faith

in praise of small

June 26, 2012

Everything's Alright Forever

My days do not look very impressive at the moment. Maybe it’s why I am a little stumped for writing material recently. The new-country feel has worn off and we have settled into a comfortable routine in our new city. I’ve stepped off the emotional rollercoaster that moving was, and life now moves gently on, at the gentle pace of the merry-go-round, my ups and downs much small now.

We get out of bed early two mornings a week to go to French lessons. I do the food shopping in the middle of the day when the supermarkets are quietest. I make shopping lists. I meet friends and wedding vendors for coffee. I book flights for our summer holidays and figure out the cheapest way to hire a car in Tallinn.

I drink lots of blackcurrant squash – a habit I can’t break from my childhood – and try to remember to water our tomato plants every day. I sometimes bake, and then try not to eat the whole cake in one day. I answer emails and calls asking about my event planning services and pray that one day someone will trust me enough to take the leap and hire me.

I vacuum. I take the lift down to the basement to collect loads of laundry. I meet with leaders from our new church to plan the autumn church retreat (is it a pastoral trait to be bad at admin?). I try and think up blog posts. I read other women’s blogs and fall in love with their writing and their souls every day. Micha, Sarah, Rachel, Kathy, Tina. I know their names like friends although I’m not sure they know mine.

I call my family. I sew a few more patches to my growing quilt. I skype with friends and miss seeing their beautiful children grow up. I make plans for our aunt visiting us this weekend and pray the weather forecast might be wrong this time. I think nervously about leading the prayers at church on Sunday for the first time.

I finally finish our wedding album and put in an order to get it printed. Also the album for our second anniversary (eight months ago). I chat with Rasmus through the day and he makes me lol and I have energy for the next task again. I type up notes from meetings and make final timetables for the wedding I’m coordinating in ten days time.

I go upstairs to fold laundry and fall asleep for an hour. I watch a video of a military dad homecoming that someone sends me and cry for ten minutes straight. I paint the ikea paper files I bought to make them less ikeaish. I make mental lists of the things I still would love in this flat when we have money for them: an armchair in my office, a bigger bed, a table for the hallway.

Sometime after six I hear footsteps in the corridor and the key in the lock and whatever I am doing is abandoned to skip across the hallway and hug my husband. We make dinner together (or run across to the garage for frozen pizza on extreme days) and tell the stories of our days. If it’s nice, we sit out on the terrace with a glass of wine or a beer. We watch old episodes of Big Bang Theory and agree that it would not be worth watching without Sheldon. I get sleepy before Rasmus but try to pretend to be awake for longer than I am so I can stay up with him. Finally he persuades me towards the stairs and I fall into bed.

These are my days. Normal days, sometimes boring days, sometimes interesting. Some days I am content with my lot. I see how many blessings I have been given. Other days it’s harder to see them because my eyes are screwed up in frustration or disappointment or doubt. Or all three.

Today is Thankful Tuesday and I want to teach myself to be thankful for the small in my life. Even when everything feels small, nothing feels as big or as impressive or as world-changing as I’d like. To see the goodness in the small, the learning in the small, the rest in the small.

A few weeks (months?) ago Magpie Girl recorded a blessing for her readers which hit me so hard I wrote it down on a post it and it is stuck to my notice board in central place. She said,

“May you begin to see your smallness not as a limitation, but as a super power…
May you notice and value the small acts of your head, hands and heart.”

So today I am learning gratitude for small.

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  • I know these kind of days.

    And congrats on finishing your wedding album. I still need to know that and have set a goal of doing it before our three year anniversary this fall.

    • fionalynne

      If I can do it, you can too! In the meantime, let’s just tell people our marriages are much too fun and full to find time for something like photo albums 🙂

  • You know, some people might think my life is very… mundane? But most days I’m very happy with the small things. I’m glad you are too!

    • fionalynne

      The “most days” describes me… there are of course those days when I rant and cry about how meaningless it all is 😉 Writing it out helps me recognise it again.

  • jen

    I got told today by a colleague that if her graduate daughter settled for a job like I have she’d be really disappointed in her. I think she meant to encourage me to strive for more, but all I could think was that I’d rather have a job I enjoy than a career that strips my time and energy. Even if it means other people see me as a disappointment.

    • fionalynne

      Taking deep breaths to keep down the sisterly rage I’m feeling on your behalf. Goodness your colleague lacks any tact or empathy. Your own assessment is right. We have to find the place that makes us happy, no matter what others think of it. You have made many good decisions and have so much to be proud of.

  • Yes , the small things. I read somewhere that the happier people are those who are the most thankful, and I think the key is there. Recognizing that no matter what we are blessed, and appreciationg joy and light, and moments…

    • fionalynne

      Amen and amen!