“The spiritual life is first of all a life. It is not merely something to be known and studied, it is to be lived.” Thomas Merton
I read that quote this morning on the page of a book my husband is reading that was left open in the bathroom. It’s a good quote, and it’s true. I don’t feel very spiritual lately, but I definitely feel in the dredges of life. And by life I mean laundry, diapers, vacuuming, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc.
A few years ago my life was very different. I could do whatever I wanted. The world was my oyster, as they say, and my time was my own. I slept in on the weekends, took long luxurious showers, and even painted my toe nails. Then something big happened, and now I’m playing with Play-Doh at 9 a.m. and eating hot dogs at 10:30 in the morning. And my toe nails are unpainted and in need of a trim and I can’t remember the last time I slept in. Is this my life?
Here’s a snapshot of my morning:
5:45 a.m. Landon starts crying. Go in to nurse him. Ten minutes later lay him back down because he falls asleep nursing. Go back to bed. Thirty minutes later Jacob is awake. Morning has begun.
Go downstairs. Get Jacob juice, two slices of toast, and some slices of banana. Make coffee. Plug in the Christmas tree. Eat some toast. Change his diaper. Get a cup of coffee. Take Jacob down from his high chair. He turns on the T.V. to the Today Show. I sit on the couch and decide to catch up on some news. Five minutes of news is enough and I turn the T.V. off. Jacob tries to turn it back on. The fight begins. Soon enough he is distracted with his toys, pushing buttons, playing music, “mowing” the rug with his lawn mower.
I snuggle up on couch to read and drink coffee while Jacob plays. Ahh, a few minutes of cozy rest and reading. I read the daily devotion from Streams in the Desert. Good. Then I begin reading in Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance about two guys playing night golf in California. Dream of driving cross country in a volkswagen bus to California. Landon starts crying. Get depressed because I can’t even read about cross country adventures out west, let alone actually go on one. (just kidding, sort of :))
Go get Landon and change his diaper. Bring him downstairs. Nurse. Attempt to keep reading. It works, for a while, and I finish the chapter on night golf. But that is all I am able to read. Note to self: read Bible first next time. Burp Landon and coo with him for a bit.
Put Landon in the exersaucer and go upstairs to get a very stinky Jacob who is in the process of waking up daddy. Change diaper. Change clothes. Go back downstairs and start to swiffer.
Vacuum dog hair off of rug, couch, pillows, etc. (Tip: if you already have children and you really really want to get a dog get one of the shedless, barkless, odorless ones, like a Cockapoo. That’s going to be our next dog.)
Feed Landon bananas and oatmeal. Jacob is now ready for a snack. Against my better judgement, I give him a bowl filled with tiny particles he does not like (Cheerios) mixed with a few pretzels (that he loves). Soon the bowl is upside down on the table and with a quick swish of the hands the Cheerios are on the floor. I should have known. He is very skilled at projecting unwanted food onto the floor. After he finishes his pretzels I tell him he has to help me pick up the Cheerios and put them in the bowl. While helping he discovers that he does like Cheerios after all. I guess they are more interesting when they are on the floor. So I let him eat them. Building immunities, right?
Play for a while and then put Landon down for a nap. Run downstairs to throw in a load of laundry. Come back up to find TV on and Jacob watching some girls wrestle on T.V. (apparently a story on Inside Edition). Awesome. Give up and change channel to “Chuggington.” Finish swiffering floors and sweeping up Cheerios uneaten by the scavenger.
Sit down for a minute. It’s 9:20 a.m.
The rest of the day was more of the same. More laundry, more swiffering, more playing, more eating and more poopy diapers. But I did manage to get a shower and a little bit of downtime during their midday nap.
Now that they are in bed it’s on to taking down Christmas decorations, cleaning up the kitchen, more laundry, and cleaning out our “guest room” that is constantly getting cluttered with stuff (ie. Christmas decorations and my clothes, as I am still in the process of getting out my winter clothes!).
Ah well. This is my life full of details and the mundane. I wonder, is this part of the spiritual life Merton was talking about? Because this is what life–or at least mine–consists of. Details.
Well, my brain is getting foggy and the minutes are ticking by. So with that dangling thought, I will leave you. On to the next thing…