Quotidian: occurring every day, belonging to every day; commonplace, ordinary. From The Quotidian Mysteries: ""It is a paradox of human life that in worship, as in human love, it is the routine and the everyday that we find the possibilities for the greatest transformation."
I woke up this morning full of aggravation and irritation. My 10.5 yr old son was complaining about having to go to school an hour early for study group. My 7yo daughter snuck a piece of cake after being repeatedly told no. My husband needed me to pack his lunch. The dog was being obnoxious.
Then everyone left (except for the obnoxious dog) and I was left in a quiet house feeling incredibly lonely. Thus began the quiet, snaking thoughts..."What is the point of being at home when your kids are at school?" "You are almost 35 without a single degree to your name." "Any housework will come undone, what is the point?" "Chocolate" "Why am I doing this?" and so forth. Thoughts full of doubt, incrimination, self-defeat and incredibly de-motivating.
While washing my hands I glanced up to the prayer of St. Ephraim that I have pinned to my window frame above my sink. " take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness... " (Please!)
This internal struggle with myself against the quotidian, the daily things that never end- the cooking, cleaning, laundry, writing, rewriting, demands of children, needs of my family- push me to choose to become a better person...or not should I decide to dwell in the realm of laziness and be too faint hearted to struggle against my natural inclinations.
Church creates the same struggle within me. The term Liturgy translates as "the work of the people". When I go to Church each week it is work. I have to wake up early and dress up, fast beforehand, the Liturgy is long, there is a lot of standing-sometimes prostrations, my feet hurt, I get confused when it switches to Greek, I get really hungry- but eventually the other-worldliness of the Church and the joy of being with other people comes into focus. Without fail, every time I celebrate the Liturgy it dawns on me that thousands + around the world are doing the exact same thing. We work together. The same yearly cycle.
Housework offers the same opportunity for self transformation. It pushes us into the realm of self discipline and service. Most of the things I have to clean in my house were not from me. But I wash laundry, clean and vacuum to make my house a resting place for my family. A place where they can come and relax and be refreshed, a place where we can practice hospitality and welcome friends. The daily cycles are something to be accepted and a place to work within in order to bring order to ourselves and our surroundings.