Skip to main content

Bringing Meaning to The Mundane Activities of Daily Living

By Stephen C. Schultz



The air was crisp. The sky was off white with a mix of clouds up higher and fog drifting in lower. The sun peeked through a break in the fog just enough to create a sparkle in the fresh snow delicately balanced on a leafless shrub.




At close to 5000 feet above sea level, snow is no stranger in the winter. I went to the closet and pulled out my coat. I slipped it on and in four steps was at the back door. This time of year, I keep the snow shovels leaning against the outside wall ready to move into action at the whim of mother nature.


This particular storm wasn’t a big one by any winter standard. There was a few inches and that was all. In fact, with the sun peeking through, the sidewalks cleared quickly. I looked up from my shoveling and noticed two Mule Deer, both bucks, gracefully scampering through the snow, across the sidewalk, and through my back yard. Hobble Creek flows less than fifty yards from my home and they probably were simply getting their morning drink of water.




It was a pretty morning to be sure, and the shoveling didn’t take long at all. I stepped back in the house, took off my coat and my phone rang. It was my daughter who has just completed her second week of college where she entered mid-year due to a volleyball scholarship. She asked how I was doing and I did the same. She said her classes were going fine, not much homework yet, but she knew it would get much more busy later in the semester. She mentioned that her roommates and her were getting ready to go to church. She told me about her healthy meals that she has been preparing and the workout routine she has implemented to stay in shape prior to her official university practices starting.


I wish I could say there was a lot of exciting things happening today! It would be fun to post about an exciting ski run down a Black Diamond slope or a much needed Caribbean Cruise in the middle of winter. It seems that is what everyone else is doing as I browse my social media accounts. Sometimes I think I live a pretty boring life! And, you know what? I do!


In fact, that is one of the things I am most grateful for! You see...being able to find meaning in the mundane activities of daily living is the very thing that allows us to appreciate those times when life is a bit more exciting. The majority of us who live on this planet live life one day at a time. We wake up, perform some type of daily hygiene, get dressed, go to work, come home, have a meal or two, go to bed, sleep and start over the next day...day in and day out!




So, the question then becomes...How do we create satisfaction and meaning in our day to day lives? I have known people who simply move from one exciting experience to another. Often they end up searching for that “Thing” that is more exciting than the last “Thing”. More times than not, they end up battling the demons of broken relationships, substance abuse and emotional frustration. Constantly looking for that next best rush of adrenaline or exciting activity is kind of like a cat chasing its tail. Pretty soon you're just worn out with nothing to show for it.

The teens that find themselves in treatment struggle with demonstrating appropriate social skills in their young lives. This is mainly due to the fact they spend their time endlessly searching for the emotional high that is created through gaming, substance abuse, pornography and other abuses of technology. They are literally searching for their next “High”. How many times, as a parent, have you heard, “I’m bored!”

As we shovel the proverbial snow, rake the leaves, do the dishes, make our bed, or set the alarm so we can wake up for work...are we appreciative of the small things? Is there joy that can be found in the snow amongst the branches or seeing the deer as they prance across the street? Have we brought meaning to the mundane activities of daily living? If not, how do we? I am interested in your thoughts on this topic.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Lessons I learned from a childhood experience with bullying

By Stephen C. Schultz The dew around the window was starting to bead up. In a classic case of chaos theory, the little beads of water gave way to gravity and randomly bounced and bumped their way to the window sill like a steal marble in a pinball game. There was a small pool of water in the cracked and peeling beige paint. I sat facing the window, staring at the small engraved stone nestled in the flower beds. There weren’t many flowers at this time of year. Mostly rhododendrons and Oregon grapes reaching skyward from the damp bark mulch that covered the planter area.   The month of January in Eugene Oregon was filled with days and days of mist and fog.   In fact, pretty much from October through June was filled with fog, rain, mist, showers, freezing rain and occasionally snow. The local weathermen didn’t bother with predictions about the chance of precipitation; they took pride in developing new adjectives to describe the type of precipitation and how much you can expect.

"Sugar and Spice" - A Child's Kindness

By Stephen C. Schultz I recall a childhood rhyme that went something like this; “…sugar and spice and everything nice…that’s what little girls are made of!” As the father of three daughters and one son, there is no doubt about the truthfulness of that saying. I was in San Diego a couple of weeks ago with my family. We were down at Seaport Village right on the bay having lunch. It was a beautiful day, sun shining, light breeze and we were eating on an outside deck. We were engaged in a conversation about what we wanted to do later that day when I noticed my youngest daughter, a fifth grader, was focused on something else. So, I turned to see what she was gazing at. She was following the movements of a transient man who had walked up onto the deck and was systematically searching the garbage cans for food. He was looking in each receptacle and reaching in to move the contents around. At one can, his hand came out with a partially eaten sandwich of some kind. He reached back

Perfectly Wicked - A new take on an old fairy tale!

Guest Blogger Amanda Schultz Age 15 There she was…hair as black as night, lips as red as blood, skin as white as snow. Standing by the window, washing dishes, whistling while she worked. Snow White. I shudder with disgust every time I hear her name. What kind of a name is that anyway? “Snow White”. Gahhh, it’s a name that practically begs to be made fun of. Yet, there she goes, frolicking around like she owns the Enchanted Forest. No. I’m the Queen. I’m in charge. My magic mirror was mistaken. I’m the Fairest of them all, not that sorry excuse for a princess. One bite from my poison apple and that air-head will be so ugly not even her mother could love her. And I will be the Fairest once again! I suppose that I should rewind a little bit. It wasn’t always a competition between Snow White and me. In fact, back in the day, we had a nice little system going on. I would rule the kingdom and practice my magic, while Snow did the dishes and tended the garden. She stayed out of my w