Thursday, March 11, 2010

Of Loving That Pesky Ninety Percent

I awoke with this older post on my mind this morning. Here is one of those amazing, life-altering ideas (tweaked a bit from the first time I shared it) which changed everything for me once it became a part of who I am.


The book, It's Incredible, told this story: Ann Kiemel went to interview a 72-year-old woman, an artist, and found her doing some landscaping in her backyard. Lifting big rocks, to be exact. The woman told her that she loved to garden and when Ann asked her what was her favorite thing in Life, the woman replied, "Manure. Because everything grows so well in it."

And then Ann asked the woman what kinds of things she disliked, as in chores such as washing dishes or vacuuming or making beds.

The elderly woman frowned. "Dislike? Whatever there is to be done--I like it!"

Oh my... I read that when I was a young mother in my 20's and wham! That one sentence proverbially hit me right between the eyes. Back then, I disliked half my chores, most of my errands and all of my appointments.

But when I read that one page in Ann's book, I immediately knew that I wanted to be like that artist--not just when I reached my 70's, either--but starting right away.

Be careful what you desire.

In the 20 years since that day, that desire has taken me on one mighty long adventure. An adventure of having to let God change my attitude about housework, errands and just about everything else known as 'work' or inconvenience. I've had to let go of dreading things and to cease complaining, both which yank me backward a few steps. I've had to learn to search for and pull every speck of Good from simple things while also seeking to enjoy this long journey called Loving Every Day.

But it's been worth it.

They say 90% of our lives is made up of Everyday Stuff, the simple (or complicated) daily, mundane 'grind.' So if you hate your ordinary days, well, you are hating 90% of your life(!) The other 10% is the fun things-- parties, vacations and days at the beach type of activities. I'm almost to the point--after 20 long years--where I, too, can say, "Whatever there is to to be done-- I like it!" I'm almost to the point where I enjoy 100% of my life.

Well, almost. These things take time, you know.

But I've discovered that, for me, there's no better, richer way to live.

"So I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work..." ... Ecclesiastes 3:22


Pat said...

Oh..I love this!
Attitude of the heart is everything, isnt it?!!

seekingelevation said...

That's really interesting. I recently read "The Well and the Mine" by Gin Phillips. The attitude of the mother in this novel was very similar to what you're describing. I felt incredibly motivated to become more like her while I was reading it, but then. . .I just really don't like doing dishes. :-) I'll keep working on that.

Deborah Raney said...

That is profound, Debra! I'm going to do my best to adopt that attitude as well. I was just griping to my husband yesterday about how much I HATE emptying the dishwasher. Today, I'm going to try to be grateful I HAVE a dishwasher! My goodness! What a difference it makes just to change the way you look at something! Thank you for having such a way with words that you make these things so clear. God bless you!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful attitude, I love this one. Joyce

vicki said...

Great post! I do need an attitude adjustment when it comes to housework lately...