Getting complacent doing mundane tasks can sometimes add an unanticipated crisis to your day. Mistakes get made because the routine tasks are often approached with an attitude of complacency rather than attention to detail. Last year while starting to work my laundry pile I experienced the backlash of this reality.
At that point in life I had done laundry thousands of times. I had a household of five, so laundry was an ever present chore for me. It was easily one of the most mundane tasks on my weekend agenda.
One Friday my kids didn’t have school so I had a chance to get a head start on the laundry pile. The dryer showed evidence of that fact that I hadn’t touched the laundry pile in days. I found cold, wrinkled clothes as I dug through pile of laundry inside my open dryer. I pulled some out, evaluated it and judged it too wrinkly to take out. I shut the door, turned the dryer on fluff and went about the task of sorting “Mount Dirty Laundry.”
While sorting I noticed an annoying sound coming from the dryer. I assumed that, when the kids pulled out half the laundry to grab the one piece of clothes that they were looking for, they pulled the clothes onto the floor and then caught a shoe up in the pile when they replaced it into the dryer. Despite my constant urging to pull all the laundry out of the dyer and put it into “Mount Clean Laundry” whenever they dig through the dryer, the “leave it in the dryer with the door option” always seemed to prevail.
More than a dozen times this habit had resulted in a dirty shoe making it into the dryer full of clean laundry, only to be retrieved when I turned the clothes onto the fluff cycle. Often it meant that the clean wrinkled clothes had to go back into the wash cycle instead of getting fluffed. Needless to say I was getting annoyed that there was yet another shoe in the dryer full of clean clothes.
A few minutes later when I finished the task of sorting “Mount Dirty Laundry” into five acceptable color coordinated hills I went back to the dryer to rescue the shoe. I opened the dryer door and jumped the full height of my laundry room when my cat Gogo popped out sideways with a loud yelling meow. He raced out of the laundry room at a similar pace that my heart was suddenly beating. I followed him as he attempted to regain his balance and panted from heat exposure. I searched head to toe for injuries and other than his heart racing he seemed to be no worse for wear, until we noticed that his tail wasn’t moving. I gently touched his tail and he screamed a meow blended growl.
We raced him to the vet and learned that dryers are often fatal for cats. Historically, I have found Gogo happily napping in a pile of warm clothes inside the dryer or in the fresh clothes that have fallen on Mount Clean Laundry. I have never found him on a 4 day old cold laundry. He must have dug down in search of heat because I didn’t see him when I checked the clothes for wrinkles.
I could have killed him. I was already having visions of having a tailless toothless cat. Gogo was recovering from having 9 teeth pulled, which probably explains why he was too zoned out to leave the dryer when I pulled half the clothes out before I closed the door. Needless to say, Gogo was having a very bad week.
He spent the weekend on heavy duty pain killers recovering from a probable concussion and head to toe bruising. Just yesterday he regained full use of his tail. I spent the entire weekend checking every load of laundry for cats. You could easily say that I have become paranoid of washing or drying my cats. What once was a very mundane task has now become one that I approach with great detail and care. I no longer am complacent about the details of this mundane task.
There are tasks inlife that are mundane. Ones that we have all done a thousand times, but remaining vigilant is critical to the health and well-being of family life. Don’t fall into the same trap I fell into when it comes to your daily life. I would have kicked myself a thousand times for not digging through the laundry before turning on the machine had the outcome turned out differently. There are dozens of unintended consequences that can happen when complacency sets into the mundane.
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Sheree Tompkins says
Oh my, I am so glad you did not leave the room after turning on the dryer that day. Your story reminds me of something that happened many years ago that involved laundry and pets.
We had a snake that had babies and so we were giving baby snakes to anyone who wanted one as a pet. We had stuck some in a pillow case for a boy (a friend of my son) who’s mom said it was okay for him to have a couple. Well, he took the pillow case home along with his dirty laundry from his weekend long stay at our home. He failed to notify his mother that the baby snakes were in the pillow case…..and they went into the wash…..and the dryer along with the boy’s dirty laundry. Well, you can guess the rest of the story. I still giggle when I think of that mom folding the laundry and wondering what is in that pillowcase. Poor snakes. 🙁
Oh no! And that mom must have had quite a scare when she found them. Poor snakes.