design, Life

The Lost Process of Ironing

Does anyone iron anymore? Picking out cotton fabric or dry fit clothing is easy. There are high powered steamers and settings on dryers to eliminate wrinkles.

Do you iron? If you do iron, how do you iron? Who taught you how to iron? Was that person patient with you? Did you know that your ironing sensei passed on a process of highest achievement?

On Sundays, I’ve been ironing my son’s shirts for church. I start with the collar. Next are the front panels along with the plackets. I continue the back of the shirt. Finally, I finish with both sleeves. The left front panel seems to have a wrinkle in it every time I iron. The process has a gap, but it is quickly smoothed out.

iron and ironing board

I learned the process from my sensei, my mother, and I can’t remember the first time I ironed. I must have been young because it’s ingrained in me. My mother would sew dresses for weddings or events for her clients, and I would iron out the puckered material. Anyone can be efficient when you have 14 dresses to iron in a few hours.

I was thinking of many processes that are lost due to technology or innovation. Like the process of talking to people for the sake of talking to people. My husband is comfortable going up to people and asking anything about them. The art of conversation and the process of getting to know someone is not prevalent in this world. Did we learn to have a conversation with Youtube videos, our parents, or our friends? Are we a century away from having meaningful connection without an agenda or achieving a goal?

What other processes are being lost?

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Life

Listening in Kindness

Many waters cannot quench charity, neither can the floods drown it: if a man should give all the substance of his house for love, he shall despise it as nothing. Song of Songs 8:7

At the end of being with a person or a group of people, I review in my mind what I have said and how the person reacted and thought about the exchange. I consider an email two to three times before I send it. Admittedly, I have shot off emails, texts, messages without review. The responses felt like backlashes and were surprising. I thought I was a victim. It was my fault. I do these reviews in business and never thought to carry that practice with my family and friends. I now do that too.

I have learned how to evaluate what I have said quickly. I am an extrovert, and that is not always helpful when you are connecting with another person.  Many times ego takes over. I know that I tend to have word vomit and I speak too much. I was not thoughtful of the other person. I forgot to listen with my entire heart and body. Listening is more than just two ears and one mouth. Listening is the most difficult skill to achieve. I am always impressed with people who gauge a person and can empathize with their pain or enjoy their company. My wonderful introverted friends do this so well, and I am learning from them.

My review of a conversational exchange: Did I fully listen? Was I fully engaged? Did I remember to ask if that person needed help? Please learn from my mistakes. I have to keep reminding myself listen, listen, listen. I also have to remember to be kind, be kind, be kind.