I’ve just heard a new saying (new to me anyway). I looked it up and it exists in many forms and has been attributed to various sources, but I’ll choose this variation:
Everybody wants to save the world, but nobody wants to do the dishes.
That was pretty much my day yesterday. Not the dishes per se, because I didn’t actually do all that many dishes. I’m talking about one of those days where it is suddenly eleven o’clock at night and you have no idea where the day went. Nothing got done that you planned on doing, but you were busy nonetheless. I couldn’t really tell you what I did, but I’m pretty sure that I didn’t literally save the world.
It was one of those days where I just kept doing what needed to be done…. just everyday life.
I don’t think that we value these kinds of days enough. It would be awesome (in the true sense of the word) to get to the end of the day and know that you did save the world. But, how many of us get to do that in one fell swoop?
I know some people that I think are doing amazing things to make the world a better place, but most of them would disagree with me and claim that what they were doing wasn’t all that important. They tell me that they are just doing their job.
When I ponder this sort of day, I often think of the word vocation. The word vocation originated in the context of Christianity as in a calling. It’s meaning has changed somewhat in today’s usage and people often use it to describe their work or career or job, but I like it’s original intent. It’s a word that covers the kind of day that I had yesterday.
A day where you do what needs to be done: spend time with someone who needs you, hold someone who doesn’t feel well, make a late night meal for someone who is hungry, provide a bed for someone who is tired, welcome someone into your home who needs a place to stay…
None of these actions save the world, but they do help to make it a better place. That’s important work and to do it with love and without resentment or expectation of self-benefit – that’s a vocation or a calling. (Okay, sometimes you may be tired and resentful, but you fake it and do it anyway because we are only human, after all.)
Choosing a vocation and living into it is what makes a life worthwhile. It’s not necessarily exciting or glamourous. It probably isn’t. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that what’s being done makes any difference in the world at all. Millions of people may not feel our love, read our words, hear our songs, see our art, or experience any of the things that we do in the world, but the few who do are enriched by what we do.
We need to believe and remember that…every day.
I did spend a few minutes on the canvas.
And I did declutter five things:
- two pairs of shoes
- a pair of shorts
- a bowl that’s a weird size and doesn’t stack with the other bowls on our now open shelving
- two dead plants – I can’t grow cilantro no matter how hard I try. Aargh!
I may even write today’s post today…we’ll see how it goes!