“And while it takes courage to achieve greatness, it takes more courage to find fulfillment in being ordinary. For the joys that last have little relationship to achievement, to standing one step higher on the victory platform. What is the adventure in being ordinary? It is daring to love just for the pleasure of giving it away. It is venturing to give new life and to nurture it to maturity. It is working hard for the pure joy of being tired at the end of the day. It is caring and sharing and giving and loving…” Marilyn Thomsen
Yesterday afternoon the heat permeated from the sidewalk. The cracks in the pavement appeared more pronounced and if you looked long enough you could see a kaleidoscope of different designs depending on the angle of your eye’s glare. It is summer in the desert which means temperatures reaching above 110 degrees and the heat performing a dance on your skin within moments of stepping out into the sun. At about 5:00 p.m. most people are taking refuge inside their homes, not wanting to test the limits of their heat tolerance.
But when you have a five year old clamoring at home, bored from the playing Memory, Candyland, and coloring, even the thought of a hot silver metal seat belts won’t dissuade you from venturing out when the peak of the sun is at its fullest glory. As my daughter slammed the door, I turned on the engine and backed out of the garage. Our task was simple. A few groceries to buy and some takeout on our way home for dinner. We completed both those tasks and then on our way home, I experienced a reminder about why I live this ordinary life.
As my car moved toward home, a bright red car, attempted to pull into my lane, almost hitting both my daughter and me. With instinct and anxiety in my stomach, I swerved my blue car away from his car and he finally noticed me and pulled back into his lane. The lingering feeling of Wow, that was close. I am so glad my daughter and I weren’t hurt kept racing through my head like a mantra. I asked my daughter if she felt ok and she responded with, “Yes, Momma, I am fine. That red car almost hit us Momma.”
It took me a minute to gather the churning inside of me and pause to reflect on what happened. If I hadn’t swerved my car, there was a distinct possibility that both my daughter and I might have suffered some injuries. In an instant, it can all change. Later, inside the comforts of our home, I thought about what I’ve told myself lately, particularly, this voice that says, “you aren’t really achieving. Your just living your life in the ordinary.” I am my hardest critic and recently I’ve experienced a restlessness that is trying to convince me that this ordinary life might not be enough.
The red car in the road in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon helped me realize that this life I am living is enough. Even though it is wholly ordinary, it is enough.
This ordinary life. The one where I wake up and kiss my husband and my daughter first thing in the morning. This ordinary life. The one where I can run every morning and enjoy sunrises that fill the sky with a layer cake of colors, of hues of pinks, purples, and blues. This ordinary life. Where I am with people who I love and who love me back. This ordinary life. Where I can read and write and share. This ordinary life. Where I can laugh, cry, hug, experience and live.
This ordinary life. This is where it is.
Have you experienced something that makes you appreciate the life that you are living? What are ordinary things that you enjoy?
Image by SFB579