Excercises in Futility/AKA dying to self

Today has been the hardest "normal" day so far. It's not so much hard as just sort of a persistent excercise in futility.

In college, I paid my meager way by working as a janitress for a cleaning service who was contracted by our church's private school. Every day from 3:30 until I was done, I cleaned the bathrooms, offices, and glass doors of the Senior High and Elementary schools. Later on, I added dust-mopping and mopping to my repertoire. I got very good at completing my job quickly and well, but my goodness, talk about feeling futility in one's work! Every bright and shining bathroom just reminded me that in a matter of hours it would be used again and messed up again and some stupid teenage boy would leave his sandwich in the urinal--AGAIN. I still bear a grudge against two certain covenant boys who would go behind us and make messes on Wednesday nights. Oddly enough, I caught two of those same boys stealing a golf-cart at Against the Flow . . . and the sons of church officers, no less! But here, discretion is required and names shall not be mentioned.

Newborn days and nights remind me of those times. By the time the baby is fed, I'm bathed, things are picked up, Johnny is asleep, and sleep is possible, I just think, "why bother? She'll be ready to eat again in an hour . . ." There's always a toss-up between staying up and doing something, or going on to sleep in hopes that Aubrey will sleep longer and bonus sleep will be had.

Tuesday, I missed Aubrey's newborn appointment with our pediatrician by 40 + minutes. I didn't estimate the timing right, she was ready to eat when it was time to go . . . we had to reschedule. Today, I busted it to get ready and miraculously had time to get make-up on (first time since Christmas!) and we arrived at the doctors office early only to find out that the re-scheduled appointment was yesterday. Yep, yesterday. We have rescheduled for next Tuesday and the ungodly hour of 8:30 (it is an ungodly hour when you live thirty minutes away, and it takes at least an hour and a half to get everyone fed, ready, clean and in the car).

I was pretty embarrassed and humiliated at that. I hate being late with a passion and twice in one week was just humiliating. The aggravation of a morning of productivity lost didn't help either. The fact that gas was wasted on a fourth trip into town this week got at me. We returned home deflated but mostly over it. Johnny had not had a nap at the sitters which would normally be great, because as soon as Aubrey was fed and they were both down, I could grab a nap. Except company was supposed to arrive at one. I knew they'd be late, but as the minutes rolled by, and I got sleepier, I thought, "well, I'll catnap on the couch and wake up when they get here." The phone rang at two o'clock, with the news that said company was not coming until TOMORROW. Two naps in row wasted, lost, gone.

An overnight guest is supposed to arrive sometime this afternoon, Johnny is finally settled down (again--the camp radio was left on and Warner's voice just scared the living daylights out of us all). I'm contemplating trying once more to try and get a nap in, but Aubrey is already stirring. (Of course, she likes to pretend to wake up, drive me out of bed in a mad rush to get her food ready and avoid the wails, then whilst I'm in the kitchen staggering around she goes right back to sleep)

I'm not complaining--really. It's all rather humorous in a strange way. The house is clean, I actually feel great recovery-wise and have a lot of inspiration for projects. Anything lacking could be cured by a good nap and an iced tea, some quiet time in the Word and a hug from Tuan. I'm going to lie down right away and see if a nap can be got. If not, then a prayer for grace and a cup of tea will suffice. God is using this to make me more like Jesus and I'd take my troubles any day over those my sisters-in-Christ at home and abroad are going through. Finally, brethren, pray for us. (!)


Alli said...

You know, I worked a summer as a custodian at my college--cleaning dorm rooms at the end of the school year, cleaning common areas while high school sports camps lived in the dorms, and then getting the dorms ready for the new tenants. I definitely feel your pain on the frustration of that job! (On the plus side, I did lose about 15 pounds that summer!)

I also share your dislike of tardiness and being unorganized. Mike and I are waiting to be approved for a new apartment, and so I'm starting to pack things up. It's maddening to lose track of stuff because it's in a box. Life goes on, though, and I suppose with grace we'll make it out the other end.

More Aubrey pics, please! :o)

Anonymous said...

Wow Paula ... sounds very exhausting. Congratuations to you and Tuan on the new baby.

I had the privilage of doing janitorial work last year. I can sympathize. But not with the whole motherhood thing ...