I really, really, like an ordinary day. The sort of day where you get the kids to school, do your work, have supper, hang out with your family or read or do household stuff, and then just head on to bed. You don’t want every day to be exactly the same, of course, and it’s not good to get in a rut, but it is pretty damn good to have a routine, and it is perfectly okay to enjoy it.
That sort of life seems to be dismissed by a lot of people. There is a sense that it is dull, or that it lacks challenge, and that might be the case if you did the exact same thing every day and shied away from anything that deviated from it. However, I think the real danger is in being unconscious about what you truly want and what makes you happy, so if you are acting that way, then there is just as much of a problem in ‘going big’ or always seeking variety for variety’s sake.
I see this a lot in the coaching world. There is so much emphasis on going BIG, on being extraordinary, on things being epic, that it makes me ornery (bonus O word). What about if you don’t want or need an epic life? What if you just want to have something ordinary that makes you happy?
I get that some people feel drawn to this huge projects and huge ideas and they love the excitement and the adrenaline rush involved with that lifestyle. However, I don’t think everyone feels called to live big and that is just fine. I want to be sure people live to the edges of the life that they want, that they take up all the space that they need to thrive, but I don’t give a damn if they go big or go home, or if they try to be a superhero.
I get where these coaches are coming from, and I respect the energy they bring to their work, but it makes me feel a little alienated sometimes. I am not encouraging people to clip their own wings or hide their skills, but I think that all the focus on the epic makes people feel that they couldn’t possibly measure up. Or it makes them feel that the things they want are not important enough. And I don’t want ANYONE to have that feeling.
I think that there is a lot of joy and passion to be found in the ordinary, in living the life you want to live, and living it very well. I think the real joy is in being tuned in to what is going around you.
That’s part of the reason that I don’t spend a lot of time rushing around to expose my kids to all sorts of new things all the time. It’s a conscious decision on my part to curate the things we spend energy on. It’s hard enough to make choices about what to do these days – there are so many options all the time and our brains were NOT designed for this variety – without adding additional complication.
Now, I’m not suggesting that people operate from a sense of fear, or that they try to confine themselves to minutae, that is not a life well lived at all. What I’m saying is that they can find a way to celebrate the things that happen for them all the time, that they can see the beauty in the every day instead of always seeking to go bigger all the time. Constant expansion does not guarantee happiness and it seems to keep the focus out there, in the space between here and there, instead of in having you look around and just be where you are.
I can imagine that a lot of people are turned off by the GO BIG GO BIG people, so I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to be soft, it’s okay to have a tight focus, it’s okay to choose your experiences, it’s okay to be ordinary. I love ordinary things.