Have you ever been going along, minding your own business, happily making things you enjoy making, or doing things you enjoy doing, and suddenly someone expresses the thought that spending the time and money to say, hand knit or crochet that thing is just lost on them - because, after all, you can buy it so much cheaper than you can make it, or they would consider the activity a waste of their time?
I'm pretty sure my sock-knitting friends here have had that happen to them from time to time. Artistic folks and craftspersons who love experimenting with different tools and techniques surely have seen their fair share of raised eyebrows when some practical soul has trouble comprehending spending their time on pursuits that lead nowhere "useful".
Anyone reading this iron their sheets? I can imagine the jaw-droppings you've witnessed if you've ever publicly admitted to ironing anything - let alone bed linens. I iron certain items of clothing (a topic which receives a fair amount of tongue wagging when the subject comes up in my circles), but I confess, before watching this video, I would have dropped my jaw over the idea of ironing sheets:
Now that I've watched it, though, I'll admit I wonder how much nicer ironed sheets feel than my never-ironed sheets do. This gal ironed and folded that sheet in less than four minutes! Trading four minutes of a small bit of (not even hard) labor for 6-8 hours of yummy sleep on smooth sheets seems a reasonable trade-off. Am I going to give it a try? Probably not. But I'm curious, nonetheless. ;^)
Now seems as good a time as any to tell you that when I have the time and the weather permits, I line-dry our bed sheets. I didn't always. For years I was just too, I don't know... busy? modern? practical? I tend to consider myself all of these, but one day I bought a retracting clothesline to attach to our shed and strung the line between the shed and a post on our back patio and I decided to dry all sorts of things I had previously just tossed into the clothes dryer, bed linens among them. Just to see if I would enjoy doing it. At the time I think I was also curious how many energy pennies I might save in the process. I quickly found the trade-off of a few extra hours of drying time for the pleasurable experience of slipping in between crisp sheets that smell faintly of the outdoors completely worthwhile. I couldn't care less if I'm saving any money. I dare say I might do it if it cost me money.
Years ago, I remember a discussion on an online forum where one of the members of the community told about how she enjoyed artistically decorating packaging for items she mailed out. She knew the artwork would likely get damaged and ruined with the rough handling it received by our US postal service. She knew that the recipient would probably throw the packaging away when they opened it. She even suffered the comments of many who felt compelled to tell her what a waste of time this was. I remember how I both disbelieved that someone would take the time to create artwork on something that would be abused and shortly after being received would probably be thrown away, and at the same time imagined the delight at receiving something from her. While creating has always been a part of who I am, I remember thinking "I'm too practical to indulge in something like this". And I felt poorer for thinking it. The more I thought about it, I realized I felt something akin to admiration for this person that she did this - that she found an expression for the creativity inside her while bringing others, I would imagine, a very curious delight.
Are your wheels turning? Have you begun to think of some things you do that others wouldn't dream of (or perhaps have just never thought of) doing? Things, that while they may appear on the surface to be unnecessary work, they add some true, if small, pleasure to your life. Pleasure that's hard to quantify and is impossible to measure against such practical units of measure like money or time.
That said, of course, there are times when washing dishes is the last thing I want to do, and I do rotate, to some degree, this duty with others in my household. But my point is... a simple handmade dishcloth is something I'm conscious of that adds pleasure to those few minutes for me every day.