Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The ordinary is extraordinary

I've been spending a lot of time quietly reflecting lately and something keeps popping into my thoughts. I keep thinking of something that I wish I'd told my students before I left, especially my graduating seniors. If I had them all in front of me again, what I would want to tell them is

"We keep telling you that you can all do extraordinary things, and I'm sure that you can. But more and more what I realize is that that's not what life's all about, that's not what matters. What matters is that you do the ordinary things in extraordinary ways."

And the more I go over this in my head, the more I realize that it's not the kids so much that I need to tell this to as myself. I am always looking for the big thing that I am going to do with my life, even now, even after years of career and years of marriage, still looking for the thing that I'm going to do that's really going to matter. But I think that I'm missing the point. I think that the truth of it is the essence of simple living that I've been in too much of a hurry to grasp: Everything matters. It matters how I fold my laundry, it matters how I talk to cashiers at the grocery store, it matters how I spend my quiet afternoons. I think everything in my life for a long time has been leading up to this one realization.

I don't need to do something extraordinary to matter. I just need to do everything in my life with care and love.


Bouncing Back said...

great post! I have this feeling that something extraordinary is just out of my grasp. And have been fighting the frustration that I can't grasp it for quite sometime.

Maybe I do need to refocus and do the ordinary things in extraordinary ways.

CHC said...

Holy crap... This is eerie. I had this EXACT same realization today. I wrote the very same things in my journal. So great minds must think alike I guess. ;)

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