I must admit it: I’ve had a hard time getting back into my daily routine. After a wonderful Christmas with my family, I’ve found it difficult to get back into the scheduled life of work. This is probably a good thing, a sign that the rest, relaxation, and fun over the holidays were what I needed.
But vacations don’t last forever. I know that. I also know that “getting back to normal” can take time, especially for this introvert. I move slowly through transitions, and it appears that this time is no exception.
Joan Chittiser, OSB, states that “Dailiness tests the mettle of the self. The ability to go back to the same task, day after day–taking care of the children, doing the shopping, hawking a product, stacking the shelves–with new attention to the task, with new concern for the outcome, takes a special kind of faith, another kind of trust.”
I struggled with re-entering the dailiness of life, but last Monday, I noticed a change within myself, an inner turn that told me I’m getting there. Entering into the immediacy and fullness of the day seemed easier, reminding me that the “desolate dailiness of life,” as theologian Karl Rahner once said, is dotted with gifts of grace.
Yes, vacation days, weekends, and other days away from work don’t have the “corner on the market” on blessings. Ordinary days can also surprise us with unexpected and marvelous gifts, most readily found in their simplicity.
This is what I noticed on Monday. In the midst of answering emails, completing administrative details, and getting up early, I noticed special moments that kept erupting and making my day fulfilling: meaningful conversations with patients, a quiet office to work in, the welcome relief of outdoor warmer temperatures.
At the end of the day, upon arriving home, a warm house awaited me, along with a thoughtful greeting card from friends and a delicious dinner, prepared by a loving spouse.
Ordinary day. Extraordinary moments.