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Meaning in the Mundane

Can I tell you a story?

When I graduated college in 2009, it was a period of economic recession, and it wasn’t a great time to be looking for a job. I had a solid graphic design degree coupled with a marketing minor, lots of motivation and big dreams of working at a “cool” design firm with all the shiny things. And it felt like I tried almost all the tips and tricks in the book to land my dream job.

Except I didn’t. I ended up at a small print shop in Franklin, TN. The town is very quaint, and the South is equally charming, but my first job was not glamorous to say the least. I did anything and everything from greeting customers who literally wanted copies (sometimes!), to designing the website, to printing digital orders, to making business cards for local companies, to answering the phone, to setting up design files to print correctly, and lots of other odds and ends. In a nutshell, I was not doing much design work (which is what I thought I went to school for) and it proved frustrating and sometimes boring.

But do you know what my non-glamorous, mostly mundane, and at times, humbling, job did provide? (and if you aren't into design or printing, hang with me here)

-Customer service experience, with all sorts of people - vendors + clients alike!
-Tons of knowledge about paper- type, weight, grain, brands, textures, etc.
-A very comprehensive understanding of printing- digital and offset, including specialty finishes and ink colors.
-The best practices for preparing files to print, which is very important!
-How printing is priced and what’s entailed.
-How a small business runs.
And so much more...

So although those three years I spent at the humble little print shop felt small, frustratingly insignificant (at times), and a misstep, they were actually amazing. Amazing in the sense they were preparing me for not only my next job after that (I got that “cool” design job at a firm with coffee and photo shoots and bigger clients), but the mundane moments at the little print shop were preparing me for this (among other things).👇🏻

-Running my own small business. *This* small business.
-Knowing exactly how to set up my own design files, to save time and money!
-Feeling good about what paper I choose and why, so y'all can really enjoy the products we produce and sell. <3
-Understanding how my products are printed and priced, to be most efficient with the resources I have right now.
-Feeling more confident to interact with vendors, customers, and professionals in different fields, so starting this company and running it isn't quite such an overwhelming undertaking.
-And that's just a few of the things!🙌🏻(Sidenote: what I may get into for another post is how the job also provided other things I really needed at the time - low stress, time off to attend doctor appointments, time to invest in new relationships, and the space I needed to adjust to a new city and being married.)

Friend, my point is this. Sometimes we may want something really bad, but it isn't what we need. Or we aren't ready for it yet. We may need those mundane moments, mundane seasons, or yes, even mundane YEARS to prepare us for what's to come. If you are in Christ, God is in the mundane moments with you. He sees you. He hears you. He is with you. In fact, He promises in the Bible that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6) and He actually causes everything to work together for our good (Romans 8:28). Everything including humble little jobs with humble little tasks, day in and day out! Now, I don't know what your version of mundane today is, or where it may lead tomorrow, but rest assured, God does! And he is working in you and through you right now - in the mundane moments AND the exciting ones.

*So* if you are frustrated by the mundane right now, take heart and hit pause to reflect. Maybe, for now, the mundane is exactly where you need to be. 

xoxo, annette

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