“We live in a culture that has made ordinary synonymous with meaningless.”
~ Brené Brown, Evo ’10
I frequently use my blog to vent and complain. I don’t think that’s terrible – everyone needs an outlet, and I’ve chosen to make mine a public forum. It serves a dual purpose: I get the poison out of my system and, quite frequently, I find the funny in the very things that made me angry. I worry that sometimes you might think I’m a bitter, cynical person. (Okay, I kind of am, but not all the time.) Today I want to take a few minutes to share the other side of myself.
My life has been interesting. I hesitate to call my experiences extraordinary. They are no more and no less than those experienced by others – they simply are. I frequently find myself saying, “It is what it is,” which is a philosophy I embrace wholeheartedly. Have I lived through pain and loss? Yes. So have many other people. Finding my way through that pain does not make me extraordinary – it makes me human. Addiction to alcohol and drugs certainly isn’t extraordinary, and neither is my recovery.
What I’m trying to say here, rather clumsily, is that I am ordinary. I have always longed to be extraordinary in some way, but in everything I do well, I can always find another person who does it better.
I recently spent two days at Evo ’10 learning about social media with a beautiful group of (mostly) women. Some are well-known bloggers. Others haven’t started their blogs yet. Some make oodles of money from their blogs and have sponsors who shower them with gifts. Others don’t even know what a sponsor is. It was a diverse and wonderful group of people gathered with a common goal, and I loved it. Was every moment bliss and joy? No, but I walked away with a sense of community and gratitude.
The closing keynote speakers were Brené Brown and Karen Walrond. When you have a moment, you should check out their websites. They’re women who radiate love and kindness. They have similar beliefs which are stated in very different ways. Karen believes that everyone is extraordinary. Brené believes – as stated in the quote that started this post – that everyone is ordinary, and ordinary is wonderful.
I’ve spent so long trying to become something other than ordinary, which is why something Brené said struck a deep chord: “When you talk to people who’ve survived loss, the thing they miss the most is the ordinary moments.”
My life is full of ordinary, but it’s just that ordinary that makes it beautiful. With that in mind, I’ve decided to start a weekly post that celebrates not the obviously spectacular moments of my life (“Hey! I won the lottery!) but rather the quiet, overlooked moments (“My son cuddled with me for 30 minutes today.”)
I’m going to call it Mundane Monday. I’ve always thought of “mundane” as a bad thing (“Her paintings were mundane.”), but guess what? It means “everyday: found in the ordinary course of events.” Huh. I feel the overwhelming urge to say, “I rest my case.”
Tomorrow will be my first Mundane Monday. I hope you’ll enjoy it. I’m quite certain I will.
*Dear Brené Brown, the WordPress Proofreader doesn’t recognize your existence. Don’t worry. It’s not very bright.