The Meaning Within the Mundane

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In my previous post, I posed the question ‘what if today is the day they come back?’ The question was a reference to the play Our Town, in which the dead are depicted as the only ones who truly understand life. The question is meant to be used as a perspective exercise, to help illuminate what is really important.

Life is full of mundane tasks like performing morning routines, preparing meals, and maintaining a home. These tasks are all necessary. Attending to these things is therefore not something to feel guilty about. Yet they threaten to consume us if we don't give them the proper perspective.

Yes, being bound to such tasks is something of a limitation. Finding some way to secure a meal 90,000 times is a necessary part of living a life. Having to do it even once is a limitation, because it keeps us from doing things that may be less urgent but more important.

But having to do it repeatedly is an opportunity. It gives a rhythm to living. Waking up, getting ready for the day, doing chores, having dinner, getting ready for bed. Doing these things represents a pocket of predictability in a sea of chaos. It brings regularity to the process of life.

Therein lies the opportunity. Think of the things that can make a single day meaningful. Just a brief moment to connect in a busy morning; making your child laugh one time by pretending the vacuum cleaner is a monster; listening to a story about playground hijinks during dinner; or reading a few pages at your child’s bedside, is all it takes. We have the opportunity to do these meaningful things during the pauses necessitated by the mundane things. If we can make it a habit to do the meaningful things alongside the mundane, then they will sum over thousands of times, and add up to something profound.

At the end of the day, it can feel good to finally relax and get some sleep. It can also be stressful to think that you have to do it all again tomorrow. But you also get to do it all again tomorrow.

Every tomorrow is another opportunity to build onto something profound—to play one note in the grand symphony that is the life of someone you love.

How to Cite this Article: Brian Vondruska, “The Meaning Within the Mundane”, The Kind of Parent You Are, accessed [date],