Letters from Home

Healing Through Ordinariness

The Ordinary Tavern Michie Tavern (1784) 683 Thomas Jefferson Parkway Charlottesville Virginia 22902When I hit 40 this year, I started to feel strange. Like I didn’t understand who I was in relation to that number. It was a creeping “old and used up” feeling. But I didn’t let that hang around.

At some point in our lives, we reach an age that no longer makes sense. The numbers that add up to the time we have passed through does NOT seem to match our sense of being.

So in response to Day 19, #reverb10 prompt:

Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011? (Thanks, Leoni Allan)

the answer would have to be “ordinary.”

Wherever I looked, I learned that the exceptional is not the exception. People are fantastic, and they are amazing, and they are achieving grand heights in every moment of every day.

That sharpness of revelation — that even the amazing is just everyday — has made me see more amazing things in the everyday. Moments of breathing have, at times, become like fireworks.

Ordinary People

It seems that people all around us — old and young — are living everyday being ordinary. The time goes on by, and we get older, and ordinary is who we become. Angelina Jolie experiences her own spectacular ordinariness. Geniuses and welfare recipients are moving through the cycle of hours and days. Even our President, with all his responsibilities, is ordinary.

Being Ordinary is so wonderful. It subtracts the expectation of “more-sooner-faster.” For me this year, it allowed me to live life alongside some pretty imperfect people, and to continually see them as myself– just trudging along in the dust and muck to tomorrow.

I hope to do more with my ordinary everyday self in 2011. It seems life is far less stressful when the weight of being perfect, being number one, being the youngest and prettiest is lifted and tossed away.

3 thoughts on “Healing Through Ordinariness

  1. I lived this year as 40, finishing off the year as 41, and I think the most extraordinary thing about the year was its complete ordinariness. It’s the year that I realized I have become my Father (my adopted father proving nurture has it’s validity) in ways both meaningful and age-defying. At times I can be unhappy with my looks or life and at other times I could care less because my importance is in being a good parent and partner (both of which I fail miserably at times). I have to remember that “ordinary” has magic in it and that ordinary does not mean mundane.

    1. Age-defying is so right! I don’t understand age much anymore… the kids extract it from you. Though they love to mention it, whenever it suits them. Nice observation, Christopher, thanks.

  2. yes. so true for me. i hit 40 this year also, and while it is certainly the first year in which i can not remember every single thing i’ve done in my life (or think i can!), it’s also the first year of losing interest in perfectionism.

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