Laundry never ends and it never minds waiting on us either. No matter how busy we are, or how much we ignore the looming (and growing) pile in the corner, laundry will always be there.
I once worked at a little coffee shop in downtown Troy that had a lot of 'regulars'. These people were as diverse as each snowflake in the middle of a snowy winter and each had their own unique story (and favorite drink). But I got to know quite a bit of them pretty well and even now (almost 4 years later) I still see a few of them from time to time. I miss their stories and their faces, but I haven't forgotten their wise words or how it made me feel to listen to what each of them had to say.
I was talking with one of them one day, an older lady who worked for the city. She had been fighting cancer but you would have never known, she was always so well put-together and had the most gorgeous silver hair. She liked hot green tea in the morning, not coffee, and the subject of laundry came up. She had three grown boys and told me they spent a many years 'living off the pile' because sometimes life is just too busy for laundry.
And I've never forgotten that. Or the term.
We often 'live off the pile' at our home. Not because I'm too busy to do laundry, or to put it away, rather, but because life has too much to offer sometimes to stay focused on the little things. Our house could almost always use a good cleaning and there is almost always laundry waiting to be put away. But you know what? I don't think I'll ever look back and say 'I wish I had done more laundry'.
The one thing that I carried away from my conversation with this sweet old lady was that it was okay. It was okay to 'live off the pile 'sometimes, and it was okay to let the housework fall to the side in order to enjoy this time in my life. My son will only be this age once and when he's moved out of the house and on his own, I have a feeling that I'm going to miss that looming pile of laundry in the corner.