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.

sisyphus
photo source

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.”

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. -Marcel Proust

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.

looking out

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.


 

Curious FaithLogan’s book, Curious Faith: Rediscovering Hope in the God of Possibility, releases today. Head here to learn more, watch the trailer, and head here to add it to your Amazon shopping cart.

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18 Comments

    • Logan Wolfram

      Thanks Sarah! Most of our lives are lived NOW so we need to live with that NOW looking hopeful!

  1. Ivanna

    It’s been a struggle lately for me to keep my curiosity turned on in the routine of life. I’ve been aware for a few months now, and I appreciate posts like this to keep urging me on.

  2. Caroline Starr Rose

    I get daily quotes from Gretchen Rubin, and today’s echoes what you’ve said here.

    “But what is work and what is not work? Is it work to dig, to carpenter, to plant trees, to fell trees, to ride, to fish, to hunt, to feed chickens, to play the piano, to take photographs, to build a house, to cook, to sew, to trim hats, to mend motor bicycles? All of these things are work to somebody, and all of them are play to somebody. There are in fact very few activities which cannot be classed either as work or play according as you choose to regard them.”

    -George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier

    Congratulations on the release of your book!

  3. Pamela List

    This is the best thing I have read all day. I have been parenting for 30 years and still have a Jr High kid here to get through to the game of adult. I am tired. I lost my brother 4 weeks ago unexpectedly and things have been super tough.

    Thank you. I could go on, but emotionally I am just toast. probably burnt toast. 🙁

    Thank you for just giving me a hint that I can re-create my daily routines ( Because they will never be the same without my nightly chats to Mikey) and spend some time creating life with my family.

    • Logan Wolfram

      Pamela first of all I am deeply sorry to hear about the loss of your brother. Redefining our normal is never easy especially when there is deep grief in it all too. I think perhaps you would be encouraged by my book which walks through these very kinds of things. Hang in there sister! That rock will not roll you over!

  4. Lori

    This was so completely, perfectly what I needed to hear today. Thank you! I am the mother of older kids (teenagers) now–and these are such good reminders–for life seems crazier and busier than ever before. I have been so stressed–literally drowning lately. These reminders are so comforting. xo

    • Logan Wolfram

      Thank you Lori! My kids are still young so I have to constantly remind myself that the mundane of today lays the foundations for rich tomorrow! The more curious I am in my today I find te richer tomorrow often yields too!

  5. Crystal

    I need to remind myself of this daily—“The simplicity of our daily diligence in the mundane paves the way for richness tomorrow.”

    • Logan Wolfram

      right?! I think that’s just it…we have to all keep reminding ourselves!

  6. kate

    i do love this. I have recently started a new journey as a stay at home mom, and have been feeling like this. Day in and day out, dishes, laundry, dinner, baths, dishes, laundry, dinner, baths. I started blogging, both for an outlet and to challenge myself to learn something totally new. (ps i have ZERO computer skills) it has been challenging but its rewarding too. I vote to try to find things that challenge you, and goals to set for yourself so that you don’t get bored.

    • Logan Wolfram

      Give yourself permission to CHANGE THINGS UP! Because even something new, when done over and over, just becomes habitual and mundane again! Have fun with the changes and the seasons!

  7. Linda Sand

    The day I gave our daughter the pile of junk mail so she could play post office was a fun way of seeing things differently. She gathered some shoe boxes and used them to sort the mail. Then she put it in an old purse and delivered it around the house. The she went to those locations and pretended to be receiving letters from friends and family. All from a pile of junk mail.

    • Logan Wolfram

      This sounds like a wonderful idea! LOVE IT!

  8. Kelly

    It’s all about the rhythm – doing it, honoring it, and loving it 🙂

  9. Anna

    I was thinking of Sisyphus today, for me it’s the never ending task of packing. (We move around a lot.) I found that what I need is to do something creative in the midst of the mundane or the mundane or of the stress that crops up when it seems there is much to always do with never enough time for all the work. Sometimes, it is just a matter of seeing things a little differently, or adding a little extra touch to the mundane. (Like lighting candles at supper.)

  10. Rudy Reuben

    After a near death experience last yr, it became apparent that I needed to enjoy the simple things life has to offer (such as being able to fold laundry or cook a meal). Now I try to be in the moment of even mundane tasks, embracing the feel, scents, & visual of all things big & small! It makes life better and living easier! Embrace it.

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