I was getting ready to do laundry when I realized that I pretty much wash the same things every week. And it’s mostly outdoor running/hiking/biking clothes. This got me thinking that you can pretty much sum up what is important or time-consuming in your life by what clothes are in your laundry basket.
I’m fortunate in that I work from my house, so often I am perched outside in a folding chair with my laptop, still dressed in whatever workout gear I wore earlier. Other times I am on a conference call with big kahunas all over the country, ready for escape in shorts and a running top. These days, since I am ensconced in a job that means a lot of computer work, I am all about the outdoors and the clothes I wash most often reflect that.
When I worked on a fire crew in Florida, part of the job description was to crawl under swamp buggies armed with wrenches and grease guns. My daily uniform there was second-hand camo pants and T-shirts, all of which became liberally annointed with transmission fluid and oil. Later when I was a kayak ranger in Alaska and spent most of my off-duty time kayaking also, my gear was all rain-impervious, high-tech fabric. Not a pair of shorts to be found.
Living in the Idaho wilderness, when doing laundry meant entering into combat with several other dirty, tired trail crew members and rangers, I washed the same fleece/uniform shirt/long underwear combination over and over. When I wasn’t wearing those things, I wore whatever outfit I could scrounge up for a drive to the hot springs or to the Rod and Gun club to dance with old miners.
I do have some suits lurking in my closet, remnants of a couple of month-long Washington DC stints. Every time I see them I think that I should give them away, since I can’t imagine a life where they would be needed. At least, I hope so.
Every so often I purge my closet, since a little cabin isn’t conducive to collection. As I go through clothes I haven’t worn in a long time, it reminds me of the days when these items were important. There are the Carhartts I still pull out for wood-cutting. The Hellys that were second nature on any rainforest outing. The shirt I don’t wear, but that my friend’s mom gave me to keep after he died. They are all things I can’t give away.
I think my husband married me because I have a washer. His cabin was too small for one. He lives in Carhartts and ski clothes, a combination that reflects his time spent volunteering for work projects around the county and his enthusiasm for the slopes. Our clothes hang on the drying rack, a weird and wonderful mingling of different and shared pursuits.
What clothes are in your laundry basket? Do they say something about what you do and love?