Sunday, April 12, 2015

Mercy Maud!

Grace is wearing one of my headbands, and it looks like a slim teal halo.

Laura is sleeping (quietly!!!!) on the couch. I really really really hope this reoccurs tonight.

Will is talking to a friend upstairs.

I am resting.

I should rest more on Sunday. Between Grace, Will and myself, we keep this house topsy-turvy. It stresses me out when my environment does not have some semblance of order, so I often take the time to clean it or I avoid it (which is one reason I have not been working out of my office the past few weeks).

But as the upcoming Jubilee Year is all about mercy, I think today - Divine Mercy Sunday - is a good day to remember that mercy is not just towards others, but towards ourselves.

Mercy is "compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm."

My house is a mess.
I'm still retaining water (and eating ice cream).
My laundry is piling up.
I'm just... here. Living in the moment. Confiscated the toilet paper roll from Grace, absent-mindedly drinking my coffee, picking up as I go, and grading when I can.

I understand where I am right now: barely past my six weeks (really??) of delivering Laura, taking care of a newborn, teaching, taking care of a toddler and attending therapy 5x/week, having a husband in residency, not living close to family (or friends one can actually ask to come over and clean your kitchen for you) ... but as realistic as my life is, expectations sway towards the unrealistic.

A lot of that, of course, comes with time management. But just I cannot teach class without preparing my lesson, so I cannot expect

I am never going to wake up one day and be the person I want to be. I need to wake up every day and try to be that person. To paraphrase Aristotle, we are what we do repeatedly - virtue becomes a habit.

Things I struggle with: resting, realistic expectations of what I can accomplish in a certain time frame, and relishing in the mess.

But today, I am resting. I am folding laundry. I will not get to grading. I am chasing Grace Harriet around and carrying Laura Kathleen. It is nice, feeling content. It is nice cleaning up the mess and not thinking about the other mess around the corner, and semi-ignoring Grace as she creates a new one (as I type).

It certainly isn't a habit yet, but I like the freedom of allowing this non-permanent state of messiness to give me perspective for today. Today is enough.

"You cannot conceive, nor can I, of the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God," said the priest in Graham Greene's 'Brighton Rock'. I know I cannot - and I am so very glad that it stretches beyond my finite imagination.

Happy Divine Mercy Sunday! Oh, how He loves us.

p.s I wrote this reflection a few years ago for TIC

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