Monday, January 17, 2011

Ordinary

Ordinary time, liturgically speaking, began a week ago.
Ordinary time, mom speak, did and then again did not begin a week ago as my kids are still home and not in regular ordinary school time: holidays, in-service days, snow and ice days have still botched up our routine days.  Much griping on my part in my heart (and more than I should out loud) ensues.


Confused? I know, me too!
Sigh...let me begin with the beauty of it, that's always best.

Ordinary time in our liturgical year is the "regular" or "Ordinary" days of the year; the days not of a special season such as Advent or Lent or Christmas or Easter.  See? They are not marked or bracketed, they are ordinary, normal, routine, whatever you like to call them.  They are the stuff that make up the warp and weft of any given life.
I love them so.
It took me a long time to learn to love them so.
My younger days had me always yearning for the next thing, the next exciting event or season.  I think that is so common, especially when young (By which I mean, shockingly enough even to myself: under forty anymore...yeah, mark that youngsters, I mean  you!).  It feels and/or seems just more fun, more interesting to be immersed in or on the brink of "The Next Big Thing;" even if that thing is simply the next holiday.  It's exciting.  It livens up our dull mundane lives that are filled with the same ol' same ol...the chores and the must do's.  Right?

Well, yeah, to a point.
But just as you will burn out any fine tuned machine by always keeping it revved to the max, so to I believe we burn out our very selves (Fine tuned machines that we are or should be) if we live on high alert at all times.
 Now, don't get me wrong.  I do this.  Some might say (Hsssh, mom, John, I hear you) that I do this (still) all or most of the time.  I have more than many times been accused of being "kinda intense."  Sigh.  I guess I am.  Even when I don't try to be.  I like to be busy, I am high energy, I like to "have things going on." Or, I used to, I know it.  I still do, I admit it, but now I am learning to see and mark and soak into the beauty of the "ordinary."  It's the simple things, stupid....oh dopey Me.
The wisdom of the Church is that we are given this Ordinary time to settle and soak in that.
To remember and touch again that simple self that we are, that really is under all that stuff, all the noise, all the hurry. 
 It's under the chaff, if we but blow with a settling breath....ah there it is again: me.
And when I settle again, I can listen and I can hear God himself whispering to me again.
I can do better. 
...pray better.
...see better.
...listen better.
...give better.
...love better.
I can be a better mom, wife, friend, daughter, sister, lover, thinker, helper, pray-er, me.
Not that I do so...which is why I so need and have learned to love and exhale with ordinary time.

So, there, that is the beauty of it all.  Right there, in the ordinary day before me.  If only I can stop and slow and soak in it.  And therein lies the test, eh?
As goes the liturgical year, we are living in Ordinary Time.
As goes my household and the lurching four different school systems of my kids, we are not.  Not yet.  So, my challenge, which I fail, oh, daily, is to stop and see that even this lurching "school on, school called off" calendar still is part and parcel of ordinary life.
I tend to think it's not.  But when I do that, I am lifting ordinary life right out of it's pocket and trying to make it something it's not: something like a perfect glistening glowing photo spread.  That's a mistake.
  Ordinary life is by definition, kind of a mess.  It needs so much: constant endless tending.  It is this very tending, this ordinary work on a perpetual basis, that forms it's core...again, the warp and weft of the weaving that IS ordinary time.
Even the snow days.

3 comments:

Jean said...

I love it...great post.

PursuingtheSummit said...

THIS is why I love, love, love, you Michele. Isn't that Sarah you're hugging? So...ordinary. Simplicity is the mother of holiness.

coffeemom said...

Pursuing the summit: thanks! & it's Marta. Christmas night. Hence the goofy pjs. I love you right back.