jusummerhayes

Ordinary & Mundane

It doesn't get much attention: the ordinary and/or mundane things that fill up our lives:

1. washing the clothes;
2. ironing;
3. doing the dishes — with or without a dishwasher;
4. keeping the floors and/or carpets clean:
5. dusting;
6. keeping the toilets clean; and
7. a whole other host of minutia.

Why is that?

Perhaps I'm surfing the wrong online places but there's so much emphasis on the stratospheric, the all-consuming project and building our lives around passion, purpose and, of course, lots of money.

I'm only kidding, right? At least here on Livejournal what I'm talking about does get air time (and that's a good thing) but if you head over to the graveyard of existential, corporate despair (I dare not mention its name but I'm sure you know where I mean) or the dime-a-dozen social media channels that now clog up our lives (swipe up for the next instalment of your photoshopped life), it's all glitz, KERPOW and a schmaltzy, dream-like quality that makes me, and I don't mind admitting this, a little bit uneasy.

Let me take you back again to my childhood and the deliciously rich times I spent with my grandparents, Peter and Lorna. If you recall, from my past writing, Gran was blind and deaf from her early 30s and Grandpops did pretty much everything around the house and in the garden — oh, and he made great chips and bubble 'n' squeak. Their lives were simple and very ordinary. They had a few pleasures: sweets in the case of Gran — even though she was diabetic and it was frowned upon — and Grandpops his one pipe a day and a pint in the next door pub, probably once a week. And they were happy. I don't mean in the sense that they weren't weighed down by an absence of money (Gran used to rant about the Conservative government or more especially Mrs Thatcher who she loathed with a passion) and they lived an unreal life, but, rather, that spending time together, having food on the table and a clean and tidy house were things that truly mattered.

You can easily take a sideswipe at my constant, tear-inducing reminiscence ("Times are very different now, old fella") but if you can't look somewhere for the answers to a well-lived life — or one where we're not constantly anxious — where the hell do you? And sure, Grandpops was retired and therefore things were bound to be a little more relaxed absent the perpetual merry-go-round that comes with the work/life dichotomy but I'd like to think, back then (if nothing else), we weren't so consumer-orientated, greed-obsessed and comfort-seeking and instead there was joy to be had in the small stuff — i.e. wax on/wax off.

But of course, given our changed, gadget-infested lives, I'm living in lalaland. I mean, who in their right mind wants to spend time cleaning etc? Er, me! Not all the time, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit to enjoying the rhythmic action of the mop as I pass it slowly back and forth across our large kitchen floor. Or wiping the tops down; or ordering a drawer or cupboard so I can actually find stuff. 

I don't know. Perhaps like Seasick Steve said: 

"When I walk down the street
I feel like a man from another time
My memories of the past so much cleaner and stronger
Oh and fine
Seem to me the girls much prettier
The air was cleaner
And coffee only cost
One dime
One dime
One dime"

Enjoy your day.

Blessings,

— Ju

Photo by Jan Kopřiva on Unsplash

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