Day 95: Breaking through the Mundane
"The epiphanies and the ah-hah's evaporate quickly, leaving the messes and clutter of everyday life." –Jack Kornfied
As much as I wish it were true, not every day is exciting. In fact, a lot of my time is taken up with very mundane things: Washing dishes. Answering emails...and more emails... Grocery shopping. Loading up bags of laundry and hauling them down to the laundromat. Lugging said laundry back up my stairs and putting it away. Clean sheets, clean clothes...only to get dirty again, and the process repeats itself. This week, we've been trying to figure out a new insurance provider, which has taken hours upon hours of research. (If you think doing your own taxes is challenging, I'm convinced that figuring out an individual healthcare plan might be even more confusing!) It's hard sometimes – in the midst of all these day-to-day "being an adult" moments – to find inspiration.
I read an amazing book this summer called Sacred Housekeeping. Author Harriet Rosetto (a personal hero of mine) shares that these small, ordinary "housekeeping" tasks are not only essential, but sacred. She says:
"If God matters and I am created in the image of God, then I matter. Life matters. My actions matter.
Why bother? Because I'm grateful for my life and my blessings.
For me, this realization changed everything – the importance of simple, sacred acts – everything from maintaining the closets and drawers to making my bed. I came to believe that everyday attendance to one's physical and spiritual condition leads to a better and happier life."
These tasks that feel so monotonous are essential. If we don't do them, our life spirals out of control. But if we only focus on these neverending, repetitive tasks – without widening our gaze to see the beauty in every day – life can turn gray very quickly. So even in the midst of the mundance, I'm always on the lookout for that little moment of wonder.
That moment, for me, came yesterday afternoon. Signe and I met at 3 pm at PID Floors to pick out a board for today's photo shoot. (If you've been following along with The Cookbook Diaries, you know that we've been borrowing different hard wood floor samples every week. I go pick one out, carry it home, do the shoot, and return it the next day. It's been amazing that we have been able to use their boards, but also kind of a pain to haul them back and forth every week.) So. We went up to the store and everything was kind of chaotic – they are in the midst of moving to their new space. Our wonderful friend Pasquale, who lends out the boards to us each week said, "Sorry, we can't let you borrow a board this week since we're moving." Our faces fell, and then he said the magic words, "But actually...we just threw away about 20 boards if you want to go down and look in the dumpster."
Instantly our faces brighted and we said "YES!" We headed downstairs and sifted through the boards. We picked out six that we loved and he said "They're yours!" What an incredible and unexpected gift. Had we stopped by on a different day – or even at a different time – we would not have gotten these boards. We had to hire a car to get all the boards home (they're heavy!) but I'm so excited to have so many great surfaces to play around with for our upcoming shoots. As I always like to say "You never know what a day will bring..."
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend (and that you get to have a little fun outside the cleaning and laundry!)
(Opening photo by Eric Ryan Anderson.)