It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day…

crepe myrtle

This morning I woke up early.  The morning light was just beginning to make its appearance.  All was quiet until the familiar sound of trash trucks rumbling down our street reminded me that it’s Friday.  Nature was calling — sorry, TMI; I was trying to think of the most ladylike way to put that, and that’s the best I could do — but I didn’t have the energy to get up.  I lay there, wondering what time it was.  It seemed too early too start the day.

The alarm went off, and my husband got up.  Maybe it wasn’t so early after all.  I can’t get used to these new, shorter days.

My 6-year-old sensed a vacancy and moved from her spot across the foot of our bed and settled in next to me.  I put my arm around her and wondered when my soft, squishy baby got to be so long and gangly.

I lay there, listening to the sound of the shower, wondering how long I could put off the inevitable.  Finally I got up and took care of bidness.  I came back into my room and looked at my two daughters laying in my bed, a tangle of tanned arms and legs and white sheets and tousled blond hair.

I debated crawling back into bed, but a quick glance at the clock told me it was 6:30.  I told myself that I’ll be getting up at 6:30 every day, starting on Tuesday morning, so I may as well get used to it.  I put in my contacts and brushed my teeth and left my room.

As I headed towards the stairs, a pink and blond moppet slid out of my bed and joined me in the hallway.  I sighed and smiled.  My 3-year-old shadow rarely lets me start the day alone.

I looked down at her, both of us too groggy to speak, and reached out my arms in invitation.  She jumped up and wrapped her arms and legs around me, and I carried her down the stairs.

I went straight to the laundry room.  I folded clothes, threw the load from the washer into the dryer, and then put a new load of towels in the washing machine.  I troubleshooted a minor glitch when the washing machine showed an error.  Fortunately it turned out to be nothing.  I left my two loads of laundry humming quietly and went into the kitchen.

“I wanna watch Caillou,” came a small voice from the family room.  It’s her morning ritual; who am I to break tradition?  I found a recording of Caillou on our DVR and left her on the couch while I went to make my coffee.  While the coffee was brewing, I took a large pot out of the fridge and put it on the stove.  The chicken stock that I made last night still needed to be strained, so I set the oven on low to bring it back to its liquid state.

I looked at the bag of tomatoes on my counter and made a mental note to get the tomato sauce going early in the day, while my energy is still fresh.

I poured a bowl of granola and milk and reminded myself that I need to make more granola today.

I brought my breakfast to my office, opened the blinds, and sat down at the computer.

And so it begins.  Another day.

Another round of designing and cooking and writing and laundry awaits.   It’s a comfortable, confident routine, and I enjoy most of my daily tasks.  But sometimes I get tired of it all.  Or perhaps I’m just tired.

As is my habit, went straight to my email.  There were only 3 new emails since I left the computer at 11:30 last night, so I quickly dealt with them.  I opened up the design I’m currently working on and made a few tweaks and sent it back to my client.

I had no idea what I was going to blog about today.  I considered taking the day off.  No one will miss me.  It’s a holiday weekend after all.

I decided to open my Google Reader before moving on to other tasks.  I visited my buddy June and chuckled at her recent antics.  I complimented Holly on her gorgeous new carpet and commiserated with girlymama on her daughter’s bullying situation and wished her well on her weekend away.

Then I clicked on one of my favorite reads, Adventures in Babywearing.  And I found this.  Which directed me to this.

Which was just the encouragement I needed today.  It reminded me that I am not alone.  Moms everywhere are getting up this morning and starting a new day of the same old routine — work and childcare and household chores.  Working moms, stay-at-home moms, work-at-home moms, homeschooling moms.  Our tasks may be different, but we’re all working to the same end, raising families, doing what it takes to get through the day, just to get up and start all over again.  There is comfort in that.

As I write, I’m reminded of a sermon a few weeks ago when my pastor challenged us to make everything we do, even the mundane chores, an act of worship.  There is a greater purpose in every dirty dish, in every load of laundry, in every interaction – whether it be with our children, our husbands, our colleagues, our clients, our neighbors, even the cashier at the grocery store.  I don’t know about you, but knowing that helps me get through the day.

Now it’s 9:00.  My coffee mug is empty.  Four jars of chicken stock are cooling on my kitchen counter.  There is a tray of granola and a pan of granola bars baking in the oven.  The dishwasher has been emptied and re-loaded, the sink emptied, the counters wiped.  Laundry has been folded and restarted.

Children are waiting for breakfast and the tomatoes are waiting to be made into sauce.  There is a bag of peaches in the fridge that I’ve been meaning to slice and freeze.  I better do that today, lest they go to waste.   There are product reviews to write, blogs to design, phone calls to make, showers to take, emails to answer, and piles and piles of folded laundry sitting in my bedroom waiting to be put away.  And so it goes.

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day…

and I’m feeling GOOD.

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31 Responses

  1. Well, I’m tired just reading about your morning! Here I thought I was doing good to get breakfast on the table for five kids and lunches made for three kids. Wow.

    Very good post Jo-Lynne!

