#52SlicesOfChingonaLife #52EssaysNextWave2019 6/52
Ordinary Days. For years and years, I ran from these days, too square, too much of a routine, too mundane for my busy life. All I knew, or wanted to know, was moving fast, planning one event bigger than the next, moving from one town to another and another. I always had something to do, somewhere to go, moving, moving, moving. No time in my life for ordinary days.
Don’t get me wrong, it was (and is) exciting and a lot of fun.
But there came a time where I had to be there for Mama and for my family. In 2014, Mama was walking her last journey on this earth. I rarely left home, I helped my familia to take care of Mama and I was the one who kept the house up and kept everyone on schedule. I super-surprised myself by being the one to move Mama when needed and to help change and dress her. I remember one time I made her laugh when I pulled out a splinter from her finger como si nada. Mama laughed because she never expected this from me, I was her miedosa daughter, scared of everything. However, at the time, her comfort took precedence over EVERYTHING in my life.
I went right back to work a couple of days after her funeral and something had profoundly changed in me. At the time, I couldn’t put my finger on it but I was different. I was exhausted from weeks of caring for my mother, out of it, way off of my work-routine, and, I sensed that I was barely getting through the day, I didn’t know what I wanted to do anymore.
One thing I knew. I got great comfort from the schedule that I made, week after week, for my family. I knew exactly who would be at the house and when. I was very happy that my family had agreed to keep the schedule going so that we could be there to take care of our father. It was as if this simple, mundane, activity was keeping me on point so that I could get myself up out of bed every day to make it to work, to handle my everyday survival. Day after day, I’d see members of the Torres5 doing what had to be done, and, some days, I’d see the same profoundly sad face that I wore on a daily basis. I didn’t feel so alone.
Our sadness eventually lifted, as if we had all been in a fog. Our household started feeling like home again. It took a little longer for me to become accustomed to living back at home and, once I got into work and events again, I found that I was “back” and having fun again working it.
What shocked me was that I was starting to really look forward to ordinary days, days where I could just be, somewhere where I could breathe and recharge, where I could do cool things like laundry (my task yesterday) to organizing our spare room (which I did this morning). OMG, my years of living my personal life on such a regimented schedule, was actually working for me!
The one thing that kept me from enjoying ordinary days was my lack of commitment to anything other than work. Once I committed to our basic family schedule, it seemed as if more possibilities opened up, I started spending more time with friends, working out, writing, reading, and doing things that I loved, things that were, dare I say it, boring, mundane, routine, ordinary, and at the same time, glorious! On the days I’m not “on the schedule”, I’m able to do “me” things and, truth be told, there’s no place I’d rather be.
My life might have been very different had I embraced the ordinary years ago. Especially as I’m now convinced that this is where my true peace, joy, and happiness reside, inside of my ordinary days.
Now, it’s all about work hard and handle my business, so that I can enjoy my next “ordinary day”!