While life carries on as “unusual,” I find myself growing a sincere appreciation for the ordinary. Honestly, I usually take the ordinariness of normal for granted. This “shelter in place” season has given me a reboot on perspective I didn’t know I needed.
I am not collecting “when this is over” treasures; I am trying to unwrap the gift of each moment–even the scorpion crawling over my bare foot one. When life is moving at its usual stride, it is easy for me to hyper-focus on what comes next and miss what is NOW.
We will not get these moments back, so we must learn to spend the currency of today.
Indulge in conversations.
Reread your favorite book.
Call your people.
Finish the project.
Write a letter.
Watch the stars.
A few ordinary experiences I celebrated this week….
- Cards [on hand].
This is a nice way to tell you I am a card hoarder. I have zero shame in confessing my addiction to stationary of any kind. It’s no secret I think sharing kind words is our responsibility as people, so it will not surprise you that I have been carving out time to send birthday cards and just because letters. My tendency to overbuy cards from Trader Joe’s finally makes sense.There is no better time to drop a note of encouragement to someone in your circle of influence, and it doesn’t even have to be pretty. With the excuse of time off the table, what is stopping you from reaching out to others?Side note: if you have not purchased any of the beautiful cards from Trader Joe’s, you need to get yourself there as soon as it is safe. They are beautiful and inexpensive.
- Helium Tank
This is weird, but I have never been so happy to own a helium tank. A friend picked it up for me over a year ago because it was a great deal. I have casually walked by this tank [so cute in the box] innumerable times wondering when I would put it to use.This past week provided the opportunity to drop balloons and coffee off to a friend celebrating a quarantine birthday. I’ve never put together a social distance birthday surprise, so that was a new [and fun] experience.
Full disclosure-I know almost nothing about stars and constellations, but other night the sky was showing off [and not to be ignored]. My family grabbed blankets and chairs and plopped down in the middle of the backyard to absorb the moment.
Once upon a time, we enjoyed sitting in the back yard together. We rarely take the time to do that anymore.After discovering we should have paid more attention in our science classes, we beheld the beauty of the wide open sky. Considering the vastness and intricacies of Creation, as a result of choosing to stop and look up, was a priceless treasure. We belly-laughed over things that were only funny to us, and it was holy.
The battery on my computer has been dying quickly the past few weeks. Teaching live online classes, Zoom meetings with EVERYONE, and creating or grading Google Classroom assignments has my computer wondering exactly what happened. The increased demand drains the battery at a rate that surprises me.While sitting at my desk, thinking about how often I have been plugging in my charger, the parallel to my own life was not lost on me. I am not great at resting; I forget to draw boundaries, and I push until I am completely spent. Mind you, I don’t consciously craft my day to drain me, but when I am not paying attention to the rhythms of my life, this is what happens.Our current slowdown has provided the opportunity to evaluate the tempo of my life. I don’t want to run myself ragged. Like my computer, I need to plug in and recharge. Ceasing from an unsustainable pace isn’t a punishment, it’s a gift I am learning to unwrap.
The picture of my kitchen table might not mean much to you, but if you look closely, you will count FIVE chairs around the table. With two children in college, we rarely occupy more than three chairs. While this means more dishes and messes, it also implies unique opportunities to connect.
I spend a lot of time inside my head. Ideas and thoughts roll around like balls in a bingo spinner, so increased interactions means less time lost in my own thoughts. I am NOT sad about that.
Beyond that, I have relished conversations I have overheard–giggles from the youngest as he plays Nerf basketball with his siblings who are rarely home, jokes shared among the kids as they play a game around the table, and words of wisdom spoken between father and sons.
These are the gifts of right now.
This is the currency of TODAY.
So while life carries on as unusual, I am going to keep looking for the lovely amidst the ordinary.