I officially love Mamma Mia (which I think is proven by my three theatre viewings in the past 10 days). It’s like two hours on a wonderful, colourful journey of lost love and new love and old regrets and new discoveries — as well as the joyous and groovy harmonies of ABBA sung by Meryl Streep (I love Meryl Streep).
I wonder what my “journey” would look like if it were condensed into a two hour movie. Some days it feels like all I am is a janitor endlessly picking up, picking up, picking up things that just get thrown down again when I turn my back. Is my life nothing but an endless pile of housework?
As a mother, there is the constant care of these beings you’ve brought into the world. That care is lived out in meals and baths and stories and on and on — all of these insignificant, physical things. And yet, at the end of the day, at the end of their 18 years at home, you’ve spun, with all of these everyday things, this web — started them on the intricate journey of life. And what is it, anyway?
If I have a bad day, that’s okay. If I lose my patience over something, that’s okay too. The good and the bad are a part of the web. But. If I lose my patience too much. If I continually put unrealistic expectations on myself and on my family. What will it all come out as in the end?
Today I’ve been feeling overwhelmed. With sadness, really. Hearing and knowing people who do not love the way they should. Wishing they’d “get it” — start doing what they should, make their hearts more loving and soft, and allowing themselves to be vulnerable and shaped by the experiences of life. Sometimes it all just makes me want to fall in a heap on my bed for a week and cry. Cry because there are so many people who hurt, who don’t know love, who live with regret and failure. It’s depressing. And overwhelming.
And then I look at myself… my constant struggle with unhappiness, feeling not good enough, and my inability to appreciate all of the amazingly good things around me. Then I’m overwhelmed with all of the goodness and beauty in life. And I want to jump on my bed and do the splits like Meryl Streep because deep down inside of us is a 17 year old girl who wants to dance and jive and have the time of her life — to be free in herself.
How do you live in between these two things: the amazing sadness of life and the absolute beauty and goodness that we experience? I find myself continually and precariously perched between these two extremes. But, where does this come from, when my journey is one of continual laundry and dishes and poopy pants?
You see, there’s the juxstaposition of not only joy and sadness, but also of the mundane and extraordinary. And, just as the sadness gets all mixed into the gladness, I know that the moments that are the most extraordinary are the ones that are the most mundane. We probably don’t even recognize them as they pass. Only when we look back, see our lives thus far in a 2 hour movie in our minds, do we see that we are shaped and our journey is great because of the every day moments.
Mamma Mia! Here I go again… waxing all philosophical when I’ve got my house to clean…