I own a pair of dinosaur underpants. They are in the color of gray melange with a bunch of green T-Rexes roaring and they were once part of a three-pack of underwear that I bought.
The first time they got washed they got mixed up with the kid’s underwear for obvious reasons, and so they went into the dryer on the cupboard dry extra program.
To summarize this garment, it’s some really ugly underwear with bad elastic. Now, you might be thinking that I never wear these underpants? Nothing could be more wrong.
Each time that those underwear are freshly washed and folded into the underwear drawer, they tend to end up at the top of the underwear pile for some reason. I own quite a few pretty nice underwear after three years working on a large e-commerce fashion store with a generous staff discount, but all these fine underwear are obscured at every laundry day by their cousins with the dino theme.
What do I think when I see those underwear in the drawer? I should think that “I put them bottom of the pile, and then I can use them when it’s laundry day,” but probably because of my upbringing my head does quite the opposite.
“If I wear them today, they will disappear from my drawer“, I think and happily put on the hated pair. But what happens after the next laundry folding marathon in the Heeds residence? Well, the green dinosaurs are once again at the top of the pile, sneering at me with their sharp prehistoric teeth.
Today when I put them on, I was struck by the sudden realization that this is just how it is in life in general for me. There’s a lot of stuff I want to do, we can call them the nice underwear. Meet friends, play music, cuddle with my kids, build a tree house, climb. Fun things that makes me happy.
I also have a lot of stuff that neither gives me too much joy or sorrow but still needs to be done. To cook and eat food, go to work, sleep, go to the toilet. A little bit like ordinary underwear that you wear without thinking too much about it.
Last but not least there are the dinosaur underwear. These are things you would rather not do, but usually you have to. Most often you get problems if you do not do the dinosaur underwear. If you do not buy food you will get nothing to eat and then the family will be hungry. If you don’t clean, the house will be in a mess and you will get dust allergies and stumble over the all the stuff lying around and you cannot take people home without being embarrassed. If you do not mow the lawn then your neighbors will be annoyed over your messy garden (yes, my garden is nice mostly for my neighbors’ sake).
I realize that even in my normal life, life outside the underwear drawer, I tend to focus a bit too much on my dinosaur underwear. I do this stuff that I feel that I have to do even though I know that the grass will grow out again in a week. The food runs out, the house gets messy, my dinosaur underpants are back at the top of the pile again. The risk with this arrangement is obviously that I never will reach down to favourite undies at the bottom of the drawer.
I wonder if I can get rid of some dinosaur underwear? Maybe I won’t need to mow the grass every week, or perhaps I can let a robot mower do it for me. Maybe I won’t need to clean the house every week, or perhaps I can get a cleaning company do the work for me every now and then. Perhaps I don’t need to buy food that often? Or do it online? Maybe I can prioritize away things that I don’t want to do – stuff that I only imagine that I need to do for the neighbors’ sake?
I will continue to carry my dinosaur underpants, but in the future I will carry them only in my head. At this very moment they go in the bin.