Sometimes…when I am rushing madly from one job to another, with never a moment to rest, read, or dream I feel rebellious and ask myself if this is the kind of life I was intended for…
Can I get an “I hear ya, sister”? This is Montgomery’s entire journal entry for Wednesday, October 31, 1923. I just read it for the first time, but I’m pretty sure I’ve written it before.
While reading Montgomery’s journals I am constantly struck by how busy she is. Not busy like you think for the olden days – how it takes two days to do the laundry and hours to prepare things like bread and butter. Nope, she’s pretty much busy with the same stuff we are: House cleaning the same things over and over (and too many things at that), fulfilling out of obligation things that really should come from the heart or not really happen at all, and attending meetings to plan meetings to plan – well, etcetera.
I’d really like to find the portal to 1923 and pay her a visit. “Pare down this parlor!” I would say. “Quit visiting people with whom you can’t have rich conversation.” “And for goodness sake, fire the maid.” Montgomery has a terrible time with her maid. And while reading, I feel convinced that the main problem is that she has a maid. Constant day and night help for a house of four people? Lily is just not a kindred spirit, I can tell, and it’s far more emotional exhaustion to try to live with her than the physical exhaustion would be if you fixed your own breakfast. I’m just sayin. Simplify, Maud.
I also want to connect her to more like-minded people. Don’t we just live in the best age? If you like a thing, you can pretty much find a plethora of books and videos and blog posts by other people who enjoy it, too. If you want to talk about things, as Margaret Dashwood wanted in Sense and Sensibility, you can find a whole tribe of people across the globe who want to talk about things, too. It’s gossip and the weather only if you’re so inclined. If you’re like Montgomery, and you want to talk about ideas instead, it’s out there. The race of Joseph is everywhere. I wish she had had that.
And, then, I would tell her to rebel. If life feels mad and hurried, if you don’t have time to rest and read and dream, then you alone can stop it. And you must. Not everyone is a reader, maybe. But you’re a something. And you’ve got to make time for the something even if it means letting go of a passel of perfectly acceptable nothings. Don’t do what’s expected of you, people. Do what you were intended for.