wonderful!
Here’s to the moments when you realize the simple things are wonderful and enough.