This isn’t much fun. Yes the fact that school starts tomorrow – I dread it more than I did when I was the one going to school. (Yes, yes my bright-eyed cousin in LA, YAY for free mornings again) But also my new epiphany which is going to seem very, very obvious to all the rest of you whose heads don’t live quite as high in the clouds as mine.

It is: LIFE IS TOUGH!

There it is.

No don’t just sit there and stare and think, ‘She’s finally, finally lost her rocker.’ No my friends, this is a very important insight which I’m trying desperately to hold on to as I face the practical demands of every day life. Something I so happily forgot on holiday as I munched my Kosher for Pesach Burekas and drank fantastic Israeli coffee.

Who copes well with everyday jobs, lift schemes, house hold chores, which in the big scheme of things are necessary but don’t make the history books (or any other kind of book for that matter)? Well I’m one of those who don’t. I abhor them. I ignore my shoes on the floor, the mess in the cupboards and the outdated books on my shelves (yes, even if they’re library ones – boy do I have a fine to pay). Yes I’m washing my dirty washing in public here – the truth that I don’t like the practical at all! And the more I focus on how much I don’t like them the worse it gets to the point of paralysis.

Those jobs, according to me, are the reason why married women according to ‘Committed’ by Elizabeth Gilbert, die earlier than single women, earn less than single women and surprise, surprise tend to be more depressed than single women. And that’s not even mentioning the children. (So with the children??? Can you imagine what the stats are.) Why is this? Most of the jobs married women do aren’t for themselves, but in service of the greater good of their family. Very praiseworthy, yes, but why does it take so much out of us???

Yes we all know the problem. I’ve gone over it so many times. And well it takes a different consciousness than the one that caused the problem to solve a problem (Elizabeth Lesser, ‘Broken Open’). I never understood what this meant exactly but I’m starting to. By me fighting my jobs I perpetuate the terribleness, the humungous time hole that they are. So much of my energy goes into dreading my days filled with them. And I can’t continue that way. So I’ve kind of stepped out of that victim mentality of mine which is, ‘I should not have to do any jobs. Why do jobs keep happening to me?’ and have high stepped into a new thought, ‘This is life.’

You read that correctly. Three kids, three different lifts – ‘This is life’. A house with lots breaking down (the irrigation again!!!) – ‘This is life’. Bits and pieces to put away (socks, papers, books, more socks, underwear and yes soggy towels) – ‘This is life’. Moreover THIS IS MY LIFE and it’s about time I owned it. No it’s not perfect and there are glitches all the time. Tonsilitis and an infected finger on holiday – ‘This is Life’. Things don’t go perfectly, not for me, not for nobody. The difference is the way we respond.

I’m hoping that as I respond with, ‘This is life – life is messy, tough and not perfect’, it will give me the strength to face it head on without complaint (most of the time) and just live it with equanimity, grace and gratitude. (And boy is there a lot to be grateful about. Ironically it’s exactly what I complain about, Three boys, a house and socks and underwear to pick up ie. a husband.)

Can I ask more from life?

So today I lost my cellphone and was sure I had caught the Joburg germ – ‘stolen cellphone pick pocketed at Pick n Pay’. My attitude was – ‘Okay, I’ll get a new one from insurance, this time white.’ (To replace my coveted white one that I lost last year). Yes it involves more jobs ie. Police station, docket numbers, waiting for a new phone etc etc. But Cest La Vie – This is Life’ (The French did get something right). And then… David found it in his pocket switched off . How? Why? I don’t know, but boy was I glad not to have the extra jobs, and boy was I glad I didn’t expend a lot of energy bemoaning what I thought was my lost cell phone fate.

Easy to say ‘cest la vie’ for an insured cell phone let’s see how I do in real life. Lift scheme to lift scheme. I do however know that this is the way to go. Another version of ‘acceptance’ but this time verbalised, ‘This is Life’ and who can fight LIFE? Who wants to? It’s like Eckhart Tolle said (and I’m paraphrasing) ‘Life is the dancer and we are the dance’ not the other way around as I always thought. So dance Life dance, and I only pray that the dance I am is one of light and blessing, good and happiness and as for the jobs, please not too many. But if they have to be then cest la vie.