So many thoughts swirling in my head this morning. Thankfully none have to do with M and our communications; he is in the kitchen creating one of his salmon-crusted cooking creations while I am trying to collect and organize my thoughts before the commute. (He just came in and reminded me he is making “stinky food” in the kitchen and would be opening the windows, so I might want to ensure I leave on time.)
I was reading a blog last night where the author talks about her refusal to not have an extraordinary life. I understand that the definition of an extraordinary life will differ from person to person, yet I wonder how many of us yearn for that standard for ourselves?
My most ardent desire as an adult has been for a secure life, or as secure as anything can be that comes without guarantees or promises of continuity. From that perspective, I am not sure that counts as extraordinary. I am a mother and have raised children to independent adulthood, a the feat that seems pretty great on it own. What elevates it to a potential of extraordinary is that both kids love me, still speak to me regularly about everyday stuff, and seem to like me as a person. This was not my own experience growing up with my parents.
If I am still and contemplative about it, my desires, hopes, and dreams rest on having good, positive, and interesting stories from my life to share. They seem so unremarkable right now, yet who knows what it will be like 5 or 10 or even 20 years from now? My priorities revolve around time spent with M, my kids, others we love; what we do together in that time is secondary. I have no plans or dreams of venturing outside the US until I have had opportunity to at least visit the rest of the country. Canada is intriguing; there are several locales M and I would enjoy visiting and exploring. Someday. But if we do not make it there, I will not feel disappointed or as if I have failed. I will have just run out of time or ability or financial resources.
Okay, stinky food smells are reaching me, so I am officially tabling the rest of this post until later. Time to drive.
Now it’s later, at work, and I’m returning to this post, having given it a little more time to age and brew in the back of my mind …
Maybe the key to an extraordinary life is being content and satisfied with what you have. I hear/read a lot about practicing gratitude, and I believe it has a lot of bearing on contentment. Those who seem most discontent are disappointed about lack of opportunities – to meet a compatible mate, to have a more interesting or better paying career, to travel and see more of the world, to have a family of their own, or sometimes even all of the above and more. I get it. We all have our hopes and dreams. But there is much to be said for looking at the fullness of our drinking glass and appreciate what we have in it, versus the space yet to be filled.
I am still not sure about what constitutes an extraordinary life after thinking about it all morning. Maybe when I have some time after living and learning and (mostly) enjoying my day-to-day experiences I will figure it out. Until then, there is lunch to be eaten, blogs to be read, and life – extraordinary or simply ordinary – to be savored.