  2. I can hear the peace coming through in your post – thank you for sharing!
    BTW – my chicken stock cooled yesterday AM. I am planning chicken noodle 🙂

  3. Routine brings comfort to kids…something they can count on giving them the secutiy they need. What seems mundane from our perspective is of great value to our family. I really enjoy girltalk.com for encouragement in this area.

  4. thanks for this post. It really hit home as to how I feel sometimes, I have a set routine of choirs to do every morning, I love having a routine yet some days It gets a bit mundane, – glad to hear it happens to someone else too – because I wouldnt trade my life for anything else.

  5. You’re right, it does help to know that moms everywhere are getting up and doing the same things. I’m struggling right now with all that entails and your post gave me a new perspective. Thank you.

  6. Thanks for the reminder that I am not alone in my every day drudgery. I really needed that today.

    Also, I think I’m going to have to pull out my Michael Buble cd…(cause I’m feeling GOOD too!)

  7. What a great way to remember your morning routine, because I’m sure at some point in time, as the kiddos get older, that routine will change, even just a bit. Then you go can look back and smile and sigh, “Ahhh, I remember when…”

  8. I loved that post from Kelly. Even as a working mom, I have a hard time focusing and realizing that my life has meaning and purpose. Beautifully written, Jo-Lynne. Thank you.

    PS Anytime you want to make me some homemade granola, I’m game. 🙂

  9. Whew. Was that with only one cup of coffee? 😉

    Thanks from your client for working on my design. You rock.

    We always miss you but take some time off this weekend!

  10. I loved this post! You are such a descriptive writer. I felt almost like I could totally visualize each step of your morning. Except I’m sure in my mind you had all of your makeup on and hair fixed. LOL.

    But I loved how your mind wandered to the sermon and applied it to your morning. That everything we do could be an act of worship. I know I always try to remember the verse about “working as unto the Lord”. So whether I’m cleaning toilets or writing an important article or helping my husband …I want to do my best.

    Now I must get another cup of coffee as I do my blog hopping. Have a great weekend!

  11. I really love this post, and not just because I’m Feeling Good is one of my favorite songs. 🙂
    I’m not really talented at traditional worship talents, like singing. So taking the mundane tasks as acts of worship is something I can do and do every day.

  12. Hi, even though I am reading this at 3:20 in the afternoon, I can totally relate to your entry today. Our day is full of stuff that we think is boring, repetitive and I’m sure I can go on but it brings order and it shows love to our families. So we start our days running but it is with our families in mind so it is totally worth it. Enjoy your weekend!!!

  13. This was just really enjoyable to read. I felt like I was walking through your morning with you. And kind of mine too… 😉 Have a great weekend Jo-Lynne!

  14. It sounds like you were off to a great day and I hope it kept going so well! I had an early morning meeting at school and then have been trying to motivate myself to get cleaning this ol’ house after two weeks of being back in school. Right now though I’m just resting and it feels darn good!!

  15. Whoa, girl. You did all that in 2.5 hours? I always THINK I can get that much done, but I’m always wrong! Especially if I start reading blogs, then I’m finished with productivity. Bad addictions! Good for you to keep on task and get a post written in the process. 🙂

  16. I remember once many years ago, before I had children, my boss told me that when she had stayed home (she was a high ranking employee in the Bush Administration before Clinton was elected) she felt like nothing she did was productive. The laundry, the cleaning, the day to day stuff didn’t seem productive. It was like nothing she did had meaning. I couldn’t have disagreed more. And at the time, I didn’t even have children. I loved coming home to my new little home, and cooking supper for my husband, and taking my dog for a walk, and all that “mundane.” I love doing the laundry. I won’t say I loved the cleaning, but I felt good after I had cleaned something. I had accomplished something.

    Now, the mundane is still a comfort. I love how you put all this. It actually encourages me to take care of a few things today! Have a fantastic weekend.

  17. Kristen, thank you. I think we’re all different. And what gives us meaning and comfort is different. I wouldn’t want a full time job out of the home, answering to someone else. But my friend down the street who does that wouldn’t want to do what I do. But I’m sure we all get tired of our lot in life from time to time. It’s just human nature. 🙂

  18. for some reason this book has been my ‘recommendation of the week’ to my bloggy friends…the changing of the seasons must be stirring up these thoughts in many minds…anyway, some excellent reading material on the value of our more ‘mundane’ dady-to-day tasks is ‘the quotidian mysteries: laundry, liturgy & “womens work” ‘ by kathleen norris. now i just need an affiliate link for ya 😉

  19. Thanks for the link, Jo-Lynne. I’m truly humbled.

    And this post was poetry, to me. It’s a beautiful, peaceful description of an Every Morning in an Everyday Mom’s life. Yet, as you rightly point out, if we think there is no meaning in that routine, we are buying a lie. It’s so refreshing to be reminded of the truth by someone else on this journey.

  20. As I read of your perfectly normal day, I had tears spilling down my cheeks. My six children are gone now but I would give anything to return to those past years. There is such comfort in the rhythm of children and our home life. Treasure every moment. It fades away so quickly!

  21. This post came at a perfect time for me. I am feeling a but sluggish the past few weeks, and having the knowledge that others are feeling so much of the same is very helpful. Thank you!

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