I am sick. OK, having read the headline you are probably shaking your head and muttering, “You sure are. No one loves ironing.”
But I am physically sick this week: chills, deep congestion, ear infection, nausea, dizziness and a general all-over body fatigue. It’s a catch 22: lay down and cough away, risking pneumonia or move around so phlegm doesn’t gather but risk the nausea and dizziness from my ears.
Ironing is a solution. I take but a few steps to the laundry room, grab pillow cases, and let the warm steam smooth their wrinkles and soothe my soul. In 10 minutes, I am back in bed. As I did that today, I realized that ironing has always been a comforting activity for which I am grateful. Mom started me on Dad’s handkerchiefs. Remember those? Irons did not have steam so all clothes were rolled in a damp towel and then pulled out to be pressed over and over again until the moisture and wrinkles went away. I graduated to pillow cases and eventually to shirts. The seams had to lay down flat, the back placket went first, then the sleeves and lastly the body of the shirt. In the days of spray starch, I’d end up with six or more shirts on hangers, all crisply saluting my effort.
I recently read that Sandra Bullock irons when she feels stress. I get that. When nothing in your life works, when you can see no results, ironing offers immediate return on the investment of little time. I believe it’s the small things that we do that often offer larger rewards. So when my body is giving out, I can at least iron. What do you do?
PS: Yes, I still iron pillowcases!