Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Saturday 31st January

Today was a really sedentary day. I sat in front of my computer for a good many hours, working away, trying to earn money 😉

What else to do?

Sometimes there are those days when you just sit and time just goes.  At other times, there are days when, between the sitting, you do the washing (by hand, again – washing machine is still broken) and cook and clean and generally keep up with life.

I wrote some lessons on a story by Leo Tolstoy recently and, in researching his biography, I came across a source that said that, in his greatest book War and Peace, Tolstoy was interested in extolling the idea that we should find quality and meaning in life mainly from day-to-day activities.

It reminded me so much of Mum and the way she always used to say, “The daily round, the common task, should furnish all we ought to ask.”

Sometimes, though, those daily tasks can seem so overwhelming in their repetitiveness and you can feel so boxed in from all sides. At least, I can. And I did today, which is why I went for a little run (read, ‘jog’). Even just round the suburb here, running always makes me look at the world ‘out there’ and to appreciate it in a different way.

Of course, as I ran (jogged), my eyes were watering, so I looked like I was crying. Could have been a good cover. I don’t seem to need to shed tears quite so easily at the moment. Maybe this is progress through the emotions associated with everything, or maybe it’s just a hiatus and everything will get on top of me again.

I am, after all, human.

In some ways, the everyday, the mundane, the ‘normal’ is what I crave. I want to be able to do what I am used to doing. I want everything to be normal again.

Which it never will be – if normal is what was.

Maybe it is simply that this is the ordinary, the normal. For now, at least. And it is in this that I should be able to find meaning and wealth.

I think it is a human thing to look beyond what we have and to either want something else, or to long for something that we had. The moment is what counts, though, and the moment is where we live.

Whether or not I can find meaning and quality in loading and unloading the dishwasher what seems like 100 times a day, sometimes, or doing another load of washing by hand, or even making the beds, is debatable.

What I can do is look around me – at the space and at the people – and know that, however I may have been changed by this cancer, so too has everyone been affected and none of us will be quite the same as we were. What we will do, is to continue to be together in this and beyond.

And, in that, the ordinary is extraordinary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *