Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day #15: The Joys of Ordinary Life

Isn't this just peaceful? I love this time of the year so completely. The leaves continue to fall and the weather is just cool enough for sweatshirts, but warm enough to be outside crunching and jumping in the piles.

And you know what I'm trying to practice as we gear up for winter?  How to keep this peaceful, playful feeling inside me, even within the walls of our home.  

Yesterday we stayed home all day.  It's something I'm calling "Maintenance Mondays." Because my husband and I share a car, he takes the car on Mondays and I stay home. with the kids. all. day. long.  Otherwise, I have this deep urge to want to escape into the world of drive-thru lattes and other distractions so I don't have to face the stuff like...organizing, scrubbing, folding, wiping, budgeting - you know, the "maintenance" stuff that keeps things running a bit more smoothly - yet I usually want to avoid.

Sometimes I just love staying home - especially in the winter.  Fires, cookies, snow and pajama days - oh the thought of it makes me smile.  Yet, I am gearing up for the first winter with TWO little boys who get into EVERYTHING.  And being home all day trapped in the mess, that is the nature of play, can really get to me if I'm not careful.

Yesterday I did feel some irritation.  I did get frustrated at times.  I was kind of moody and let the mess get to me.  And towards the end of the day I got a little restless.  But I did it.  I resisted the urge to make plans and go out and do something and stayed home instead.  I let the feelings of overwhelm come and go.  And after getting the boys to bed I landed on the couch with Hand Wash Cold and read this:

In all this mess, I found the ingredients for the next stage in the spiritual journey: the opportunity to move beyond myself and into compassionate care of everything and everyone that appeared before me morning, noon, and night.  I found myself in the very heart of life, an ordinary life, the best spot to give and receive pure love.


So as evidence by these photos, my house truly was a mess yesterday, as it is every day I stay home with the kids.  It gets cleaned up at the end of most days.  Sometimes it makes me crazy and sometimes it doesn't.  And I guess this is the practice - to find the stillness among the chaos, to find the peace within the mess.

I may trip and stumble and get tangled up along the way - that is the nature of the journey, isn't it? And as I do, I continue to learn how to embrace and receive the joy and love that comes from daily, ordinary...life.


And now I sign-off to hit a yoga class with my husband, where I'll be thanking another wonderful teacher near and dear to my heart.

Your Personal Reflection:  What joys in your ordinary life are you thankful for today?

And...make sure to enter for your chance to win a spot in some pretty awesome e-courses on my last post.   


  1. ho ho ho! i have a boy who likes to cast webs along the furniture with my yarn too! : ) it hasn't happened in a while, but i assure you my living room floor is littered with toys as i write this. i am home almost every day all day long with my boy. i think my buddha practice of being chill in the chaos is getting better with each month... not having a car the last year has really helped with that... we do ride bikes almost every day though. does that count? i do need to get out too. i'm not going to pick up the toys tonight either. we do maybe once a week or so. it's become an orderly little display of play really. thomas track and the like.

  2. Oh my, they are busy! Love this post. I am trying to do the same. It seems like the leaves are falling off the trees all at once after hanging on for weeks. I know what you mean about Maintenance and the mess. Sometimes I think my head is going to spin around.
    It's great to be back after the power outages. Thanks for everything you do and everything you are! You make such a difference in my life!

  3. My ordinary joy each morning is picking up my husband's socks and putting them in the laundry basket. For years this would drive me CRAZY and then one morning it hit me...what would I do if I Didn't have his socks to pick up? Then I wouldn't have Him! It's a small thing to do and now it's just 'our thing', in fact, I'm not so sure he hasn't been doing this for years just to hear me fuss!

  4. I know the feeling! I find stillness when I remember that this is a stage that I will probably miss as they grow older and will spend less time at home and with me.
    I am looking forward to more time indoors, we all do :0)

  5. Yup. Busy, active creative household. I have one of those. Sometimes the 'lived in' look of my house grinds at my perfectionistic nerves. Most of the time I know it's a sign my house is a home and a home is lived in and loved. When it does 'get to me' I try to remember that it's a sign of imagination and creativity and I would rather have a bit of a mess than curb the creativity. Also, those toys on the floor? They will be there for such a fleeting moment in the grand scheme of things. How lonely the floors will be when there is nothing left but dust bunnies chasing each other in the breeze.
    Beautiful post and reminder.

  6. I love the idea of a "maintenance Monday"! I work full-time outside the home, so the weekends are really our maintenance days. But when they come, we pretty much can't wait to just stay in our pajamas all day and not leave the house. My girls love to turn the entire great room into one big fort as soon as they get home from school on Friday, and it tends to stay that way until clean up time, just before dinner, on Sunday. Yes, their constant messes just to drive me crazy, but I've learned the embrace the chaos (at least on weekends) and just roll with it. It definitely takes practice!


Thanks for sharing!