There is a zen aspect to ironing, just as there is a zen aspect to weeding a garden… but ironing doesn’t have the bugs and humidity.

I am a rarity among those I know. I iron. I like crisp, freshly-pressed clothing. I like soft, wrinkle-free clothing best (and I tailor my clothing purchases around those as best I can), BUT those that need a crisping here and there? The ironed ones feel cleaner somehow than unironed, wrinkled ones.

When I am clean and pressed myself—freshly showered or bathed, that is—I feel better. I may have the mother of all headaches, the beastliest of colds, and just being clean and dressed helps me feel better, if only temporarily. This is how I end up at work when I have no business being there a’tall.

But back to the zen of ironing…I am “safe” from interruptions and distractions while ironing. It’s as if welding an iron wards off the normal intrusions of small children or other members of the household. Even the puppies don’t harass me to take them for a walk or come out and play with them when I iron. They may lie down underfoot as I iron, but they don’t move about, tangling feet and cords. Perhaps others fear I’d give them ironing or other laundry tasks to do if they stray too near. And I might!

Whatever the reason, I always know that when I iron, I will be alone with my thoughts. They are generally very good company. I often play out a fantasy of having minions who would come to clean my house, tackle the garden tasks, and generally do all the housekeeping chores I have trouble getting to…dusting, vacuuming, swabbing decks and toilets, and polishing floors…you know real fantasy stuff; prioritizing just in case the dark forces came and wiped out my minions before I fully completed my long list of “to-do” stuff. From there I would imagine how I would spend a lottery win or imagine an impossibly perfect job offer that included a health club in the building, flex time and only part time in the office, with full access from home 24/7.

I am not looking for another job. For the most part, the one I have suits me just fine, but fantasy jobs are…um…different. On icky days they carry me through the tedium, aggravation, and the problem-solving process to the glory times of accolades, successful coding, and problem resolution.

Tonight I ironed a backlog of shirts, dresses, and assorted linens for 2 1/2 hours. In that time I had the SciFi channel on running “The Brothers Grimm” movie as a backdrop to my musing. I solved world poverty and overweightness (eat less, share more). I devised a plan (#271) for redecorating the yard and the house. I mapped out what to wear for the upcoming work week (which I promptly forgot). I argued with my sore throat (making bargains it paid absolutely no attention to). I promised to exercise more (but not right now ‘cuz I was busy).

Eleven pillowcases, nine linen napkins, three doilies, 14 shirts, one linen dress, and three pairs of slacks later… I am late for bed, but I have things to wear for work in the morning. Not a bad trade.