Serenity

I need to get organised somehow. I feel as though I have been constantly battling chaos ever since… When did it begin? I think it began the moment I left home and became responsible for keeping my own house.

In my defence, since that moment I have always lived with the most exceptionally lazy and untidy people (or so it seems).

I have moved house in my life around 25 times, and unless there’s some kind of miracle to restore our finances so we can buy our rental house, this place won’t be the last. I wish it were not so, but that’s the way life has unfolded for me. I don’t like the feeling of being a helpless victim of circumstance, but it’s very clear to me that I’m not the one in control.

I can think of only three places where chaos wasn’t a problem: my student digs, our place in Stockholm, and finally, when we were living at my mother-in-law’s. In the first two places, I just didn’t have that much stuff, and in the third, somebody else was doing the housework! (Well, I helped, but I wasn’t the only one responsible for the whole house.)

Even when we had additional family members at Grandma’s (ten of us at one stage) it wasn’t hard like this. In fact, having more adults working together made things much more workable. It was a completely different dynamic. That’s one of the attractions of living in community.

My conclusion: I can’t manage this much stuff without help. And since there’s no help to be had, the stuff must go. Ugh. If only it were that easy. I’m really feeling totally overwhelmed this week, just drowning in stuff.

I keep thinking as well that this chaos is an obstacle to spirituality. I long for some kind of routine, and just a bit of space and time and solitude. I love my big ‘happy family’ but it is suffocating sometimes.

I keep planning to walk down to the church ‘tomorrow’, as I discovered a few weeks ago that it’s open during the day, but so far I haven’t managed it. Maybe tomorrow. But I won’t get my hopes up.

I can understand why the ‘desert fathers’ and mothers withdrew to the desert looking for a deeper and more satisfying spiritual life. Marriage and motherhood is a *much* harder path.

Is serenity even possible in a big, noisy, active, busy homeschooling nuclear family?

Next post had better be on joy, for balance, I guess.

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