Over the years I've been learning to let the creative and beautiful things be our life and the mundane kind of work to fill in around it. I know, you say, but I have to be at the office from 9 to 5, five days a week... it's set in stone. And the work I'm doing doesn't allow any dancing or singing or painting or being creative.
But that's where I remind myself, and I want to encourage you to see that it is possible if we learn how to carry a song in our hearts. It's looking for opportunities to be creative in the midst of what seems mundane and boring. We can dance a jig in our office when a nasty project gets completed. We can create a small oasis of beauty in our work space by bringing in that piece of artwork we've created.
Many years ago, my job included hours and hours of photocopying each week. I'd stand in front of that machine, turning out page after page after page. How tedious, how wearisome, so far away from any sense of creativity and fun.
But I found a way to let joy overshadow the day. As that old machine cranked out reams of paper copies, I'd sing to myself. I was amazed at how much that helped me with the work. Those seven dwarfs in that old fairytale, Snow White, figured out the secret of making the time fly by whistling while they worked.
Author of Living A Beautiful Life Alexandra Stoddard once shared how she made it a lovely ritual to bring fresh flowers every Monday morning for her desk at the office. It brought a certain charm and gentility to her corner of the world. So I decided to bring fresh flowers to my office too. Sometimes I'd go to my favourite florist over lunch hour and bring back bunches of posies, leaving them on the desks of my coworkers. I was ever mindful they also had their own hours of photocopying to tend -- it made all our lives more beautiful.
Sometimes it's easy to get in a slump, especially if things are a bit dull around us. But that's the challenge, isn't it? Always looking for ways to enliven and enrich the most tedious tasks... always looking for ways to stamp our sense of beauty into the dull surfaces of our days.
I'm hoping that you'll be inspired to look for ways you can sing and dance even if you're heading off to the office for another day in the 'swamp'.