I haven’t washed with the community since college. By wash, I mean a laundromat of sorts; heck, I’ve never been to a laundromat until yesterday. When life backs you up into the wall, and you’re left with only one semi-clean pair of jeans and a whole lot of dirty clothes bags, with no washer machine or dryer (thanks to the moving gods-I don’t believe in gods, it just sounds good), you are forced to think about going to a laundromat.
Anxiety has always been my arch nemesis, even if there wasn’t a spot of dirt visible in a public area, my heart would race a mile a minute, breaths would grow faster, and my mind would start screaming with the idea that there was nothing short of SARS or HIV lingering on that bench, or lunchroom; I know, sad. But, this was my reality before I got depressed after having my first kid, then subsequently stumbled into taking medications which have eased the blow of anxiety, just enough to where I can shower, go outside for 30 minutes, then come back inside and go to sleep soundly without my mind screaming that I should shower again.
Well, the screaming happened yesterday.
As I drove to the first laundromat, I had to give myself a pep talk, “Dominique, it’s ok and you have to do this for your kids and your husband. They have little to no clean clothes!”
The establishment gave off an old and dirty vibe before I even step foot in it.
“I can’t do it.”
I even drove around the front of the laundromat two times, before I asked siri where the nicest laundromat was located; she replied with a plethora of ideas, but the only five star choice was 22 minutes away. Perfect.
The screaming calmed down just enough for me to get up the courage to drive to another laundromat, with both kids in the back seat oblivious to what was going on within me, thank God.
22 minutes later, my mind starts to scream again. “Where are you going to park? How are you going to do this with two toddlers? Is this going to take to long? How dirty is this place? Do you know who uses this place? etc.”
I had to do it for my family though.
So, I parked, and we went inside as the girls walked slower than a snail across the parking lot; I nearly dropped the two loads of laundry in the parking lot-that would have been a disaster.
…It wasn’t so bad.
The blue floors were clear of debris, the shinny stainless steel appliances were credit/debit card equipped and there was a large flat screen TV in sight, with the nicest attendant on hand to help entertain my kids.
And just like that, I didn’t have an experience of old, an experience of sheer anxiousness that would have lasted the whole hourish we were there.
The kids were entertained by the sounds of the large machines, and I was satisfied that I had done my civic duty for my family-success.
Every garment got cleaned, every towel got dried, the bank didn’t go broke because of it, and my mind and body remained in sync; neutral.
Though it is hard to simply adhere to the saying “be anxious for nothing”, there is some truth and lessons in that phrase; what is the point of getting worked up, when things are beyond your control-what can you control? What are the facts that will lend you to steer away from anxiety? That was what I learned yesterday, that, and as my dear uncle told me hours prior to that, “when you’re feeling down, just laugh, because it feels good to laugh!”
So, I let my guard down yesterday with my girls, and we laughed.