Butler County Times Gazette
  • Erin Fox: Me and Sisyphus

  • I got frustrated that I was frustrated
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  • So this week I was ungrateful. This week the fact that my job is to clean up and launder for people who have the audacity to make messes and wear clothes, only to make my job repeat again, clouded my mind and put me in a bad mood for two days straight.
    Silly. Don’t you know I know it.
    And so I got frustrated that I was frustrated, irritated with myself that I could look at the ledger sheet and see that my credits of happy family, happy home, gratifying friendships, that we are lucky enough to have a home and clothes to clean far outweigh the debits of cleaning up after people I love. The fact that there was no logical reason for me to be exasperated with my work didn’t mean that I could shake myself of the frustration. Sometimes it doesn’t work so easily.
    This week being a stay at home mom felt Sisyphean: I worked hard to push that boulder of cleaning and laundering up the mountain, only to have my (cute! sweet! loving!) children come home and kick that boulder down to the bottom so that I had to start all over the next day.
    On Monday when Hubby called me from his work at the usual times I didn’t answer; I didn’t want to unload on him. That evening I explained why, and instead of taking me by the shoulders and shaking me out of my silly and ungrateful attitude he listened without annoyance.
    On Tuesday he took me to Sonic for a coke and onion rings and let me whine to him some more.
    On Wednesday the fog in my brain slowly dissipated and I realized that I hadn’t been asking God that He give me joy in my occupation, this occupation being to serve my family with a clean home and clean clothes, creating a haven from the world outside.  You see I am not internally motivated to clean; that desire is not intrinsic to my being. It is something I must pray that God give me, and sometimes I have to pray it multiple times through the day. And I hadn’t humbly asked God for His help in this area for months.
    So… it’s better. I’m still slightly annoyed that the laundry keeps reappearing and that people in my house still forget to clean up all their tiny messes. But I’m better. I’m still praying. And that’s where I have to start.
    Erin Fox is a busy wife and mother of three.  She is a weekly columnist for the Times- Gazette.  

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