it’s the story of my life

My life is my message.
Mahatma Gandhi

“When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

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(tiny little toadstools emerge in the damp chill of the beginning of a new year / Julie Cook / 2015)

The phone rings.
“Happy New Year! Whatcha doing?”
“Cleaning the cat box. . .(insert sigh). . .you know, the story of my life”
“What did ya’ll do last night?”
(sigh again)
“I cooked and we ate while watching football. . .you know, the story of my life.”
“What are ya’ll doing this weekend?”
Well. . .(sigh) working, and then cleaning house and probably cooking for everyone both nights. . .you know, the story of my life. . .”

“The story of my life”
A catch all phrase.
A colloquialism for “same ol same ol”—
Meaning, the same thing over and over again, day in and day out.
It’s a phrase that takes on a drudgery and a ‘less than’ feeling.
Yet in all actuality it is a phrase that equates to the activities of which basically represent and make up one’s everyday life.
Those things we do as mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, children, siblings, friends, family members, students, professionals, co-workers. . .
The things we do in life that equate to that which makes life, life.
We cook.
We clean.
We drive here and there and yon.
We do yard work.
We take care of pets.
We take care of family.
We take care of each other.
We go to work.
We go to school.
And we dream. . .

We dream of being catered to, waited on, indulged.
Winning the lottery.
Living the good life.
Having a driver.
A yardman.
A maid.
A wait staff.
Champagne dreams and caviar wishes.
Those so called lives of the rich and famous.
Being totally taken care of with each whim being met with the raising of a single finger. . .

And of course we do, on occasion, have little splurges. . .dinners out, date nights, a special purchase of those pretty little shoes we’ve been eyeing, a new car, a long anticipated trip. . .the little things which add spice and nice to everyday life.

However— to dream, to wish, to yearn for, with flagrant abandon, those indulgent lavish desires of a life that’s not quite our own, do not equate to what our lives are really all about. . .those extravagant dreams and wants are not what make us who we are.
Oh such thoughts all sound so very nice because who doesn’t want
more,
better,
special. . .
Yet 99.9% of the time those wants and dreams are not only unrealistic they are simply not components of what makes our lives real.

Real is walking the dog in the rain or snow and telling him/ her to hurry before you both freeze to death.
Real is being woken up in the middle of the night to the sound of “mommy, mom, mother, I threw up”
Real is walking a daughter down the aisle in a small town church.
Real is helping your son learn to tie his own tie.
Real is working two jobs so your kids can have “Christmas”
Real is cooking and cleaning and picking up after others.
Real is watching your kids struggle.
Real is watching aging parents transition to wearing diapers.
Real is watching yourself transition to wearing diapers.
Real is hard, tough, sad, scary. . .
Real is real.
and it is what makes us, us.

Real is living in a country that still works on its democracy.
Real is being able to be whatever one dreams one can be while willing to work towards the goal.
Real is sadly saying good-bye to loved ones.
Real is working hard.
Real is sometimes losing.
Real is sometimes winning.
Real is having food to cook and enjoying the contentment of being satiated.
Real is cleaning the dishes, washing clothes.
Real is watching football and cheering or crying depending on the score.
Real is having loved ones gathered near.
Real is having loved ones.
Real is having pets.
Real is cleaning the cat box.
Real is the story of my life. . .
and Real makes me happy.

5 comments on “it’s the story of my life

  1. Lynda says:

    What a great way to begin the new year – a “reality” check! Yes, that is what real life is all about. It’s not very glamourous but it does have meaning and is fulfilling. As I read this I thought of Mary, the Mother of God; that would have been her life as well as she raised Jesus and looked after all his needs as a child, a teenager and then as he left her home as an adult. Thank you for reminding us of the “real”.

  2. And you my dear friend are real, really, really real and wonderful! N ❤

  3. lljostes says:

    Thanks for being “real” Julie! Loved the post! God’s blessings to you in the Real New Year of 2015–in the large and the small of things we call life! ~ Laura

  4. blmaluso says:

    Just beautiful…loved it:-)

    I read on a card once, “Never underestimate the blessing of a normal day.” So true!

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