I had just spent a good thirty minutes folding clothes. They were not mine, because my clothes get the royal treatment. I usually hang mine up as they leave the washer, so that they dry nicely. I know. It’s selfish. But whatever. Call it self care.
“Okay, everybody! Come get your laundry and put it away please,” I said, as kindly and as friendly as could be possibly said. There were stacks for each man of the house. A stack of 5 year old clothes, a stack of 7 year old clothes and a stack of clothes for a fully grown man.
“Did you hear your mother?” my indulgent husband chimed in.
“Yeah yeah,” came the mostly tepid response. Eventually, the 5 almost 6 year old arrived, and I stacked his stacks in his little arms and went with him to put them away.
The 7 year old heard me ooohing and aaahing over how helpful his brother had been and he turned up, probably more to be fawned over than anything else, but he did move his stack.
The remaining stack did not move.
Dinnertime came, and when it I asked someone to set the table, the stack was moved from the table to the piano. I grumbled a little bit.
The Golden Rule would tell me to do for others what I would want done for me, which as previously established is me doing self care by treating my clothes like they were a Lamborghini Gallardo.
But I was busy overseeing the setting of the table and making dinner, and I figured that the human to whom the stack of clothes would move them after dinner.
He did not.
The laundry stayed there all night. The next morning, I saw them and I got angry.
Angry? Angry. I felt ignored and disrespected and I was not in the mood to treat this pile of clothes like a Lamborghini Gallardo. So I left them.
And anyway, would I really want someone to put my clothes away for me? Knowing how picky I am about hangers and how things get folded and put away? Absolutely not. The Golden Rule Rules. So if I wouldn’t want someone to put my things away, then I shouldn’t have to put his things away, right?
Right, I tell myself defiantly.
So that laundry stayed there another day and night.
The next morning I was livid. Does no one see this eyesore? Am I the only one who cares?
I thought about the Golden Rule again. What would it tell me to do in this situation now, now that I was angry and that no one was going to do anything about it?
So I moved the pile to the bedroom, on top of the dresser and left it there.
Another two days. Nothing.
And then I thought about the Golden Rule. Again.
What would I want someone to do for me? I would want someone to remove the reminder of how angry I was. So I put the stupid pile of laundry away where it belonged.
And I had to really think about what it means to me to live out the Golden Rule. It means I needto act quickly, and not give myself the time to doubt and overthink. The Golden Rule is a question of in-the-moment action. The Golden Rule means do it now.
It means when someone asks me to do something, I need to be prompt and thorough about doing it, because that is what I want done for me.
Two weeks in and I hate the Golden Rule already.