Skip to main content

The Mundane Life

Here in West Michigan, we are enjoying ArtPrize, an open art competition that is like nothing you've ever seen (unless you've been to ArtPrize...).

I got to enjoy a lot of the works last weekend, in the company of two gorgeous women who also happen to be long-time friends from college days.  It was a blast!  One of the works that we saw was a film and sculpture/machine from artist Evertt Beidler whose work focused on the mundane life of going to work, going home, family life, and doing it all over again.  Which, when you think about it, is pretty much what all our lives are, but Mr. Beidler's view, in my opinion, was pretty grim.

We like variety.  We want to shake things up and experience new things....but not too much.  Think about it:  most of us choose to do the same things every day.  We all have jobs that require some amount of repetition, we tend to park in the same spots, watch the same shows, follow the same teams, eat the same foods.  While most of us want to break up the routine once in awhile, it is not very comfortable to do it ALL the time.  (Witness how relieved you are when you get back from vacation - you enjoyed the trip, but oh! So glad to be home!)

I don't think anyone wants to proclaim,  "I love the mundane life!" but in a way, we sort of have to.  We all have routines we have to live, if we want to have a balanced life, get a paycheck, keep normalcy in the family.  Otherwise, it's just chaos, and we humans don't do well with chaos.  The trick is finding things to love and enjoy in the mundane life.  For instance, my drive to and from work is pretty mundane, but if I choose to listen to praise and worship music during that time, then I turn it into a time of prayer.  I can do my job with a joy, sense of humor and exuberance or I can slog through the day.  It's the same day, either way, but I choose the manner in which I live it.

Mr. Beidler's piece seemed to miss that.  He wanted to say that people who choose an office job and a three-bedroom house in suburbia are living a ho-hum life, just a piece of a giant machine droning along.  He seemed to miss that fact that we all have a choice in how we experience that office job and life in suburbia:  we can be a cog in the machine or we can recognize how vital our little piece in the machine is, and choose to embrace that vitality of being part of a bigger reality.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Trauma Mama

Dear Husband and I both enjoy certain medical shows, such as "ER" and "Code Black." ("St. Elsewhere" was another fave!) These shows revolve around trauma: humans who'd been ambushed by life: a car accident, a fire, and abuse, as examples.

More often than not, these shows also highlight the trauma the doctors and nurses needed to deal with. Having a patient die is always offensive to a doctor: they are charged with saving lives and losing one is the ultimate failure. Nurses spend more time with patients, and can forge strong bonds with people that may be in their lives for just a few days.

But trauma doesn't always look like a bloody body being wheeled into an emergency room, or a house surrounded by fire trucks and police cars. Trauma comes in many forms.

According to one website, trauma can look like surgery. It can look like moving. Trauma can be losing a beloved spouse or more horrifying, a child. Trauma can also be chronic pain, loneliness, m…

Be Brave

A few years ago, it came to my attention that a young family member was struggling with anxiety and depression. I was able to share with her a bit of my own struggles, and let her know she wasn't alone.

A few weeks after our talk, I saw the movie, "Brave." It struck me that the young protagonist, Merida, modeled a great quality. She was indeed brave.

Being brave is not about recklessness. It is not about confidence. It's not about being foolish, or looking for glory in the eyes of others.

Bravery is about doing what is right, even when you are a quivering mess. It's about knowing that things may not turn out the way you expected, but forging ahead anyway. Being brave is standing by the hospital bed while a loved one is dying, and all you really want to do is turn back time. Bravery is standing up to a bully, when your legs are screaming for you to run. Brave is doing what needs to be done even when you're scared and tired and feeling helpless and hopeless.

I …