Monday, January 07, 2013

And now for something new...

Well, it's not really new in theory for me I suppose, but something new in practice.

For me, this is the year of Back to Blogging. The end of last year (has it all really come so fast?) was a good start to that with my Advent reflections, though I fell off the wagon pretty hard that last week before Christmas. (A blessed Advent, Merry Christmas, and Happy Epiphany, by the way.)

But the inspiration for this comes from a conversation I had with Rosie, a friend and mentor, a couple of weeks ago. She asked me what my message is, what it is that I want to tell/show/give to the world. And it just came out of my mouth, blurted, hardly thought about: "Ordinary life is extraordinary."

I think that is what I try to show here on this strange piece of paper that I hold tight to on the Internet, this website that anyone can accidentally stumble upon. Ordinary life is extraordinary. Whether it is a college basketball team, the plummet from student to working twentysomething, or Advent waiting - or, dare I say, even going all the way back to my eighth grade postings of exclamation marks and teenage giddiness - ORDINARY LIFE IS EXTRAORDINARY.

Recently, I've been noticing that America - or at least American consumer culture - does not agree with me.

"Normal can never be amazing," a man's confident voice says in a recent Mini Cooper ad. "Who would ever want to be normal?"

"Someday, your life will flash before your eyes," a Lexus commercial says, all the while showing snippets of an anonymous rich and famous couple. "Make it worth watching."

Even the radio ad for the Carolina Cash 5 drawing tells the story of a guy who, in order to "make my everyday moments amazing," hired a cheerleading squad to "woo-hoo!" his choices during the day. But playing Carolina Cash 5 was even more thrilling for him - "It's easy to add excitement to your everyday."

No wonder we're so difficult to please sometimes.

Ordinary life is extraordinary. Our normal days all contain moments of beauty, excitement, grace, laughter, hope, deep deep joy. Sometimes they come to us easily, and other times we must focus on finding them in the midst of the mud. But they are there. What are moments and people and things that truly make you happy? Look for them. This is something I'm going to be writing more about this year, in a purposeful way.

And so, at least for now, I've renamed the blog. I feel a little tug leaving "Miles to Go Before I Sleep" - I learned the Frost poem in eighth grade, the same year I started writing here. But I want to see what "Ordinary Goodness" brings. I'm still writing about the same stuff - but I need to become more aware, more tuned in to the glories of every day. The warmth and quiet of the house as I got up to write this. The start of a new week and a new year. My fuzzy bathrobe. Photos of family on my desk. Sunlight creeping through windows.

Maybe the light we're seeking is right in front of us. Let's explore.

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