fighting overwhelm · from the trenches · recovering perfectionist

Are You Grasping at Stars? (Time-Tested Advice for Mondays)

Mondays are historically a day when I struggle. Typical domestic duties (i.e. getting dressed, doing dishes, cooking, laundry) fail to inspire me. 

This Monday morning I pondered deep thoughts such as how I want to run my home like a well-oiled machine. Figuratively, anyway. But when it comes down to the complete, all-encompassing time and effort it requires, I say “No. No thank-you. I prefer to do something fun, something interesting with my life occasionally too. There is so much more out there than polished counter-tops, sparkling bathroom sinks and toilets and the hum of a washing machine.”

I’m not even talking about grand adventures and travels to Europe and Asia or even shoe shopping. I’m talking about the simple indulgence of doing anything that feeds the soul and is not technically “housework.” (Of course, some strains of housework may be an indulgence for one or two of us but I’ll leave that where it is.)

I have chosen this Monday to be a day of rest and relaxation, punctuated by the rotation of clothes marching through the laundry machines. Upon deciding that, I became inspired to tackle a few hundred other pesky tasks I usually put off. Sometimes that too can be relaxation. It depends how much pressure I’ve put on myself to complete them. Since I wasn’t expecting to do them at all, it’s relaxing to find them getting done.

As I considered this weighty dilemma – whether a perfect household is something to desire or if pleasure can be found in other places too, someone had the gall to email the following quote:

“Do not grasp at the stars but do life’s plain common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.” – Robert Louis

Yes, daily duties can be very sweet – as anyone who cannot do them for a time quickly finds out. I even had a small taste of that throughout our move. But what exactly are we calling stars and what is plain common work? 

Is organizing a drawer (or ten) plain common work or grasping at the stars? Is keeping a clean, clear counter-top plain common work or grasping at the stars? What about sewing a dress? Reading a book? Writing a letter? Chatting with a friend?

You know what? It’s my life and I get to decide!

So if you come to my house and you think I’ve been grasping at the stars, well, look again. Chances are I’ve been doing the plain common work as it comes. 

Just now I hear a loud “Mooom” in the desolate, anguished voice of a small child, sounding as though the boredom of the day has penetrated the depths of his soul. Clearly, he too believes there IS a time for adventure and reaching for the stars. He also considers that to be sweet daily bread on occasion. Noble and grand as daily bread may be, there’s always a time and place for the unexpected and adventure. 

Particularly on Mondays.

 

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