Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bigger Picture Moment: Taking Ownership

It's snowing right now: tiny specks of snow, buffeted about by directionless winds, and piling up in small inches on the road.

What I love about snow in Southwest Missouri is that it's an event.  It breaks up the steady march of cold, dreary days in a long, dull winter, and provides a distraction.  Short-lived, probably: snow here usually melts before the week is out.  But there's excitement -- remember when you waited up late at night to watch the snow accumulate with the hopes of cancelled school the next day?  I still feel that. 

The promise of something interesting happening gets me all riled up.

I'm not bored. 

I'm not.

It's just...tedious sometimes, you know?  The housewifery.  I can't honestly say that I'd prefer a job right now -- of any sort -- other than this one, but it still rankles sometimes that my days are so monotonous.  Or predictable, maybe, is a better term.  I'll play and clean and fold laundry and wash dishes.  I'll cook dinner, shop for groceries, turn on PBS, and encourage sharing.

Every day.

At the beginning of winter, I got myself ready for the drudgery.  By that, I mean I thought about it long enough that I understood how difficult the winter would be, but not so long that I came up with any plan for making it better.

Somehow, though, this winter hasn't been drudgery-ish.  It's been fun.*  Not because of interesting events filling up our spaces, but because I've been actively trying to focus on different parts of this job: enjoying my kids; appreciating their growing independence; letting my soul be energized by progress -- a job well done -- be it in the form of childhood passions or a crumb-free floor; willing myself to appreciate the symmetry of clean dishes stacked up against each other on the counter.

It's still monotonous.

I still cook and clean and play -- every day.

But it's my monotony.  I can choose to love it, or be bored by it. 

I choose to love it.

* Watch: as soon as I admit this, tomorrow will be an awful day!**  Fingers crossed, knock on wood...
** Which I would be okay with, because I can love it anyway.  Right?

Today is the day to see the simple moments that make up the Bigger Picture!  Please join in -- link up your post at Hyacynth's place, and be sure to visit other participants' entries!


  1. That's a great way to look at it. I'm trying to do the same thing, on an opposite side of the spectrum, appreciating the small time I do have with my daughter...and enjoying my working hours too.

    It's hard. But I'm trying.

  2. Seeing the joy in the monotony is key, especially for January ;)
    (have you read The Gift of an Ordinary Day by Katrina Kennison? I think you'd really enjoy it...)

  3. I really like this.

    (But then, there's nothing you write that I don't like. I even like it when you don't write anything and just have clever titles on your photo blog!)

  4. The funny thing about my monotony is that it only looks that way from afar. Each moment is different. Even when I fold the towels again, and again and again.

    And giggles never hurt. Thanks for the hilarious site.

  5. This is my ongoing struggle, owning my monotony, loving it. I like your list of little things to find beauty and joy in; now I'm sure I'll be noticing things and thanking God for them throughout today when I otherwise wouldn't have. Thanks for the encouraging post, my friend, and as always -- a great perspective put so eloquently.

  6. Sarah, take it in your hands and own it and love, friend. Because you are not serving no one when you're going about the day cleaning and cooking and mothering. You are serving Him, wholeheartedy, palms up in the air, giving your life to something bigger than what most of us ever dream. He's blessed you with raising the next generation. And though it's monotonous, {I know; I feel this} it's showing our children His face in the way we own it.
    {Also, have you read?}
    Such a great piece, much like yours.

  7. Oh!! Wait! It's a dish! With soap suds and a blue sponge!

    Seriously, Sarah, I've been coming back to this post all day because I was convinced you were keeping a box full of snow in your freezer--and letting the girls paint it blue, I guessed, to ease the winter monotony. But I couldn't figure out the post! I kept thinking...why is Sarah writing a post about monotony in domestic life when she's keeping a drawer full of PAINTED SNOW in her freezer?!?!? That's not routine! That's not monotony!

    And then all the comments were so sweet and encouraging and not one of them was asking for details about, you know, how you were getting the paint to stick or anything, so I figured I was missing the point, um...what's that you were saying about boring? :)

  8. so true.
    especially in winter.
    BUT. we can choose to not make it boring.thanks for the reminder to not be bored.


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?