I love memes. I love the laugh-out-loud-sarcastic ones. I love scrolling through sappy inspirational quotes superimposed upon pictures of trees and puppies and sunsets. But sometimes I'll be having a Monday and will come across a quote that instructs me to: "Be present! Enjoy the moment! Don't waste a second of today! Be thankful you have today! Today is amazeballs! Kick some today booty! Change the world today! And look perfect doing it! Today!"
My first instinct is to tell the author that she is NOT the boss of me. Maybe I don't feel particularly seize-y today, thank you so very much. This feeling is promptly followed by guilt for NOT world-changing and booty-kicking and thoroughly, inspirationally utilizing all of the times and the days and the minutes.
And then I begin the day already exhausted. Thanks a lot, puppies and trees.
What I'm trying to remind myself of each morning is this...
Some days begin with a deep breath before the leap into the waves and the swim against the current of life.
Some days begin with the gentle call of a bird and the bob of the blossoms as the air bends down to brush the petals with its wispy fingers.
Some days begin with everything going wrong.
Some days begin with the sleepless anticipation of the celebration ahead.
Some days begin with the deep-sighing despair that we cannot possibly accomplish all that is laid out before us.
Some days begin with inexplicable confidence and certainty that we will check everything off our list and blaze halfway through tomorrow's to-dos.
Some days the coffee pot shatters and the traps catch mice and the children are grumpy and there's a nagging, heavy pressure in the air.
Some days there is a respite from work and a warm walk by the ocean and a soul-filling view before us.
Some days the anger overflows and the traffic builds our rage and the bills weren't paid on time and we just want to run far, far away.
Some days we deny the feelings of defeat, ignoring them, but those tricky feelings will chase us down like a relentless, questioning toddler, demanding that we look and notice and answer. Some days we downplay the desire, tamping down the joy, shooing away the flitting wings of exhilaration, knowing that all good things are a vapor. Surely they will not last, we say, and in the saying, we let the fear of joy's certain disappearance tear the good moment from our hands.
Some days are utterly spirit-defeating. Some days are heart-filling. But in the midst of all of the the days, we get to walk out the truth of St. Benedict, who gently reminded us that, "Always we begin again."
Always we begin again. And again. Imperfectly but gratefully. Failing but held. Without guarantees but with grace.
Again and again and again. Many days I treat this as monotony, as drudgery, but some days, when lives are taken and children are mourning and the whole world seems to be spinning into chaos, I remember. I get to begin again, and while I'll mess it up, I get to apologize and start anew. Over and over. I get to receive it, not as a dictate to feel guilt-ridden or pressured over, but as a gift to receive with gratitude.
So let us all keep beginning again, in the mornings of our actual days, and in the mornings of our hearts, in the sparkling moments and in the shattering ones, in the pain and in the peace, in the sickness and in the wholeness.
Beginning again today, tired and battle-sore or exhilarated and fresh, but here...here kicking today's booty or here wanting to tell today goodbye and good riddance. Thank you, St. Benedict, for the reminder. You didn't even have to be a meme to inspire me.