Mindful Living

Finding Magic in The Mundane #AtoZChallenge

Finding magicin the mundane

So, yes, today looked like it would be a total washout. I was facing the prospect of getting electrical work done at home, which meant the mains would be off for the better part of the day, for safety. Even with the fans on, the weather is quite warm and humid—imagine still air, sweating profusely.

Still, the work had to be done.

Of course I had a long list of things to do.

  • Dust and mop (yep, I do that!)
  • Send a batch of edits to an author
  • Create the “F” posts for my three blogs for the AtoZChallenge
  • Do some research for a topic I am working on
  • Grind masala (yes, I had planned that, too, today)
  • Bathe (low down the list because I dreamed of a long cold bath after sweaty work)
  • Cook and eat
  • Laundry

I make a list so that each time I take a break, I can tackle the job depending on the length of the break.

Well, as it happened, my electrician turned up promptly at 9.30 a.m. And switched off the mains, leaving me to look at my list and wondering which part to tackle. I valiantly decided I don’t need power to dust and mop and got to it. But oh boy, it was so warm I gave up after two rooms.  Also, all the drilling on the wall would only generate more dust, so I left those rooms for later.

I could manage an hour’s work on the laptop and amazingly, finished the edits I had to send.

The rest of it had to wait, including the what the “F” posts.

As the time wore on, I found myself literally getting hot and bothered.  I knew I had to look at the brighter side or else.

I just had to find the magic in the mundane.

I began by watching the electrician work. The sweat was flowing off him, and it bothered him not at all. He just stoically worked with the wiring, with focus. As I observed him, I calmed down. It got me thinking. He works in conditions like this on a daily basis—I mean he has to switch off the power wherever he works.

I immediately got up and made two tall glasses of buttermilk and offered him one. He accepted graciously, enjoyed it and got back to work.

I imagined the outcome of his work, which I would see three hours later. Two new switchboards, more convenient than the extension strips I was using. I imagined the happiness on my son’s and husband’s faces when they saw the completed job. I felt happy.

Feeling restless, I walked into the kitchen and decided to do the dishes. The water from the tap was hot. I remembered how my Mom would always feel excited about this, and smiling, I got to work. I enjoyed the feel of the scrub and the soapy water in my hands, as I scrubbed the utensils, washed them and put them on the rack to dry. As I washed each one, my fingers automatically felt around for the inscription on the side.  Either my Mom’s name, or mine, or my Grandma’s. Which, of course, took me down nostalgia lane. I recalled, how, years ago, my Mom would scrub and I would wash, to save time, and then we’d quickly make coffee and park ourselves in front of the tv to watch a movie.  I was pleased to see the glassware sparkling.

After I was done, I scrubbed the sink for good measure, squirted some soap and watched it bubble, catching the sunlight and looking like a million rainbows.  As if on cue, I heard a sparrow chirp. How tweet!

I decided to sort the kitchen shelves and looked around me, sipping water, listing what I could do, since roasting was out of the question. I changed some of the containers, put away extra stuff. Took stock of what groceries I had. Which meant I could make a meal plan for the next seven days.

Feeling rather pleased, I thought I’d check on the electrician.

He was almost done with one switchboard. I asked him if he needed anything. Water. Yes. I watched him for a while, as he walked to and fro from his toolbox to the balcony to the work site. Strangely, it was calming!

I had somehow stopped worrying about my to-do list. It didn’t even bother me that my phone had to be charged and my laptop battery was almost drained.

All that mattered now was to appreciate what was happening around me and accept the flow.

By 3 p.m. the electrician was done with the job. I cleared his bill and plugged in my laptop, intending to take stock of what I could cover.

The doorbell rang. I opened it to find my friend and for the next half hour, we had a wonderful time chatting.

After she left, I figured I may as well go bathe. And between bathing and getting dressed, I answered several phone calls. All welcome ones. By the time I was finished, another close friend called to ask if I felt like a stroll around our market. How could I say no?

Just in time, I remembered to carry my mixer-grinder, whose – had broken, so I could get it repaired. Like two teenagers, we stopped at every shop that caught our fancy and bought some stuff.  We strolled around, inhaling the mixed fragrance of the flowers being sold along the street.

Then we headed to the store to get the mixie repaired, and while that happened, we window shopped, ooh-ing and aah-ing over all the stuff we had no intention of buying.

Next stop was a food store that makes some delicious stuff. We bought a couple of our favorites there, hugged and went our ways—she to her house and I, to mine, with a promise of lunch early next week.

I literally skipped all the way home, like a happy little cuss.

As I fumbled with my key, I couldn’t help thinking what a wonderful day it had actually been, and a bit of a win-win, what with getting all sorts of things done.

I looked forward to enjoying my dinner and watching “Hot in Cleveland” and then, settling down to write today’s post, which I am doing right now.

Yes, I found magic in the mundane. What started off as a day of repairs and power cuts actually turned out to be memorable when I started to appreciate the little things.

Which was your favorite part of your day, today?

Did you find magic in the mundane?

F is for Family

F is for Fiber up!

