Personal

July 6, 2017

Finding Meaning in the Mundane

Recently one night, after half a bottle of wine and a thorough examination of the state of my finances, I decided I needed to make photography and blogging a side hustle and look for a “real” job. All of my kids would soon finally be on the same school schedule, so I’d finally be able to devote myself to a full time position that paid more than minimum wage and offered benefits. I don’t drink often, but when I do I get shit done. Drunk Jacki logged onto indeed.com. Within 30 minutes she had found a potential job opportunity in sales at a call center, filled out an application, wrote a cover letter, and sent it off.

Drunk Jacki is functional and efficient. I want to be like Drunk Jacki when I grow up.

I really had no expectations, and had sort of let myself forget about it until I got the call for an interview. Shortly after the interview, I got the job offer. Shortly after the job offer, I started my new job. And upon starting the new job realized I had to completely revamp a blog series I was planning so I could fit it into my new working mom schedule.

“I’ll just take a week to get adjusted to my new routine and then jump back in!”

About a week into my new routine, I received the devastating news that a friend from high school passed away in a car accident. The very next morning, my palms still shaking in disbelief and my eyes swollen from hours of crying with no sleep, an old friend from our Army family took his own life. Hours later, I was at work. Every phone call that day seemed absolutely ridiculous in the grand scheme of it all. Blogging about meal plans seemed even more absurd. And for several weeks after that, I wasn’t feeling much better about any of it.

“I’ll just take a little more time to deal with my grief.”

Months have passed. While I still find myself grasping for answers, on some days I have closure. On those days, I can feel the words jumbled around in my heart and my mind begging to be released, if only they could be found. On other days, it’s hard to feel anything.

While digging through some of my favorite blogs for any form of inspiration, I read something from Ashlee Gadd that absolutely resonated with me and perfectly expressed what I’ve been feeling any time I’ve felt any urge to write lately:

Every time I log on to Twitter, there is a new thing to be angry about. A fresh outrage. 100 recent injustices in the news. Corruption. Terror. It’s everywhere. All of the time. And no amount of adult coloring is going to erase it.

The hardest part of having a book come out in this type of political climate is that you start to feel really, really stupid. You start to ask yourself questions like, do these words even matter? To anyone? There are bombs going off in Syria and terrorist attacks in London and do not even get me started on the horrifying joke that is our current administration.

Every day I lead a team of women who are committed to encouraging mothers through the art of storytelling. I used to think it mattered. A lot. I wouldn’t have worked this hard, for this long, for this little money, if I didn’t think the work was worthwhile. But lately I find myself asking, is this necessary?Does anyone even need this?

Everywhere I turn, the world is ugly. And the louder the news gets, the quieter my voice becomes. The world is on fire and here I am typing away, wasting my damn time.

“Is this necessary?” And as the time passes, as you question “why?” knowing no answer will really suffice, words just don’t seem to matter much. What’s the point if the conversation is so shallow in relation to the depth of the existence of the beautiful souls we’ve lost? Or the suffering of the world in general. With so much pain and despair all around, who really cares about my fitness routine or how I’m decorating my bedroom? “Does anyone even need this?”

But that, my friends, is a dangerous place to be. When we struggle to find the meaning, we struggle to truly live.

It’s been said you can’t appreciate sunshine without rain. Death is shitty. Terrorism is shitty. Life can be so shitty. But there’s beauty too. So much beauty. Instead of feeling like it’s meaningless and shallow in the midst of all this shit – after all of this rain – I think it’s time to just appreciate the sunshine.

So, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

  1. Jacki Raney | Old Habits

    July 7th, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    […] I took a little blogging hiatus to deal with change and grief, I had planned a 30 day fitness series to help motivate readers. My gym routine was gold. My […]

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