Repetition

On Saturday I woke up pretty early but agitated and antsy.  I was still exhausted, but my mind starting racing.

Saturday mornings reflect a weekly simple rhythm: farmer’s market, grocery shopping and sometimes a breakfast out.  Most weekends, I crave this repetition, or come to accept that eating healthily and locally if possible has become a dominant priority in my life.

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Yet, this weekend I felt bombarded with the drudgery of repetition.  I felt again anxiety taking over because I wondered if I was too tired for this weekend’s errands, that must be completed because there was no food in the fridge.  I resented being sick, that self-care needed to be a dominant way I spent my non-work time.

As I met with my spiritual director this week, she shared that “feeling how tired I actually am” will continue to take discipline, must in fact be a spiritual discipline for me.  As my life has slowed down, I crave stillness and quiet–yet, it’s to the point where I’m realizing that these things are necessary, not just an option.

To feel how tired I actually am, means that I lay on the couch and grapple with the daily reality that I manage a chronic illness.  It means that I hear the Father’s voice saying, “It’s okay that you have to lay on the couch all afternoon.” That I have the freedom to leave the productive, efficient world of work, and fall back into grounding rhythms of repetition.

Repetition and habits and the mundane experiences rather than seeking out new relationships and experiences stand in direct contrast.  Culturally speaking, in my 20’s as a single I’m supposed to live independently racking up as many new experiences as possible because “nothing or no one is holding you back.” But to pursue health, means to embrace repetition.

Yet, on certain weekends, I must also grieve that my life cannot handle spontaneity very well.  Repetition creates traditions and deeply instilled memories, yet with a chronic illness unwanted repetition can seem forced, and I must deal with these intense emotions too.  Repetition does bring out calm and joy, yet also anger and frustration.  But I’m glad that my Saturday morning of errands does have the capacity for delight every week.

What emotions does repetition cause in you? 

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