A Year of Mindfulness: 52 Weeks of Focus – Week 19
This week, pay attention to the ordinary—it is primarily what makes up our lives. It’s what makes the extraordinary that much more special! … How can we regularly find comfort, joy and peace in the ordinary, mundane moments of life? This week I pledge to be in the moment and find joy in the ordinary. You?
This is a tough one for me. How insulting to be considered ordinary, boring, typical, mundane! I don’t want to look like somebody else, dress like somebody else, talk like somebody else, or think like somebody else. I cringe when somebody thinks they recognize me from somewhere, but they don’t, I just look like somebody they know. (With so many of us on this planet, how could some of us not look alike, but still, do you have to rub it in?) I prefer to read a book once, see a movie once, and then move on to the next one—there are so many more to discover! Why would I wear the same combination of clothes twice, choose boring colors, or eat the same foods day in and day out? Why not spontaneously change my plans mid-stream, and come home four hours late?
As you can imagine, this attitude, which generally works well for me, sometimes has negative consequences for others—like those in my family who are much more creatures of habit and routine. They are the ones who don’t understand why I don’t come home exactly when I planned to, or will watch the complete Firefly or The West Wing series over and over, while I’m rolling my eyes, wanting to watch something new (I love both of these, but I don’t feel the need to watch them more than once). And it sometimes has negative consequences for me, in getting things done, as I don’t naturally stick to a set routine.
And yet, even though I have always felt this way, I do know what my Mindfulness friend is getting at. Because I also like some routine. I like the comfort of a lived-in house, with everything in its place, hanging out with the same animal friends every day, hubby and I and sometimes step-kids repeating the same things day after day: preparing food, playing games, reading, watching Netflix, walking the Butte, blogging, writing, gaming. There is comfort in these things—and they are the things that keep me sane during times of grief, or great disappointment. In fact, family routine is what got me through a very rough last week.
So, I will try to respect the ordinary, and remember the peace that it brings me. After all, things can’t be out of the ordinary, if there is no ordinary to begin with.