Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Monday, June 27, 2016


Ah, screw it. I have several posts brewing, and I've been sitting here for half an hour trying to write something, but you know what? I don't really feel like it. Let me tell you what I do feel like.

This past week I have been a seething mass of anger and discouragement. This is more than just a bad mood. This is damn-the-world, welling-up-behind-my-eyes fury, a fury that has no outlet because it has no objective correlative. The kids are not being other than usual, the house is not hotter than it was this time last year. I face no financial worries or existential terrors. I'm just worn out with running a family of eight, and dealing with a body approaching 40 which doesn't act like a body approaching 30. (Those with bodies approaching 50 may feel free to laugh.) I accept that that most people have far more difficult lives than me. My problems and struggles aren't major or dramatic or even all that externally interesting, and yet they exist, and they're what I happen to be struggling with.

Going to confession this weekend has taken the edge off of my irritation, but hasn't made my problems go away. Grace is an interesting thing. Sometimes it lifts you completely out of the bad. Sometimes it just helps you to survive, to not say that thing on the tip of your tongue, but it doesn't actually make you feel better about being virtuous. Sometimes it makes you feel worse, because you did the good thing and you weren't rewarded for it. I like to think that God doesn't have to pat me on the head for doing what's right, only to find out when I don't get it that I feel like I deserve to have my head patted.

We're trying to fix up our screened-in back porch right now, so we can sit out there on summer days when it's too hot to eat in the house. The floor is covered with several layers of old paint. In many places, it's coming off most satisfyingly. A couple swipes of the scraper will bring up big layered chips, leaving a clean swath of concrete. But the section we're working on now involves a lot of finicky scraping. When you look at the floor after an hour of flakework, it seems unchanged, or worse than when you started.  The only evidence of motion is the pile of debris building up in the way of progress. In the middle of the project, with no end in sight, it seems futile to keep chipping away. We chip anyway, because we're committed to getting this done, but knowing that the work will pay off in the future doesn't make it fun now.


Unknown said...

Isn't there some kind of electrical tool that can help with that. Like a sander?

Jeff Stivers said...

Hear you loud and clear. I'm on what should be the last 10% of a bathroom project but the list of tasks remaining continues to grow. My mom's often-used platitude keeps popping into my head: inch by inch life's a cinch, yard by yard life is hard.

Hypatia said...

It's a testament to the virtues you have already acquired that you consider yourself to have an easy life. In terms of historical, economic, and geographic condition I can of course see why you do: but we're only given one moral life to live, and comparing ourselves against others is only a very small part of living it well. Raising a family of eight is not nothing - certainly not in a society that does not openly value it.

mrsdarwin said...

Thanks, Hypatia.

Hypatia said...

Had another three paragraphs in my mind but was... interrupted... by an unruly child.