There is really not much happening in our lives these days.
Blog posts have slowed down lately, due in part to my utter angst about trying to pick a new blog name (spoiler: I hate everything other than names that are already taken), and my desire to not just spill more drivel into the internet. I don’t just want to write posts with repeat splashes of my Instagram feed. [Oops.] I want to blog about things that matter or at least things that are happening, and honestly – not much is.
At least, not much that is exciting. I’m still teaching, still slogging through the endless grading that accompanies teaching, but you don’t really need to hear about that. The biggest thing that happened in teaching lately is probably that I managed to correctly use the phrase “bye Felicia” in class — and only because I googled it last week to understand why everyone was suddenly adding this random phrase to things. Needless to say, my students were impressed. Or pretended to be, which I will obviously take, as the only thing teachers love more than real enthusiasm, is feigned enthusiasm. Because it shows you care enough to try.
I’m still reading, taking notes, and swimming forward in thesis work. I’ve told a couple people that starting a dissertation is like slowly drowning in a beautiful ocean. You love the ocean, but you know you have to get out or it will kill you. You start grasping at anything solid around you, strapping it together to build a raft that will sail you to shore. Once you are on the raft, it’s easy. But for now- I’m just grasping at fragments that pass by, hoping that this cobbled raft of an idea is enough to keep me and my committee afloat.
And we are still doing the many things that make daily life fun. Friends, food, binges of quality TV shows. Walks around our neighborhood to enjoy the changing seasons. Long runs to listen to audio books or chat with my running buddy. We started hosting Bible Study in our home last month, and I spend Wednesday evenings leading games for children’s church. We laugh a lot in our home, and let laundry sit in the dryer for days before it gets folded.
Life is sweet, but it is not very blog-worthy. And that’s ok with me.
A couple weeks ago we had dinner with some friends who we see far too infrequently. After dinner, our friend Davey selected poems for us to each read aloud, as he knows way more about poetry than your average modern American. The one he picked for me was perfect, and I’ve thought about it so much since then, rolling over the phrases in my head. So many poems are grand, serious, emotional. But this poem by Wendy Cope, this poem sums up the sweet joy of the little moments that make a life full. And so in lieu of a grand photo-spread of awesome things, here is a poem about eating an orange.
At lunchtime I bought a huge orange—
The size of it made us all laugh.
I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave—
They got quarters and I got a half.
And that orange, it made me so happy,
As ordinary things often do
Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park.
This is peace and contentment. It’s new.
The rest of the day was quite easy.
I did all the jobs on my list
And enjoyed them and had some time over.
I love you. I’m glad I exist.
Here’s to productive days, and being delighted by little things. Here’s to sharing oranges and being so happy to just exist in a world full of ordinary pleasures.
Hannah – this is just so lovely! I recently made a huge life transition (moving from abroad back to my little hometown) and at first I struggled with the feeling that my life wasn’t “big” enough anymore. But in the last few months, after finding a job I enjoy, I’ve started re-realizing the utter importance of those little delightful things – it’s so important to take note of them and find the joy in those moments. Life doesn’t always have to be “big” to be important or meaningful and whatnot. It just has to be filled with as many good things as you can find. Anyway, thank you for this read this morning – it put a smile on my face and got me ready to take on this Thursday. Have a great day!
I’m so glad it was what you needed to hear! Moving back from glamorous life abroad to the normal stateside life can be so tough. I’m glad that you found a job that puts some joy and meaning in those days!
I meant to add this to my original comment, but have you read “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”? It’s my favorite book, and I thought of this quote when I read your post last week:
“People always think that happiness is a faraway thing,” thought Francie, “something complicated and hard to get. Yet, what little things can make it up; a place of shelter when it rains – a cup of strong hot coffee when you’re blue; for a man, a cigarette for contentment; a book to read when you’re alone – just to be with someone you love. Those things make happiness.”
Thanks for the lovely poem! “A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God.” (Ecclesiastes)
Love that! Yayyyyyyy eating! ; )
Don’t change your blog name! It’s perfect just as it is 🎨✨💗
Ah, thanks girl! I think I just have stared at it for so long now that it feels blah… but in the absence of creativity, it will probably stick!
I love the poem. Thanks for sharing it.
Also, thanks for educating me on pop culture. I guess “bye Felicia” hasn’t made its way to NM or I don’t hang out with cool people (both?). Now thanks to you and Urban Dictionary, I can be a trendsetter.
Trendset away! I Urban Dictionary sooooo many things…. it’s embarrassing. But I have to keep up with my students!
Ha, I love The Orange poem.
Um, so are you guys going to the Washington Prayer Gathering on Monday? Because it’s going to be spectacular and I can’t wait. It’s prayer on the Mall on a holiday so…. no downsides! Plus, it will be blog worthy. 😉 http://www.washingtonprayergathering.org
How did I not even know about this??? It looks awesome! Unfortunately, I do not have a holiday that day, so I will be teaching then. : ( I hope it is wonderful!
Oh no! I don’t technically have Columbus Day off either but I work a desk job so that’s easier to get out of, haha. Well, happy upcoming weekend to you! Stay afloat in your dissertation adventures. 🙂 OH and I meant to say I was so jealous of your Assateague camping trip. It looked awesome! We’ve been meaning to go for ages. Did you camp on the VA or MD side?
I LOVE this poem. I want to print it out to remind myself that normal days are really the special days. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.
I’m glad you loved it! Definitely printable/frameable.
The sermon several weeks ago: “Christian life is lived in the mundane.”
True, true- a life of grace never is.
Fabulous post – love it. I enjoy your honest words!
Kind regards, Emily
This is great, and I’m glad that you shared. I love hearing about your life just as you live it.
Thanks girl! Even if it’s boring… I’m glad it is worth reading to someone!
I’m so glad!
I really like this poem.
Isn’t it the best?