I went to bed last night with great anticipation of what today would hold. This would be the “official” beginning of my 365-day experiment of living soul-fully everyday. I was like a kid before Christmas. The gifts I knew were waiting for me, just on the other side of sleep! I couldn’t help but wonder what meaningful moments I would unwrap? What hidden delight would I discover? What new thought would surprise me, risk would I dare, feeling would I savor more than the day before? Rebirth was waiting in the mundane. No, not mundane… nothing is mundane if you are willing to see beyond! Oh throw back the curtain and let me run into tomorrow. Yes! Yes! And Yes! The thrill of what would be was almost more than I could bear.
And then I woke up. Stupor thick from the adrenalin rush of soul-visions, I was tired. No, exhausted, painfully so, and not happy. Hardly able to get my eyes open and forcing myself out of bed, my day started. School prep, lunch packed, hurry off to drop daughter in car line. Denied was the usual delight of walking together holding hands down the historic tree-lined streets to class. Instead it was screech over those bumpy, uneven bricks, try not to hit the parked cars, hurry scurry Love You Honey get out of the car race up the stairs and don’t forget your bag to school morning. And then to the office. Three and half hours of short sale training. Of material I already knew. Then phone calls non-stop while driving pell-mell across town to staff meeting at church. Two hours of discussion and debate on ministry and mission… to help other souls live fully… and back in the car, back on the phone, pick up daughter, and back home to my computer. Sales comps, emails, searches, lists of tasks not getting done and lists of more to do. 6pm dinner late, hurry to bed activities, lights out by 8. Exhausted head hurting, put things away and straighten up, wanting to unwind on the couch, little TV, and time for bed at 10. Crawl in finally…with laptop to write… about my delightful, meaningful day of soul-full living.
It’s 10:43 and my husband just climbed into bed, his eyes already closed. And I stare at the screen in front of me. Am I crazy? What was I thinking? No big “Aha”. No exciting discovery. No deep rush or beautiful scene or even time for breathing hardly. Where is the soul in this? I looked for it. Even in the melee of schedules and tasks, I kept my eyes open. Yes, there were little things I noticed, like the camaraderie of the sales team, and the welcomed rain that fell unexpectedly, the game of chase with my daughter for hugs and giggles, and the extra second my husband held my hand after our mealtime prayer. I saw wrestling for purpose in a friend’s after-meeting lament and heard unexpected joy in a stranger’s voice. But that was it. With all my anticipation and open eyes, this was all I got.
I felt a little robbed. Until it struck me: maybe that was all I was supposed to get. Maybe beginning a day with eyes wide open looking and believing that good and beauty and meaning are here, no matter what the day may hand you, is how soul-full living starts. Without expectation of how much or how little, without disappointment in the “justs”, perhaps it becomes a way of life by finding smiles in the simple and living fully the life you’re given. And maybe even in the sometimes exhausting and ordinary, our soul can begin to live and deepen a little more everyday.
Keep a journal for a week, taking time every day to write down the simple pleasures you find in ordinary living. Be thankful for the littlest good you discover in your days and start to awaken your spirit. Soul-full living becomes a way of life one moment, one awareness, one day at a time!
Orignally published at Examiner