No Ordinary Life

I keep this little image and quote nearby so that it can inspire and remind me just how precious a new day is. We’re adults here so I’ll be honest. Life can be hard. It’s delivered some brutal knocks to me…breaking my bones, tearing ligaments, and ripping out my heart a few times. But here I am still breathing. Still trying. Still marveling at all that I am and all that I have for which to be grateful.

The other day some well-meaning person asked me, “How can you be so happy when you have so little?”

“Perspective, I guess.” Was my response.

Then this morning someone referred to my life as “ordinary.”

For some reason that really ticked me off because life, by definition, is anything but ordinary. We’re feeling, moving, thinking, acting, choosing, creating, and loving human beings. No life is ordinary. Every life matters. Every moment is a gift to make our lives ours.

So what if I wash the same dishes every day that I’ve washed for the past thirty years? So what if I wear the same clothes and drive the same car? So what if I have a routine that seems rutted and boring to an observer? Am I going to die having never lived?

No way. Every person who enters my life is a teacher. Every book I read is trip to the unknown. Every time I get defeated I find new strength in the climb back up. (By now I should be Super Woman. But I’m not. I’m just me.) Yes, I’m tired. I’m scarred. I’m scared. But I’m alive and determined to make the most of however many breaths I have left.

And, like you, I have dreams that make me unique, give me hope, and goals for which to aim. I want to see Adele in concert. I want to take Elijah to Disney. Any Disney will do. I want to find ways to spend time with my G-babies so they can teach me about life. I want to love my children better than I do. I want to be a better friend. I want to travel the entire world serving children. Seriously, I want to sell everything I have left and just go from opportunity to opportunity serving for the rest of my life—not because I’m some saint, but because service makes me happiest. I want to master French. I want to share what I learn about the brain. I want to hike far away mountains. I want to earn that elusive Ph. D. I want to write a book that takes children to the heart of their truest identity. I want to hide in a hot air balloon and cuddle a koala.

I want. I want. I want.

What about being grateful for all that I already have? What about celebrating the life I have and not looking to someone else’s excitement? I may never get to see my dreams fulfilled and that’s okay. I’ve already had opportunities that have honored my sense of adventure. But it’s still good to dream and to dream brazenly. It’s good to work hard for those dreams. It’s good to let gratitude lead the way. And it’s good to stop and celebrate the small things that are really the big things, like shared time and memories made together. Because life is precious, dear friends, and you and yours are anything but ordinary.

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