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23 Comments

  • Reply
    Anita
    April 8, 2017 at 1:37 am

    In our home too all repair works are on now. The service personnel are doing their job in the heat.
    Despite no electricity & mixie usage, great that you offered Buttermilk to the electrician. Busy day for you.
    Finding magic in the mundane is magnificent. I look for silver lining!

  • Reply
    Debbie D.
    April 8, 2017 at 3:51 am

    You know how to “make lemonade from lemons” better than anyone else I know, Vidya. 🙂 I’m sure it’s no coincidence that your happiness level went up when you were offline. (Sorry, that’s just my internet fatigue talking). The highlight of my day was trying to convince a depressed friend that her life doesn’t suck. No matter what I suggested, she had an argument against it. There’s just no helping some people. Wishing you an even better day tomorrow!

  • Reply
    Aditi
    April 8, 2017 at 5:20 am

    It is these little things, these little moments that make up life, no? Such a beautiful post, Vidya! Made me think about my day and I’m going to sleep with a smile on my face.

  • Reply
    Shailaja Vishwanath
    April 8, 2017 at 7:57 am

    And that is ALL we need on most days: Perspective and the ability to enjoy the little things 🙂 I am so relaxed this A to Z I scare myself 😉 How sweet of you to offer him buttermilk! Oh and that bit about feeling for the inscription on the side of the plate is SO you. I wish I still lived in Malleswaram. I miss the vibrancy of that place.

  • Reply
    Bellybytes
    April 8, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Gosh Vidya you are nothing short of a magician to find the time to do all that work without electricity at that! I can’t have a cold water bath even on the hottest of hot days and without electricity I just can’t blog ( no computer)

  • Reply
    Tina Basu
    April 8, 2017 at 11:35 am

    That is a long list you had plans – and F post for three blogs!!!!! You are a magician! Finding magic in mundane is quite hard specially for me who hates the mundane work.

  • Reply
    Shilpa Garg
    April 8, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Wow! You are amazing at finding magic and moments even in mundane tasks. If we shift our perspective, we can find excitement and enjoyment in every day activities too!

  • Reply
    Arti
    April 8, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Hey Vidya. Long time no see:) THREE blogs? Where is your magic potion? WOW!
    Like you, I mop and clean and that is when I find my magic…I put on Sufi qawwaalis when I’m cleaning and softer Sufi when I’m cooking. The world outside blurs. The one within gains clarity:)
    “ooh-ing and aah-ing over all the stuff we had no intention of buying” is such a girlfriend thing to do. Loved how your day turned out:)

  • Reply
    Miss Andi
    April 8, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Beautiful example for the main lesson of your post, even more fascinating because it was a real day, not a made-up story to support the otherwise totally valid point. These are the things that make life joyful: the bird chirping, that stroll in the market, that being in the moment. Not the big things, the weddings and the birthdays but the mundane moments of every day. Thank you for sharing this!

  • Reply
    Amrita Basu
    April 8, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    I think you are very wise.Happiness actually comes from finding the magic in mundane .Lovely post .I could almost see you washing those dishes !

  • Reply
    Shalini
    April 8, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    nd that is all that we need on most of the days 🙂 It is always great to appreciate the little things in life than getting worked up over how things don’t work out.

  • Reply
    Wendy
    April 8, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful day to me. No friends to drop in or go shopping with here. Nobody phones without it being a scheduled all because of the time difference. Your post made me miss standing looking out my kitchen window ( don’t have one of those here) and my chatty walks with my neighbour.
    I’m not organised and productive like you. Never too old to learn though, right?

  • Reply
    Darla M Sands
    April 8, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    You are so inspiring Have a blessed day!

    http://darlamsands.blogspot.com/

  • Reply
    Angel Stew & Devil's Brew
    April 8, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    What a great day Vidya! I’m so happy you were able to turn things around just by turning your thoughts around. 🙂 I guess it’s true what they say, “Turn that frown upside down!” And you certainly did that my friend. Such an inspiration you are. <3

  • Reply
    Obsessivemom
    April 9, 2017 at 11:11 am

    You are a magician – is all I’m going to say. I feel such a crib pot. I need to see more of you so some magic rubs off on me too.

  • Reply
    susan scott
    April 9, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    inspiring – the magic in the mundane is there to be found, good cause for pause! Thanks Vidya!

  • Reply
    Birgit
    April 10, 2017 at 6:54 am

    This is inspiring because you can find magic in mundane things we take for granted. I was happy to finish the day and come home to my hubby

  • Reply
    Sreesha
    April 10, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Wow how do you do it!
    I wish I was there with you on that stroll. That’s all we need sometimes, a best friend by our side, to walk in and out of stores 🙂 🙂

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 10, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      That would be lovely. And very do-able. Come over! Hugs!

  • Reply
    Sreesha
    April 10, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    PS: I had no idea you had three blogs! :O

  • Reply
    Heather
    April 16, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Thank you for the reminder to take time to appreciate the little things that make life wonderful. Sometimes I get so busy that I forget.

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