Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Imagine Sisyphus Happy

Last month, I saw a posting an Facebook and although I can't find it now, the gist of it was "I just conquered a mountain.  So what if it was a mountain of dirty laundry?" I 'liked' the post when I saw it on Facebook, but lately I've been thinking about it again. I think the fact that I have endless loads of laundry to do each day as the mom of 3 kids, including 2 babies, has made me reconsider that quote.  

I think that it would be easier to climb/conquer Mount Kilimanjaro than the laundry in my basement.  No, I am not saying that I could wake up tomorrow morning and set off to climb an actual mountain because I definitely couldn't. After all, I did take a van tour to the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire. I'm also not discrediting the amazing amount of training, strength and endurance it takes to climb an actual mountain. But, think about it. You have a list of things you want to do in life and one of them is "Climb Mount Kilimanjaro." You climb the mountain and once you successfully descend it, you can put a nice checkmark next to it or cross it off your list entirely. If "laundry" is on my to-do list for the day, I can put a nice checkmark or cross it off my list for about 2 minutes. Then more clothes are dirtied and the entire cycle starts again. Rather than conquering a mountain, I sometimes feel more like Sisyphus from Greek mythology. Most likely you know his story, but may not remember his name. He angered Zeus, Father of the Gods, and his punishment was to roll a huge boulder up a hill each day, only to have it roll back down at the end of the day for all of eternity.  

Philosopher, Albert Camus, invited his readers to look at the myth of Sisyphus from another angle and said, "One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” In light of so many tragedies throughout the nation during this past year, I try to pause when I feel that I have a never-ending task as Sisyphus did and reflect upon what I am actually doing. Yes, I have endless piles of laundry, dirty dishes, diapers to change and Legos to move from my living room. I have days when neither baby will nap and my 6 year old is as ornery as can be. Days when I feel that my life is like the movie, "Groundhog Day," and I'm destined to repeat the same day over and over.  Rather than dwelling on the negativity of Sisyphus' fate or that of Bill Murray's character in "Groundhog Day," I need to "imagine Sisyphus happy" because I sometimes forget how fortunate and happy I am. I have 3 healthy children, a loving husband, family and friends and a home in a great community. Those dirty clothes, dishes, diapers and house are here each day because they represent, not my "burden" to carry each day, but the abundance of love, laughter and joy in my life.  

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