Roll up! Roll up! For a limited time only! Stress-saving technique! Improve your work and home life! Impress your colleagues!
What if I told you that you almost certainly already have all the ingredients necessary for my stress-busting therapy tip, which will also help impress your colleagues with an air of professionalism and competence?
I have always thought of ironing as a chore to be avoided, and indeed I have avoided it quite successfully for the last ten years or so (ok, ok, for quite a bit longer). It has always smacked somewhat of Oppressed Woman Ironing Man's Shirts for me - not something I aspire to. But two months ago I started a new job, somewhere where everyone is just a bit more fussy about presentation. Not designer clothes or expensive hair cuts, but polished shoes and crisply ironed shirts.
So I started doing the ironing too, and I've found it an oddly therapeutic and ridiculously satisfying activity. I originally ironed only my shirts because I wanted to look a bit smarter, but now I iron pretty much all my clothes, the bed linen, and some of my boyfriend's clothes too. Why?
The act of smoothing rumpled fabric, watching it go from rumpled to pristine, is so satisfying and the warm, steamy fug is so relaxing. I grow more familiar with the construction of the garments, I spot small defects that need mending, I meditate on how I might improve or customise it. The gentle rhythm of the iron's puffs and huffs, the smell of steam and cotton and laundry detergent, the thought of how good I (or my boyfriend) will feel wearing it...
I feel as though I had discovered a secret. Not a big one, but a small hidden gem. I think I'm just figuring out what Mary Poppins knew all along - slow down, find the fun, and every chore becomes something enjoyable.
Coming up next week: the washing up bebop, meditations on teatowels and why doing laundry makes me feel giddy. (Just kidding!)