A couple of weeks ago, my clothes dryer suddenly stopped working. The load in the dryer tumbled, but the dryer didn't get hot. I had already washed another load, so now I had two wet loads! I don't have an outdoor clothes line because of allergies, and we additionally have a lot of dirt in the air coming off our road, which was torn up for sewer reconstruction.
Fortunately, after my husband's dad passed away, he brought home a large wooden drying rack from his house. I also have hangers on a metal bar in the basement, where I do the laundry, for clothes that can't be machine dried. To my surprise, the air drying system that I now must use has been liberating!
Before, I felt like I had to be constantly doing laundry, all day running down to the basement to check if a load was dry yet, and resetting the dryer when it wasn't. Now I can typically do only one load a day, and I wait until the following day to gather the dry clothes from the rack and hangers. I have to do smaller loads, so there is less laundry to deal with at once. I no longer feel overwhelmed. Sometimes things dry so quickly that I can even do two loads in a day.
My new laundry situation has also made me more conscious to be sure that a load gets washed every day, so I don't have a constant mountain building up. If I had a large family, I might be very frustrated. But as it is, this experience of making due with what I have has resulted in the feeling of a simpler life. I even enjoy the creative outlet of determining how to arrange clothing and linens for maximum use of space! And there is, of course, also the saving of electricity.
Towels and other items dry stiffly rather than soft, but it really makes no difference in their function. The acceptance of reality, of the way it simply is, helps me to let go of perfectionism. I am reminded of the principle in a book I read about doing less and taking longer to do it. Many people pack as much as they can into each day in an effort to be "productive." I do wonder how much joy is sucked out of the day with that type of approach, and what spiritual deficiencies are brought about with no margin built in, no time to just be.
Maybe, if we actually did less in a day, we would find ourselves with a surprising abundance of time. And maybe that's precisely what we're afraid of.