Monday, June 02, 2014

Finding My Place in History

I'm a historian.  Looking at the big picture in light of past events is something I do...sometimes unconsciously.  I like to fit together the pieces of the puzzle, compare past events and their consequences with things that are happening or seem to be happening now.  I enjoy teasing out the way history has been "revised" to fit present "correctness".

Once upon a time I thought I might enjoy a future in politics.  Historically, many of our founding fathers dealt in politics, although I'm sure nothing like the current mess we have.  I wanted to be out there MAKING history.  I didn't just want to read about it....I wanted to DO it.

Somewhere along the way, I discovered, correctly, that I wouldn't be cut out for any century.  My skin isn't that thick, I don't think that quickly and I doubt I could shoulder the burdens of the world for one minute let alone for the duration of a career.

That's probably just as well that I discovered this in 8th grade.  lol  Anyway, as a young adult, a young mother, I discovered my favorite part of history.....learning about the lives of those who have gone before us.  That is true history.  The day to day stuff that shapes the lives of children, families and communities.  THAT is what will eventually trickle down and create history.  The lives and actions of ordinary people make a big difference in the scheme of things, even when their names and lives are forgotten.  I think that is why it is most important that we keep a journal, whether online or on paper (I do both).  I find those things fascinating and I'm sure others do.

In our world today we are fighting a war in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The big debate is whether Bowe Bergdahl was a deserter, taliban sympathizer or genuine prisoner of war (I'm sure his mother is glad he is home but was the price too high?).  And what in the heck is his father spouting off about??  Who knows, right?  Unemployment is through the roof (and touches the lives of those I know), drug use is running rampant and the state of IL is going down the drain (rapidly).

Let's face it....what can I do about any of that?  Really?  In the course of historical events relating to these headline items, you will not find my name.  You won't find the name of anyone that I know personally.

And that's ok.

That took me a long time as an adult to realize.

It's the little things, the mundane things, that matter.  They really do.

If I don't feed our cows, they will die.  The same with the piglets and chickens.  If I don't care for them daily in feeding, watering and general maintenance then they will die.  If they die we are out food for the next year and a fairly large chunk of money.    I school my children daily so that they will grow into hardworking, dependable, loving, generous and kind adults that make an impact in their family; their community.  I shop (care for my family, supporting my community businesses) and visit and take part in community activities.  I volunteer.  I read.  I knit.  I try to expand my understanding of the world around me.  Not because I can single-handedly change it, but because God made this wonderful, beautiful world and I want to know what's out there.  Why shouldn't I?  

I want to be able to help my neighbors and friends.  I want to love unconditionally.  I want to impact my little world.  I CAN do that.

Washing dishes might not seem like much but if they aren't clean, chaos reigns supreme.  If chaos reigns, then how will my children understand the peace of order?  If clothes aren't clean, will my husband be able to go about his duties with a full focus on the work in front of him?  If meals aren't healthy, how will our bodies get the nourishment they need to grow and function properly?  If we don't expand our minds, how will we know what could be?

Mothers, fathers, don't get stuck in thinking that life is mundane nothingness and then you die!  It is the little things that count!  One more story, clean laundry, home-cooked meals, snuggling in bed, driving to practice, homework.......we are impacting the lives of our children and those we encounter every single day!  Let's put a smile on our faces and embrace our places in history.  My place is as a wife, mother, gardener, animal caretaker, dog and cat owner, baker, knitter, seamstress, learner, explorer.......and I plan to leave a written (typed) legacy of all those wonderful things for those that come behind me.  How about you?  What is your legacy?  Have you embraced your place in history?

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