Over and over

I hate flossing. Describing how much I hate it thwarts all my powers of description. Knowing that I have to do it every day rubs salt in the wound. I will never escape!

The little annoyances of my life are magnified when they are things I know I will have to tolerate over and over. Pumping gas and unloading the dishwasher are also on the list with flossing. First world problems, I know. Sometimes I see the tedium of chores stretching out in front of me, and I groan.

It doesn’t stop there. Warming up? That one is grueling every time. I convince myself I have forgotten how to sing, labor over limbering the voice enough to stay in tune, all the while knowing that I will have to do it over again tomorrow.

Over and over. How much of life is repetition – and would we be alive without it? As I was loading the dishwasher this morning I thought of the risks we take every day: loving people, offering friendship and companionship, searching for connection. It wouldn’t be right to stop doing those things. Today when I looked with the wider perspective and saw life as a long path of emotional risks I almost threw up in the kitchen.

Lent begins this week – another taxing but valorous repetition. I love that the liturgical calendar makes sure we cover all of our bases at least once a year. As I prepare for another penitential season (and try to plan my annual pre-Lenten trip to Burger King) I’m learning to see the value in “over and over”. I work to improve over and over. I tell people I love them, over and over. I get out of bed in the morning, over and over, and if I wake harboring a bit of dread for the flossing that will come later in the day, so be it. It’s worth it.

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3 Responses to Over and over

  1. I’m right there with you — I hate any repetitive job that is not made better by the repetition. This includes, but is not limited to: shoeing shopping, shaving, grass cutting, car washing, hair cutting, and clothes washing.

    It’s the knowing that I’ll be back in the same state in a short time that grates on my nerves. At least with Lent I can chart some sort of spiritual progress over the years. If Lent were more like getting a hair cut I’m not sure I could remain a Catholic.

  2. My thoughts: I love to hate flossing, and I hate to love it. Pumping gas is always an anxiety-ladden event for me as well because I am paranoid someone is going to approach me and make me feel uncomfortable. Unloading the dishwasher can sometimes be therapeutic, but I dislike finding somehow-unclean dishes in it.

  3. Pingback: Trimming the fat | Felice mi fa

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