The Thrill Of Monotony
I stumble out of bed with my head disheveled from odd dreams, my eyes squinting from the sunlight. Another dawn, another flip on the calendar, yet it’s the same old, same old story for me.
To Do List: Do the grocery (didn’t I just buy cereals and bread?). Schedule a general cleaning session for the apartment (because no matter how much I clean, it’s still not spic and span). Buy the medicines and toiletries my husband needs (what was it again?). Buy a frame for this painting (this room needs an art piece)…
It goes on and on and on. Facing the long list is daunting but my mind will go haywire if I don’t spill the many contents of it into something else.
I move seamlessly from errand to errand. After almost two years of being a housewife, I know where to go, whom to talk to, how much it costs. A rhythm has been established. But you know what else? Boredom, repetitiveness, ordinary. I move seamlessly, yet reluctantly. I move efficiently, yet unenthusiastically.
The truth: The novelty of being a housewife has worn off.
As the errands have become chores in every sense of the word, I wonder if this is all there is to it. I base the value of my day on the degree of excitement. I dream of the moment when housewives will be paid for the countless things we have to do. Then disdain trickles into my relationship with my husband when I think I am not acknowledged, appreciated, and applauded enough. Before you know it, I find my well so dry, I have nothing to fill me up anymore.
In prayer, I tell Him everything. In a whisper, He reminds me, 'You are a servant.'
Growing up, I stacked ambitions on top of each other till all I could see was a grand, exciting version of myself. I worked and toiled but for some reason, did not end up where hard work promised me I would be. Someone told me, 'God loves you so much that He saved you.'
Sometimes, I still think, how on earth is this saving? Apparently, this is how:
Early on in my life, He has revealed to me a precious gem of a truth: love is sacrifice. Love is doing even when I am not feeling. Service is quiet, unnoticed, unapplauded. Service is commitment: to the ordinary, to the every day, to the promises.
This vocation is a goldmine because it contains thousands upon thousands of trinkets and tokens that are formed by love. These little things are golden before God and if that is the case, can anything dazzle Him even more?
Any job, any errand, any chore, even the most mundane and repetitive, can be made remarkable. It just needs a hand and a heart - a hand to do the work and a heart to choose to do it again (and again and again and again!) with love and joy.
Marriage is some vocation, huh? It demands faithfulness in the muck and mire. It challenges us to find thrill in monotony. It redeems only the quotidian work. Still. I'd choose this life over anything, any day.
Because then I learn how to live for something, someone, and Someone bigger, more arresting, more magnificent than myself.