Saturday, January 7, 2012

Life Styles of the Plain Jane and Ordinary

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I’ve always wanted to have a ‘life-style’.

I’m not 100% certain I even know what a life-style is, but from time to time I think I may stumble into one only to find that I’ve stumbled back out of it a short time later.

Before Tanya and I had kids, I think we had a modicum of a life-style.  We certainly had more available income.  Our satellite package had quite a few more channels in it than it does now.  We ate out more often (and not just at McDonald’s thank you very much!) and we enjoyed date nights regularly.  Getting away from the pressures of life simply meant not focussing on our work.

This past week, I started a new phase in my career as I have taken on the role of Executive Assistant to the Pastor here at Holy Family parish.

Lachlan after surgeryIt was a hectic week.

In addition to relocating to and setting up my new office, getting to know a entire new staff of people (all of whom are incredibly friendly, helpful and welcoming by the way), getting a sense of my new role and starting to get into the thick of thin, my son Lachlan decided to break his arm!  (Well...he really didn’t decide to break his arm...he simply lost his balance on one of the stools at our kitchen island).

So from Monday 10:30am on, I waited with Lachlan in the Children’s Emergency as he awaited surgery which finally took place at 7:00pm.  He then stayed overnight in the hospital with my wife Tanya while I stayed at home with Ava. 

Lachlan returned home on Tuesday and for the next couple of nights it seemed like we had a newborn in the house again.  He was up several times throughout the night complaining of pain and discomfort.  Thank the Lord and the many lab coat wearing researchers out there for the painkillers.

Now for those of you who don’t know me, I don’t do well with having had very little sleep.  In fact, I can be bit of bear when I’m tired. 

But wait...I’m working at a new job with a new staff, I can’t let them see my grumpy side on my very first week, can I?  So much to Tanya’s chagrin I saved my ‘grumpy time’ for home!

Yes, a hectic week indeed.  But was it really all that different from other weeks?

There are always challenges at work.  The kids always have something going on from ballet to soccer to swimming lessons.  There’s always yard work to be done and don’t forget the laundry!  No wonder I don’t have a life-style!

This past Friday, Ava had a sleep over at her best friend Sophie’s house.  Lachlan was in bed by 7:30pm so Tanya and I got a bottle of wine, ordered in a movie and Thai food.  What a great way to end the week!

The next morning Lachlan slept in to 8:45am (the kids are usually up anywhere from 6:00 – 7:00am).  We got up, I made tea and sat in the sun on our deck and called a friend just to catch up.  All of sudden, sitting there in the glorious morning sunshine, I felt as if I had a ‘life-style’ and for one brief moment, I took it all in feeling like a king!

All of this has got me thinking our Saviour’s words, “Come to me, all you that weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Mt. 11:28  

After a very long week, that’s exactly how I felt Saturday morning, as if I had a much needed rest.  And maybe, that’s what it’s all about.  Jesus didn’t promise us a ‘life-style’ of ease and leisure (although from time to time, I wish He had), but he did promise to give us rest.

For me the lesson is to be thankful for those opportunities for rest with loved ones and family and to allow myself to be fully engaged with what matters most in life.  For me the lesson is to confess with St. Paul, “For I have learned to be content with whatever I have” Phil. 4:11 and not be too caught up in chasing the ever elusive “life-style.”

Read 6228 times Last modified on Monday, January 16, 2012
Patrick Clarke

Patrick Clarke is the Administrator of the Cathedral of the Holy Family.  He is married to Tanya.  Together, they have two children: Ava (7) and Lachlan (4) and they are expecting their third child in February, 2013