I used to hate thinking about the routine of the everyday. I used to cringe, bury my head in anxiety, thinking about the collection of seemingly meaningless tasks that make up a life. My sould used to grate against the inevitable truth of the mundane, grow worn and weary as it trudged through the fear of insignificance. I fretted all through college. I worried that at the end of my life, I would have stored up a myriad of dusty trinkets representing the tiny, dull tasks that fill a lifetime: that I would never be able to hold a gleaming trophy of triumph, a hallmark of some great achievement, of some world-changing accomplishment. I was afraid of drowning in anonymity, of sinking slowly and comfortably down, down into obsolescence.
I was looking at life all wrong.
I asked Jamie about his favorite moments in the past six months of marriage. His answers surprised me. They weren’t big or impressive moments like climbing the Smokies together on our honeymoon. They were small moments, ones no one else would even care about, like our car rides in the early morning when the sun is still yawning mellow pink rays and shyly peeking over the horizon. I am only dropping him off at the law school before driving to work – an everyday necessity, a repetitive task – and yet he loves those ten minutes together in the morning (dreaming about the future or belting Adele, whichever suits our fancy) before we separate to conquer our individual tasks for the day.
Then I started thinking: What do I feel when I climb into bed at the end of the day? Do I feel monotony and impotence pressing on me? Do I feel useless and insignificant? No. I feel satisfied: another day full of conversation, learning, work, contributions, love for my husband. I may not be curing cancer, but I am part of something bigger in every task I complete.
And I matter. I matter to my family, my friends, my husband, and the creator of the universe. And I can rest in that. That is enough.