Maddening: tending to drive insane. Insanity: "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein.
Motherhood is maddening. I think I've finally found it. The right word to describe those days in motherhood with young ones where you find yourself cleaning up messes, mopping floors, putting back food, wiping off tables, picking up Legos…..only to find that your child has tripped on her cheerio bag, sent it flying into the air and then stepped on it as she runs to get it. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Right onto the freshly vacuum carpet. Maddening. What was done is undone. And then done again. Undone...done.....
Have you ever just put all the lunch supplies away, wiped off the trays, the table, the crumbs on the floor, loaded the dishwasher when your child turns around with 3 friends and says they are hungry?
Or how about when you mopped up that (God only knows, truly) sticky half of the kitchen floor (not once, but twice because, well, it's still sticky) only to see your son dump sugary lemonade all over the other half?
Whose job is like this? I am sure there are plenty…but, then, there are plenty that are not. CEO's do not walk into meetings, decide upon the next steps for their plans of action, delegate and check in with their employees…only to return from a bathroom break and see those same people standing on top of the conference table, throwing the meeting notes at one another and ripping up the decided plans with sheepish little grins. This is not happening. What they have done does not become undone. Their is forward progress. Not cyclical insanity.
I know it's not just me and my small, small world of goldfish crackers and lemonade. There is poke-your-eye-out 8 hour standing and widget turning that many are doing each day. Maddening work. Hoping…..maybe today. Maybe today, something will be different and I will see some amazing progress…..something entirely different will come down that line…..once the laundry is done I will not have to do anymore….ever…..
Maintaining is maddening.
These are the maintaining and sustaining jobs and callings we are doing. We maintain an operation. If we don't do this…it will not work. We are a cog….and cogs are parts of wheels that are quite essential. These are the "never done" parts of our lives. What will never be checked off our list, completed, done? Laundry. Always more. Until we die. Dishes…until death do we part. Care taking….when it's not our children…it will be our parents…..nurses are never done….another sick one comes through the doors. Cars; they only get worse, not better. The list goes on in what we maintain.
But it is the Spirituality of Maintaining that keeps me going in the middle of the maddening insanity that is our lives. Did not and does not God Himself keep the world rotating? Keep our breath in us…in...out...in…? The ecosystem going? Utter chaos has not ensued…..babies continue to be born. Spring comes after winter. Our bodies are held together, working, moving, maintained. Blood moves and flows. The cycle keeps going. And it's a spiritual one. It is God's work; and we do it in our own backyards. Our own kitchens. In His image. We do it when we grumble and we feel insane and we do it when we reflect and remember and we are thankful. We do it.
Whatever it is that we are doing that is maddening, insanely hair pulling…..may we do it as He did. With faith. Hope. Love. Over and over and over. Not as a spiritual band aid. But as the last thread of truth and reality that resonates in our insane soul.