Curiosity: the key to finding joy in repetition
“How on earth do we have this many clothes?! And why do my kids have so many pajama pants?! Are they just putting clean clothes back in the hamper so they don’t have to hang them back up? All of these socks were new, so how are half of them already missing?”
All these thoughts swirl in my head as I piece-by-piece fold the tower of clean laundry piled on my bed.
The doorbell rings. It’s about time for the mailman. I rush from the laundry to meet him at the door and intercept our mail before my 175 pound dog does. Titan likes to eat mail.
“Bills, bills, bills, political ad, bills, catalog of stuff I don’t need, bills, bills, credit card application, tax notice, more bills.”
Maybe I should have let the dog get it.
It piles up, doesn’t it? The laundry, the bills, the life? Sometimes it’s downright overwhelming.
One of my favorite stories in Greek mythology is about a guy named Sisyphus who disobeyed some order that Zeus had given him. I don’t even remember what he was supposed to do, but the point is, he didn’t. And because Zeus commands obedience, the defiance didn’t sit well with him. To put Sisyphus in his place, Zeus cursed him to eternally roll a rock up a hill.
Some days I feel like Sisyphus. Never getting ahead of it all, always just one small step away from having ALL THE THINGS roll back over top and crush me.
The things though, we can’t avoid them. The responsibilities, they aren’t going anywhere. When life crushes, how can I get out from under the rock rolling and really LIVE my life? How do we emerge from underneath the things pressing down and embrace this life for the beautiful thing that it is?
Family, responsibilities, stuff that has to get done, those are obvious: feed the dog, cook dinner, shower again and again. But beyond the mundane routine, how do I uncover the things that make me feel alive?
How to I get out from behind the rock-rolling? How do we become curious about—delight in—things that seem so consistently unchanging?
French author Marcel Proust says, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
If the landscape of our living isn’t changing, how do we change our eyes?
Embrace curiosity to find new eyes.
In my own journey, I’ve found that embracing curiosity has helped rediscover passion, hope, and possibility even within the mundane of the everyday. Being curious about the things around me and how I fit into the puzzle of it all, by investigating things that pique my interest or engage outside of my normal bent, I’ve uncovered a path to rescue the NOW of life.
The beauty living with a Curious Faith is that, like an Old Testament poet once said, God’s mercies are new each morning. This means our perspective can be too. Perhaps it’s as simple as putting on music when I fold the laundry, or trying a new recipe to spice up the repeat offender of the daily habit eating.
Even when things aren’t new, there is still beauty.
Curiosity is about uncovering new perspectives, new ways to see things. But as we set out to find the beauty around us, we would be remiss to not recognize the beauty that’s still in the mundane.
A home with a revolving door of teenage activity is likely a home that offered welcome when those teenagers were young children.
The habit of a shared family meal begins in routine preparation, but it lays the foundation for years of rich relationship and conversation.
The simplicity of our daily diligence in the mundane paves the way for richness tomorrow.
Yes, add new things to spice up the routine. But in the middle of those moments, take note of the blessings around you. Find joy in the simplicity of repetition.
Our curiosity helps us engage in the mundane more deeply, and reminds us there is purpose and joy in diligence.
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