My poor husband. Truly. Sometimes I do not know how he even deals, but he always does and thank goodness for that.
This Sunday, like many other Sundays in the past (but not every Sunday, because I like to keep things spontaneous), I had a little “episode.” I can’t really put my finger on what it was that triggered it or why I got all ridiculous, but I did. I was basically, in a word, disgruntled. And I’m no fun to be around when I’m like that.
Even though most of our lives are spent doing the ordinary, the mundane, things that aren’t fun, exactly, but necessary to get to the fun bits, even though all of that is true, every once in a while, I freak out about all of that.
I throw a little temper tantrum.
I get mad about something completely stupid.
Yesterday, it was because I always having to choose what to make for dinner and then grocery shop for the ingredients and then make the dinner and then clean up from the dinner. (In reality, I do like to cook. Just not that I always have to cook.) And also laundry. And sweeping and mopping and vacuuming. And every other mundane thing I do on the regular makes it’s way onto the list and I get all snappy, “I’m fine. It’s fine. Whatever. [Silence]”
It’s so stupid really. And it’s cyclical, yet unpredictable. I do it all the time, freak out about the mundane. Get super grumpy about the must-dos and have-tos. I take it out on Seth (pretty much always because, where else, I guess? seriously love that man) and then I get over it and (thankfully, oh so very thankfully, so does he… I think) and we move on to another day.
This Sunday, as I said, was one of those days. Maybe it was just because it was Palm Sunday and the passion is so… dang… long… Who knows though. It happened, regardless of the cause. I was a brat. Seth was patient. Thank goodness for all of that.
By Sunday afternoon, I had planned out some meals for the week (really outdoing myself in the fruit-flavored water department for Seth’s sake– a meager apology, I admit) and by dinner time, I had white chicken chili simmering on the stove, bread baking in the bread machine, and a walnut pie (gluten free!) toasting up to perfection in the oven. My house smelled gooooood and I was basically over it. (Basically.)
So what did Joan have for me to reflect on on Monday?
“When the mundane things that occupy our time threaten to dull our view of the universe, it is time to slow down.” –Madeline McClenney-Sadler
Oh, for pete’s sake.
“The ‘mundane’ is certainly dull, I agree, and may even limit us — not only our perceptions but even the breadth of our questions. At the same time, there is something very freeing, very humanizing about the mundane. Doing dishes and buying vegetables get us back in touch with ourselves, give us time to smell the earth of our lives, give us time just to be. We will go on long after the big ideas fade and the profession ends. The question is, Will there be anything in me then? Will there be a me in me? It all depends on how I deal with the mundane.” –Joan Chittister
It’s true. By Sunday night, when I walked back in the house from taking my Curly girl outside for a stroll around the yard (potty break) and smelled the good smells and then ate the good food and finished chopping the veggies for what would become good food the rest of the week (and the fruit for what would become Seth’s fancy water) I did feel freed up, humanized. I don’t have to deal with any of those things the rest of the week, we’re crock pot or microwave ready. We’re eating healthfully and deliciously and as mundane as it is, that is so super worth it. Right?
Except maybe the problem is that lately, all of it, so much of every… single… day… is part of the mundane. And the mundane isn’t part of the life I imagined. So the banality of the day after day… what is there to revel in? Turns out, Joan had something to say about that too. Because I didn’t quite get this out on Monday and now it’s become a twosie.
“God makes me to lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters.” –Psalm 23:2
My green pastures, still waters? A family… it all sounds great, doesn’t it? The kind of stillness, a sense of the mundane, that one could really be satisfied with.
“I have to believe this scripture fiercely right now because life does not feel like ‘green pastures’ or ‘still water.’ It feels like a living death. Everyone around me is still producing, still building, still going on. But I am cut off at the root with nothing to show for it. I am empty, useless, doing nothing, going nowhere. The speeches and the books flash and fade and I am embarrassed by my existence. So where is God in all of this? What is life without life? I feel like I am on the other side of a window pane looking in and no one sees me. No one is unkind; they are simply uncaring. It is ‘make your own way time’… and I don’t know how.” –Joan Chittister
And wow. While I sincerely doubt that my current struggle is of the same nature as Joan’s, I am seriously impressed with her ability to describe what it feels like.
Exactly what it feels like.
To live in the age of Facebook and Twitter and the blog-o-sphere and the decade of my 30s in general without the stupid pink or blue lines, the sonogram photos of little chicken embryos, the kiddie quotes and rosy cheeked pictures? It’s tough. Really tough. And after nearly four years of trying, trying, trying and tests and pills and sticks to pee on and hormones to inject, still nothing but negative, negative, negative month after month. It’s exhausting. How do you embrace this level of mundane? Where’s the green pasture and the still water in relation to me?
This sense has been particularly poignant of late as we embark on IVF. Testing, testing, testing. Counseling and drugs and prescriptions and $$$$$. The very real chance that it still won’t result in what we want. Very real chance. That even with all of the hormones and the money and the trying and the prayers it still won’t work. What if it still doesn’t work? Then what? Then how will I deal with my mundane? How will I embrace what life is to be?
Simultaneously bored of what’s current and terrified of what’s next. Or rather, what might not be next, maybe.
Oh, Joan! How do you know?!
I suppose if nothing else, the constant intake of random hormones over the next few months is bound to make life feel anything but mundane, at least for a while, eh?
Oh guys. Buckle up. I can only imagine that I’m due for temper tantrum city coming up. And without Joan to keep me company, who knows how I’ll deal. Better find something else just as constantly-insightful-and-relevant-to-my-own-life-every-single-day. Right!