Thursday, October 03, 2013

The Gift of an Ordinary Day




I read a book by that title a few years ago, The Gift of An Ordinary Day.  The book itself was only so-so, but the title has remained with me.  I supposed that title, that idea, started coming more frequently a couple of months ago when I began listening to a podcast about people enduring difficult trials.  One of the common themes of this podcast is the fact that for many people life is going along just fine and then bam! tragedy strikes.  Unexpected illness, an accident, death, violence of some sort, etc.  And while I can't remember which person from which story said it, one woman said, Before [this tragic event] we were so happy, but we just didn't realize it.     

It occurred to me that sometimes I don't realize how happy I actually am.  Getting too caught up in the little annoyances of life or just the monotonous routine can cloud the realization that my life is really quite amazing.

The gift of an ordinary day.  




We've all had those periods in our life where it seemed like the world was ending--and maybe it really was--yet for so many people it was life as usual and we would give anything to be worrying about mundane things like what to make for dinner and that never ending pile of laundry.  And then we forget.  Not that I think we should only appreciate the simple and easy periods of life because you never know or it could always be worse.  To only appreciate something because the alternative is worse, robs that person/event/situation of the inherent beauty it possesses simply because it is.  I don't love my life because it could always be worse, I love my life because it is beautiful and amazing, with and without the bad.

Of course now I'm in a bit of a contradiction because of my initial realization had to do with that very comparison... but there you have it.  I will say, I do believe you can have beauty, love and joy even in the midst of unwanted tragedy and heartache as well... so there's that.

Anyway, the point is lately my life has felt very ordinary, in the very best way.  Staying home with Lamp to play on a Friday morning.  The family gathered on our bed talking, being silly, together.  Parent/teacher conferences while PSP reads to Lamp at her desk.  Delicious fall recipes even though it's still in the low 90's.  Even back to back weekends with PSP face planting it pretty bad--one actually chipping her  permanent front tooth--still falls in the realm of manageable ordinariness.  I'll take it.  I'll take it all.




I certainly don't have it all figured out, but I think one of the secrets to a happy life is gratitude.  Giving thanks in all things.  In my experience gratitude actually changes the heart and helps you see things anew.  These ordinary days really are a gift.  Not just because they lack tragedy, but because they're filled with beauty.

The gift of an ordinary day.  
Sappy? Cheesy?   Yes and yes.  
But true.    


6 comments:

  1. Hi Miggy -

    Have you heard of Ann Voskamp's book "One Thousand Gifts"? It's all about cultivating deep gratitude for the ordinary blessings of life, in good times and in bad. I read this book several years ago and highly recommend it. She also has a blog: www.aholyexperience.com.

    Thanks for the post; I think your perspective is very wise.

    Amanda

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  2. I love this post. Your girls are beautiful.

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  3. Loved this post. Actually I love all your posts. I'll remember this title now as well and remind myself how happy I am even when life seems pretty ordinary.

    -Kym

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  4. i love this. it's funny you wrote about this because i've been thinking about it a lot lately. we recently found out we're pregnant with baby #2, and i can't help but imagine (over and over again) how great the feeling of "normalcy" is going to feel when we give birth (if everything goes to plan of course). i crave that "normal" feeling. the normalcy of being wheeled down the hall with my baby to our room with a smile on my face - just like all the other proud moms, the normalcy of happy phone calls and congratulations, and the normalcy of happy tears. but i don't think i would ever really be able to appreciate this "normalcy" without experiencing the other side. which is sad in a way, but it has helped me realize how great our lives really are, even though so very ordinary.

    thanks for sharing. :)

    anna (zayn's mom)

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  5. I found your blog via Kelle Hampton, and I've spent the last few days reading through all your Lamp Links. (She is the CUTEST thing EVER, by the way!) So this is the first current post I've read yet, and I think it's funny that this is it- because you sound just like Kelle here!

    I'm loving our ordinary right now, too. I just had my third child juuuust under two months ago, and my oldest just started kindergarten, so life is pretty crazy- especially with a Terrible Two's little boy thrown in the mix!- but it's all so normal and good right now. Sometimes I get bored of "ordinary" and get ready for a vacation or a party or a new car or just CHANGE... But really, ordinary is pretty good. I'm happy right where I am.

    (Although, I wouldn't turn down a momentous milestone like sleeping through the night right now... That'd be okay with me!:)

    Thanks for sharing all you do. I've loved learning about Lamp and how a mom handles a surprise like her.

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  6. Amen! The secret to a happy life is truly a grateful heart. Sometimes we learn this the hard way and then it is forever imprinted on our souls.

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