When Everyday Life is NOT Inspirational

Some days I’m just dragging myself out of bed.

I can’t wait to get the coffee going and I’m grouchy because the wireless is glitchy and I can’t stream the latest episode of Chopped or Project Runway (or here is a real revelation that I don’t even want to write…the Real Housewives of whateverland).

I really don’t want to engage in a meaningful way with anyone, much less be a present and mindful parent who always thinks about how she can change the world and write inspirational and challenging articles and posts.

I sit at my computer next to the youngest child in my life as he creates interesting worlds in Spore. Those worlds are much more interesting than my world today. But not enough for me to watch for very long.

I haven’t showered or changed my clothes this morning.

I walk by the bathroom and think, damn, I really need to get in there and clean it, or maybe convince Rob he should do it again, even though it’s my turn this week.

I drink coffee hoping to get out of the grouchy space. It may or may not happen.

I nod and lean over to look at his laptop when he asks.

Life is sometimes just a bit dull and messy. Or sometimes life is about getting the tasks done that day that just have to get done. Or perhaps avoiding those tasks for as long as possible.

And on those days I struggle with writing or connecting with people. Even though I want to.

I’m afraid that if people see the everyday messiness in life (my life) that… well I guess I’m not sure why I’m afraid.

So let me struggle with writing it. I want to make a difference everyday. There are some days when I’m not sure anything I do makes a difference.

I want to feel that fire everyday, the fire of my passion to create broader change. The fire of uncovering things that keep us from connecting with each other and creating greater compassion and justice.

But I really don’t feel the passion and fire many days.

And then I judge myself for not feeling inspired to get up everyday to pursue something greater than getting motivated to clean the toilet.

This isn’t about depression (I’ve experienced that so I know what it feels like). It is about creating some imagined burdened of being inspirational, profound, and demonstrating clarity about parenting and life, even when I’m tired and worn out.

At the same time, it feels a bit self-absorbed.

Who the hell cares that I have good days or bad days? I’m supposed to be writing about parenting and creating social change.

What I’ve realized is that when I don’t acknowledge the mundanity of life, it gives others, (hmmm, maybe mostly me!) a skewed perspective. Life is not inspirational and full of these moments of deep insight each day.

To expect that of myself is to engage in the kind of perfectionism and internalized domination that is leftover from childhood experiences where we are expected to perform everyday in systems, institutions, and even families when we just wanted to take a nap or go run around and play.

This isn’t just about me, it’s about other parents I talk to everyday. How we hold ourselves to standards that are impossible to meet because we haven’t quite unraveled all the stuff from the past, and our culture, and our families of origin, and ourselves.

And I think if I don’t write this article about the dog hair on the floor, the long to-do list that I am avoiding, and my desire to just check out, I will keep getting stuck.

So here is my ode to less than inspirational days when the best thing I might accomplish today is changing my clothes.