Friday, September 9, 2011

An Ordinary Day

“What’s up?” “Not much. What’s up with you?” “Not much.”

For most of my adult life, this is not a conversation I could have had. There was always some aspect of my life in upheaval, in crisis, in dramatic transition. Not all of it was bad. Some of the transitions were sought after. But much of it was hard. Kids with special needs, relationships ending badly, foster kids in crisis, moving often, loved ones dying, injuries and illness.

Much of what was hard was hard because I made hard things harder, by trying to control events and people, by trying to make things other than what they were, by never asking for or accepting help, by magical thinking and massive denial, by debilitating guilt and shame.

I used to wish for an ordinary day. A day like any other, when nothing major happened, when there was no crisis to handle. A day that was unremarkable, with no surprises, a day easy to forget.

I have days like that now. That’s partly because my life has settled down a lot in recent years. And it’s partly because I have learned to roll along with life a bit more smoothly than before.

When I have an ordinary day, I savor every moment. Sometimes I stop in the middle of errands or chores or just reading or watching TV, and think to myself “I love my life so much.” I want to run up to people and shake them and say, “Are you having an ordinary day? Do you know how lucky you are?”

I try to remember to say a prayer for all the millions of people who are having a day like the ones that used to be the norm for me. And for the many more who are having a day much worse than the worst of mine. (On my worst day I had so much to be grateful for if I had only looked at things differently.)

If you are having an ordinary day today, then consider yourself blessed. And please send some good thoughts to those who are struggling today.

What’s up? Not much. Thank God.

20 comments:

  1. Oh yes, I too appreciate an ordinary day. When you don't get too many of them in your life, they become very important.

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  2. I'm having an ordinary day today, and you KNOW I consider it a blessing! :)

    Hope you're well. Those babies are coming soon!

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  3. OK, now this post is wonderful! I so get what you are saying. Thanks for sharing.

    I really like your blog and plan to get more familiar with it.

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  4. You are so right Galen! Ordinary easy going days are nothing short of spectacular!

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  5. A nice relaxed post. I'm so happy you could find a so-called ordinary day. Hope you have many more.
    Manzanita@Wannabuyaduck

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  6. Roberta--That's right. I truly appreciate them now. Thanks for your comment.

    Chrissy--I do know! I'm so pleased for you, and I hope you have more ordinary days! Thanks for commenting.

    Ellen Marie--I look forward to your "getting more familiar" with the blog and joining in the conversation! Thanks for your comment.

    Average Girl--Spectacular! I love that! Thanks for your comment.

    Manzanita--Me, too! Thanks for your comment.

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  7. I'm happy for your ordinary day....mine is pretty much ordinary too, we are blessed and hopefully it's contagious! It also was another 84 degrees and the best sunshine ever...I really would love to keep this weather for a long time! Have a great, ordinary weekend!

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  8. I can certainly appreciate an ordinary day.. and I am grateful for the time that I have to breathe easy. I think today is one.

    Have a good weekend.

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  9. Karen--I am happy to have warm weather here, too. Thanks for the good wishes, and for your comment.

    Being Me--You, too. Thanks for commenting.

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  10. Maturity is a good thing.

    I've always been lucky that nothing major has really happened in my life. Of course, like last year with Jr., that was an unavoidable occurrence. Things like that you can't control. Other than that, my life is quite boring. I'm sure alot of people envy me for that. But it's not always a good thing.

    Any events that have happened in your life, dramatic or not, shape you. You become a more experienced, realistic, tougher person. I was told once that life only throws at you what you can handle. Sometimes life misjudges. But most of us take it and are able to carry on. That's what makes these "idle" moments so treasured.

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  11. It's great to be reminded that no matter where we are in life or how grim things may seem at the time, there's always someone who is in a worse position. It's times like those that make us put things into perspective and appreciate what is good instead of focusing on the negatives.
    Your posts are always thought provoking.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Denise

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  12. ryoko--That is an interesting perspective. I especially appreciated your second paragraph--very eloquent. Thanks for your comment.

    Denise--So true. I think gratitude is a chosen perspective. We can always choose it. Thank you for commenting.

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  13. Nice reading your thoughts...God bless!

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  14. Kaylan--Thanks! God bless you, too!

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  15. I am always grateful for an ordinary day. When I was younger I was always telling my husband I wanted to have just a normal ordinary life like I saw others having. We were always moving and traveling and never able to stay in one place very long. Well one day when we were much older we were sitting in our new home and just enjoying life my husband asked. "Is this normal enough?" That's when I realized we had been finally blessed to have the ordinary life I once craved! Hope you have a great day!

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  16. Your posts are such a favorite of mine and I loved this one. I know exactly what the hard days are like. Maybe in different areas but the same in intensity. I too love those nice ordinary days and being older and I hope a little wise I am able to handle days a bit better.
    I love the thoughts.
    Blessings to you and keep on enjoying those ordinary days and I will too.

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  17. Excellent post, Galen. Just your title brought a smile to my face as it is the same as one of my songs, "Find Your Happy Place!" Thanks for the reminders....and here is a little music to add to your happy day: http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=18&Itemid=21

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  18. Hi Galen,
    Each day is a blessing. "Ordinary" days without 'dramas', even more so. Keep on enjoying & savouring your days.
    be good to yourself
    David

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  19. Bonnie--Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. So glad you are enjoying your ordinary life! Thanks for commenting.

    LeAnn--That's a deal! Thanks for your comment.

    Steve--Wow, some great music to go with the blog! A theme song! Thanks so much for the link and for your comment.

    David--Each day is a special gift indeed. Thanks for your comment.

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  20. Yup, we should be feeling blessed to have a normal day. Your life seem to have had some very bad experiences, but it’s the bad experiences that help us stand stronger in life.

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