My daughter had a friend over yesterday and they were playing this funny game where one of them would hum a tune, and the other would say what was happening in the song. (Excellent form of entertainment which I am tempted to try with adults!) I was telling the little boy’s Dad about the game and he says, “Kids hear the music in every part of their life. When does that stop?” (Okay, I didn’t record him, but it was something along those lines.) I couldn’t stop thinking about that comment. When do we stop hearing the music? When does the music change?
I thought about my day to day existence. What music would be playing in the background? Inspired, I decided to create a soundtrack for my day. Here goes . . . (To humour me, don’t move to the next section until the music changes. You will have to listen for the change, it’s very subtle. (Insert sarcasm) For those of you who didn’t know me in high school, this is sort of like one of my ’80s mix tapes!)
I awake inspired by the prospect of a new day. Gracefully, I rise from my bed and shake my sleep tousled mane. My curls fall into a beautiful mess. My skin glows rosy from an undisturbed night of sleep. Clothes, picked carefully the night before wait for me.
I throw open the doors to my room, the children run to me – arms outstretched. We embrace and turn to face the rising sun together. This will be a day of triumph. Of victory!
I stride purposefully into the kitchen; there are lunches to be made. Skillfully and without interruption I throw well balanced, home-made items representing the full spectrum of the food guide into cleaned and waiting lunch kits.
Carrying their neatly completed homework, my children march down the hallway in freshly laundered clothes, hair smoothed; a vision of focus. They slip into waiting pairs of shoes. With one hand they pull their backpacks off the hook, and with the other they throw a jacket over their shoulder. Arm raised, I lead the way. No child left behind – the mini-van awaits
I grip the steering wheel and slip the van into gear to the click-click-click-click of seatbelts locking. The engine revs, we have a full tank of gas, and we’re off. The sun glistens off mountain peaks as my sleek racing van rounds the corner of eight street. We navigate neighbourhood deer out for a stroll and suburban moms determined to deliver their charges safely and on time.
I ease off of country roads and onto busy city streets. Weaving in and out of traffic, I glance at the clock. The minutes tick by. Traffic is heavy, intersections back up, big trucks lumber slowly determined to foil my timely arrival. I narrow my eyes and press down on the accelerator. The fire burns.
To backseat cheers I weave through traffic, breezing through amber lights, hugging shoulders and creating new lanes when needed. I see a yellow school zone sign, the finish line is ahead. I coast into the parking lot as the bell rings. A quick round of high fives and the doors fly open, children spilling out onto the sidewalks, racing through the closing doors. I pound the steering wheel; we have arrived!
It is a quiet and lonely drive home. I glance longingly at Tim Horton’s signs as I pass by. There will be no French Vanilla Cappuccino today. I pull up to the garage which is too full for me to park inside.
Navigating a perilous pathway, I enter my recently abandoned home and see counters strewn with breakfast leftovers. I scrub dried cereal off of bowls and toss them into the dishwasher. Following a trail of mayhem, I end up in the laundry where the carnage is ankle deep. In the fight to commander clean clothes for the day, dirty and clean laundry have met a similar fate.
A tear trickles down my cheek as I wade through the ‘realness’ of my day while picturing Pinterest Moms in their pristine white laundry rooms. I envision them in immaculate kitchens carving butterfly sandwiches. Will I drown? Will I despair?
No. Defeat will not claim me so easily.
Bracing myself for the fight, I throw a load of laundry into the washer. Round One.
The vacuum cleaner gobbles up crumbs. Round Two.
I may not be fancy but I’m gritty. Ruthlessly I tackle room after room, dust has nowhere to hide. Round Three.
The kitchen is sanitized as laundry spins. Round Four.
A chicken is ruthlessly thrown in the oven for supper. Round Five.
I tackle homework, dinner, baths and bed. Round Six.
I subdue another mounting rebellion in the kitchen. Round Seven.
Children are tucked into bed, the house has been rescued from the brink of defeat in a one two knockout punch; the bell rings.
I am woman, hear me roar.
Stop the soundtrack!
Real life is not a compilation of mood enhanced moments of inspiring challenge faced with determined perseverance, followed by tear jerking brushes with despair, only to be overcome by a bolstering of courage and fight, wrapped up with a symphonic finale.
Real life is hard. It’s not always played in harmony. Sometimes the minor notes clash discordantly, drowning out any other noise.
There is a better soundtrack we can play into the background of life. It’s not a song about us, but a song about Him. It’s a song that takes discordant noise and makes it beautiful.
When the minor notes play, hold onto Jesus, a firm foundation that will never be shaken.
Songs used are: Chariots of Fire, Man in Motion, Rose’s Theme from Titanic, and Eye of the Tiger