The Lovely Grind

The anniversary was laid back and lovely. Woke late and made some banana chip muffins to munch while playing a few rounds of Plants vs Zombies. Went to the gym. Showered. Loitered around town.

Due to some combination of good fortune and bad planning (anniversary, Valentine’s Day, and Carl’s birthday all in a one week blowout… right after Christmas), we’ve decided not to exchange gifts for our anniversaries. I’m a sucker for tradition though, and it sounded so cosy to follow the traditional anniversary gift theme, so we’ve compromised by buying something for the abode every year.

The abode deserves a present too.

Second anniversaries are all about cotton, so we skimmered down to IKEA to see if they might possible have any spring-ish throw pillows. Our brown couch has been sporting brown pillows for approximately forever. Was time for some happy textiles.

I really like this pattern because for starters it’s significantly happier than solid brown. It also ties in the earthy green walls and our shabby gold chair.

Sigh.

We’ll know we’ve arrived, I told Carl, when we have throw pillows for every season. I suppose it’s telling that my idea of Martha Stewart extravagance would be fulfilled by collecting 8-10 pillows. But easy goals are good, right?

And today I’m just thankful for the blue skies and big puffy clouds that are giving me a little extra pep for my day of errands. I’ve been writing pretty solidly for about a month now and haven’t had the car at all… which has worked out fine since we do our grocery shopping together on the weekends, but it means the errandy things have gotten a bit backed up.

So today’s been a big day.

A good day, though I’m pretty sure I don’t need to maneuver another icy parking lot for at least ten months.

Lots of birthday shopping.

Some lunchtime leftovers.

Anniversaries and birthdays are good, but I have to say there’s generally something to the daily grind too. Something I would miss if every day was an Event. The first cup of coffee or the glimpse of a sunrise (I hear good things) or the iPod playlist or the NPR program that always comes on during the drive home or the baby gurgle or just… whatever your happy thing might be.

My cousin pointed out an article recently that discusses how Facebook and blogs (and churches) may be contributing to depression because people tend to compare themselves negatively to others—an unrealistic comparison since people tend to display the happiest, wittiest, most enviable things about themselves online.

Something that’s been niggling in the back of my mind lately. And it’s a strange thought for me, because the truth is I’m not much of a sunshine factory. I’ve never worried that anybody would look at my life and think it’s all been lemonade and popsicles.

If you really want to know, my life is more like the chewed up stick you’re not sure what to do with.

Happiness is a concerted effort for me. To be honest, I think happiness is rarely a “disposition.” I think it’s a survival skill most of us have to learn. Like organization or being a good parent or communicating with your spouse. Because most of us have really good reasons to be sad about a lot of things. Maybe not everything. But a lot of things.

Life’s a grind.

On the best days I’d maybe go out on a limb and call it a lovely grind.

Maybe.

But even then I’ve got to deal with the guilt of 3pm and a lengthy to do list and maybe the laundry and what’s a good side dish for patty melts and I probably have to cut out 10,000 words now because the plot is sluggish which means 2 weeks totally down the drain and why didn’t my package arrive yet it’s the one good surprise for Carl’s birthday and after reflecting about a lot of things this weekend I can’t stop reading up on all these problems I may or may not have and it stresses me out and I’m tired of getting rejection letters and maybe I said something stupid at that party so maybe I should feel bad about it also I keep having nightmares and that could mean something.

For real.

Now you know why I like to write. It’s nice to have problems you can solve.

Bliss.

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5 thoughts on “The Lovely Grind

  1. As I sit at my desk typing away each day…I think it would be lovely to be able to shout across the hall again, “What’s another word for…” and stop for a tea break with you! Well, maybe not across the hall since you’re married now, but next door would work fine. It is lovely to be able to keep up with you via your blog though! Life is challenging, even on the best of days. But, I’m very thankful for life, and I’m thankful that God is good.

  2. Ah, throw pillows for every season. I confess, that’s one of my dreams, too. I had some throw pillows for fall, but they were just felt in the back, and they got thrown around a little too much, and the stuffing finally started making its way out through those flimsy felt backings, so we finally retired the pillows this year. And now I’m back to seasonal throw pillow square one.

  3. I really like those Ikea pillows too. So spring-like. In Korea we don’t have anything of our own in this house. It would be nice to have some pillows to brighten up the house a bit, but on the other hand there are advantages in travelling light!

  4. What you wrote about happiness made me think. Somehow I’ve also always thought of it as something that’s either present or not and that has it’s own way of coming and going. Also, for some people I feel happiness is the bread of their life and for others it’s the birthday cake, the special treat for special moments. Good to be reminded that it’s a skill you can achieve.

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