On Work, Gratitude, and Why the Mundane Gets Done



A few days ago, I felt so accomplished.

I tackled a pile of clothes that needed ironing, took a break to cook lunch and dinner and then prepped lunch for the next day. Then I cleaned up, and it was back to the ironing board.

But that feeling of accomplishment didn’t mean I was content.  I know, I’m a contrary person.

Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if we never moved to the US. I mean, what choices would I have made concerning my children’s care if we lived in the Philippines?

To be honest, I would love to have help with the household chores, to drop our dirty clothes in the laundry basket and see them again ironed and folded in the closet.

I would also love a nanny, because that would have meant being able to use the bathroom without an audience, or someone banging on the door because they just realized they needed something, and no it can’t wait a few minutes, thank you very much.

And because my parents are retired and actively involved in their grandchildren’s lives, I think I would want to work outside the home.

And with that comes a whole new set of wonderings.

Like, how different would my social media posts be if I worked in an office somewhere? Instagram wouldn’t be just about the food I cooked, the floor I cleaned, the kid I walked to school that morning, and the accomplishments that come home at the end of the day.

What would my updates be like if they started with, “At work today…” instead of, “Today, my kid said…”

But then I remembered something we read the night before:

“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.” -Bob Goff

So I took a closer look at my life. And I couldn’t help but think–the  hubby and I, we did this together.

  • There are clean clothes in the closet because the hubby washed the dirty clothes and I ironed.
  • The kitchen is sparkling because I left a book unopened.
  • There’s food in the pantry and a little money in the bank because the hubby works hard.
  • We have a house we’re paying for faithfully and two paid-for cars that work well.
  • Our sons are doing great at school, and have interests that occupy them. And they are who they are, because of us. We have no one else to blame.

This life? We built it, together.

It matters, to us.

Even more than that, it matters to God.

And then I realized why God allows work to be a part of life. Because at each day’s end, or whenever reflection overtakes you, you can look back and see how you have been a part of the process. And that is a good thing.

And when it’s not? Well, God can work with it.

And I am reminded He has different stories for us to live. And mine just happens to be set in this home, with these characters, for now. And I suspect, if it really came down to it, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Life. It is good.


When they were young, my boys loved Winnie the Pooh. I did too. And something he once said has remained with me to this day:

“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

And I think about how the only reason I find leaving this earth sad is because I would be leaving my loved ones behind. And then I realize just how blessed I am.


I suppose I’m not done whining over having to keep up with two boys who see the whole house as their playground. And I know by now I will never love mopping or dusting.

But the chapter isn’t the whole book, and gratitude today makes tomorrow something to look forward to.

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