When I sat down

Sometimes I think my life is boring. I mean, it must be so because The Masses aren’t flocking to film my every move and leaving me hundreds of adoring comments on this blog. The general public isn’t booking me for speaking engagements, asking for my autograph, and picking through my brain for nuggets of wisdom. I am not fawned over.

Sometimes I can get in a rut when I fixate on My General Boringness. It’s an unattractive and yucky place to be, so I don’t write about it much.

But it still happens.

And then I read something like The Hiding Place and realize that I’m really glad I have a boring life. I wouldn’t want it any other way—(pregnant pause while I double check that thought)—yes, I do believe that is indeed The Beautiful Truth.

I like waking up in my soft bed with the mismatched sheets and the falling-apart pillowcase that my children made for me, the songbirds chortling to high heaven right outside my open window, the rooster crowing his testosterone-laden crow.

My days move forward slowly, evenly. I teach my son to scrub the kitchen floor and watch like a hawk while he perfects his piano pieces. I listen to my daughter read (!). I dish out instructions, stories, and bowls of beans and rice. I make my eyes get big and incredulous when my youngest informs me that his bruises are the result of eating too much candy. While the sun goes down we replant the green beans. We fold laundry and vacuum and tuck in the kids.

Sometimes I marvel at the pointlessness of it all, as in, We are all going to die so why do we keep trying so hard?

And sometimes I revel in it all, as in, This is my family and I get to live with them and grow my food and read books, oh my word WOW.

When I sat down to write this afternoon, I had nothing to say. My hands lay limp beside me, the laptop balanced on my knees. And then I started typing.

And now I am done.

This same time, years previous: how to freeze strawberries and make strawberry jam, buttered peas and brown buttered noodles with ham


  • Daniel

    I realize I'm six days late here, but I have to tell you that yours is one of the most entertaining blogs I read. Thanks for writing, even if it seems like meaningless tedium.

    "We are all going to die so why do we keep trying so hard?" … I have this thought every now and then. Used to have it more often. Then I learned something recently: life is about relationships. You apparently realize this too (RE family comment). If you're looking for some enduring point or product I don't know what it is. I could even believe there isn't one. But when you consider the joy and never-ending newness of sharing life with and really knowing someone, or many someones, the meaninglessness just fades away.

    ~ Daniel

  • Crystal

    Glad to hear that she's reading. I was just thinking about you recently and wondering how that was going. Also glad I'm not the only person who thinks their life is boring!

  • Cookie baker Lynn

    I call that having an Ecclesiastes kind of day. And yes, boring beats living through the Holocaust. Counting your blessings is definitely the antidote to feeling sorry for yourself.

    BTW – thank you soooo much (sarcasm font) for introducing me to Pinterest. It's such a time sucker! But I love it bunches. So, really, thank you (no sarcasm).

  • dr perfection

    To anonymous: I was just trying to point out something interesting. Aside from that picture, I thought this post was boring.

  • Marie M.

    Life can be boring, boring, boring. Housework is an exercise in futility and tedium and never-ending. (I picture Heaven as a fluffy cloudy place with green forests and dappled light and never ever any housework.) Remember the scene in "Parenthood" where the grandmother is talking about life being like a roller-coaster? I loved that scene. And so true. We have our dry spells and down time and then come the highs. When you are old and grey, like me, you will look back on when your children were young and . . . smile. I have no idea why you don't have as many "hits" as The Pioneer Woman. I discovered you through PW. Must have been a reply you left? I check your blog often, your writing is a wonder to read. I'm leaving my house right now, carrying a big, huge sign saying: Read "Mama's Minutia." Please. You'll thank me.

  • the domestic fringe

    You have a very beautiful boring life! The rest of the world is totally missing out by not following you around with a camera. I have a feeling it would be anything but boring. Great post, even though you thought you didn't have anything to say. I think you just reminded us all to be grateful for our 'boring' lives. 🙂 Thank you!

  • KTdid

    Comment two: I've heard tales of celebrity breakdown from having every itty bitty detail of ones life open for scrutiny by the masses!
    Comment three: It's all relative. (alas, I'd be thrilled by your volume of comments!)
    Comment four: Your blog is interesting, entertaining, well-written. I check for a post nearly every day.
    Comment five: I think I've said enough.

  • Kirsten

    What do you mean, no Adoring Masses? Do you know how many times a day I check your blog, hoping for a new post?

    I think what makes your blog so great is how the quotidian nature of your postings lines up with the quotidian nature of my own "boring" life. If JJ can do it all with flair, maybe we can, too!

  • You Can Call Me Jane

    Aw, honey. You and your life are anything but boring. You may be the least boring person I know. And I think I know you pretty well. So there. Oh, and I'm saying that your feelings are wrong or invalid- no, no, no. I'm just giving you my perspective:-).

  • Margo

    I think this is my favorite post of yours. Especially the next to last paragraph. And you really put your finger on it too – the boringness and my little secret terror that this is all meaningless (I mean, I believe in a Deeper Purpose and God most of the time). But the sheer beauty of family life too. . . .

    funny how I never picture you folding laundry or planting beans because you don't usually blog about that. I guess you like eating best 🙂

  • Suburban Correspondent

    I get it. Sometimes the repetitiveness is something holy and soothing; other times, it wears on my nerves.

  • Mavis

    Not only is my life really boring… but I'm super lame too… I had no idea I already wrote a comment today …. hahaha…

  • Mavis

    If it makes you feel any better I think my life is rather boring and ordinary too.

    Love you JJ. I think you're pretty awesome just the way you are.

    Although… I do think the belly dancing thing is a little weird

  • Mama Pea

    We all feel like this some of the time. It's like that for me this very day. Much of the time I do the same things over and over and over. Even the things that get done only once a year. They seem boring and mundane because I did them last year. And yet we are all truly blessed. I am grateful I have my life and I know you are, too. I wonder if these periods of the boring blahs are simply something our minds, hearts and bodies have to cycle through periodically.

  • Mavis

    Why do we always think the grass is greener?

    If it makes you feel any better I think my life is boring and ordinary too…

    You have doughnuts… I don't

    You like to dress up… I don't

    You've probably already brushed your teeth this morning…I have not…

    The grass is never greener… just a different shade.

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