A friend of mine called earlier this week, his dryer wasn’t working. He asked if he could bring some wet clothes over and use my dryer. “Of course!” I replied. Who can turn down an offer that good?

When I lived in London, we had no dryer. A full five months with a clothes line in the very small back “yard” bricked area of my flat. And a clothes washer so small, it was located under the kitchen sink, in the (you guessed it) very small kitchen. A pair of jeans and a few tops at a time, were all that we could wash.

Stiff as those jeans and towels were, from air drying, they were dry. They loosened up with wear, and although doing the laundry required a little more pre-planning (to factor in the drying time which could be a day or two, more if it rained and we forgot our clothes were out there) we got it done. We did not go one day with dirty clothes or no clothes at all (that was unintentional!)

As I hoped the dryer repair at my friend’s would happen quickly, I also remembered that truly, a dryer is a luxury. Don’t get me wrong, I love the feeling of warm, soft and clean linens when they come out of the dryer. I appreciate help with the “wrinkle factor” that an electric dryer can bring. And if you have children, a dryer seems a necessity not a luxury. But actually we can live without one just fine.

There are things we don’t “know” if we could do, simply because we have never done them. Friends have said to me, “I could never have done that” in reference to say, surviving the deaths of my children, or working in the Pediatric ICU as an RN, or raising a special needs son who is about to turn 22 (Alleluia!). My response is that we don’t know what we are capable of, until we find out.

Luxury vs. necessity can be a subjective experience. But our innate ability as human beings to adapt to our environments and access the super powers within, is pretty objective. We can all think of times when something happened (COVID is an easy go-to if you are struggling to recall one) and our initial response was “I can’t do this…I don’t know if I can do this…I don’t know how to do this!” And we actually found out, that we can, did and do rise to the occasions that challenge our sensibilities.

The next time you are facing a situation that seems impossible, sit still and think back to another time you felt this way. Remember how you were able to get through that challenge, maybe even grow or sharpen a dormant skill when it happened. Wear that “overcoming” experience like a badge of honor, and remind yourself that we don’t know what we are capable of, until we find out.

As someone very close to me often says “Maybe you can, maybe you can’t, we will find out.

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