Things don’t have to be extraordinary to be beautiful. Even the ordinary can be beautiful. ― Wicker Park
I love movies where people die. Not die in some violent masculine bang-bang-bang type of way. Die in the ways of cancer, “accidents”, illness and the like. I love movies where people die and big love is left.
I haven’t yet lost anyone where the grief continues for years, but I think about it a lot. I think about it because it’s my greatest fear.
I think about it because losing someone you love often makes life really matter.
I think about it because losing someone you love reminds you that ordinary is enough and that extraordinary is a bonus that you choose.
Turning the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary
So many of us crave adventure and extraordinary lives. Extraordinary lives where we are free of the ordinary.
I often picture my family of five, with just one suitcase each, exploring the depths of life in its adventurous, raging simplicity and beauty. Spending days with beach sand in between our toes, mountain scratches on our knees, new scenes each day. Squeezing the last bit of vibrancy from life’s tube of paint, each and every moment…
I sometimes sigh deeply and curse a bit at the mundaneness of dishes, a dog chewed a shoe, heaps of dirty laundry, grocery shopping, bill paying. Sucked in like a vortex of life’s upkeeps.
I feel like I exist in a little town called The Duality of Meaning and Mundane.
I seek meaning like the sustenance of food. I have days where I make the mundane sacred with presence, oldies music, open windows and playfulness.
I have days where I truly know what matters with each breath I take; days that are so good I wish I could bottle up the essence and drink it on the forgotten days. These are the extraordinary days.
Many things rouse these extraordinary days, but one that is a consistent reminder is the reality of death. Remembering the fleetingness of your life can inspire a remarkable life and it should. Remembering death is our only certainty in this wildly uncertain life can inspire you to never overlook the ordinary.
It can allow you to rest your head at the end of the day, simply grateful that it was an ordinary day where no one was diagnosed with cancer, you didn’t miscarry, there were no car accidents, appliance breakages, broken hearts, trauma, tragedies or illnesses.
Death reminds us that taking any moment, or any day, for granted is foolish.
Death can be a reminder that ordinary days mean we are alive and that we must not waste our aliveness.
An ordinary day can become extraordinary when we truly see the power of an ordinary day.
An extraordinary is day is an ordinary day you know could change tomorrow.
originally published 02/10/2014