Thursday, April 13, 2017

THIS EXTRAORDINARY ORDINARY LIFE



Here I am.  I'm 40.  And yep, I'm struggling a little to swallow that number.  

There have been some funny moments.  Desperate shopping in the juniors department for a dress to wear to my birthday party, my mind awash with images of sirens going off and security guards with megaphones yelling, "Ma'am, step away from the clothes or we may have to arrest you! You are too old to shop here!"  Is there an age limit in the juniors department?  I didn't have these thoughts when I was 39, but there's something about 40 that screams middle age in a different way.  

I have read many articles entitled things like What I Would Tell My 30 Year Old Self  or What I Wish I had Known at 20. I will not be writing one of those articles. Every multi-facet of me at every age has made me who I am today.  I wouldn't be able to offer encouragement to a women struggling with body image or new motherhood if I hadn't struggled with my own.  I would not have learned to make smarter choices if I hadn't made bad ones early on.  I wouldn't want to change any of it and I don't take any of it back.

Life has a learning curve that no advice, no words of wisdom, could ever straighten.   Whether we like it or not, that learning curve looks more like a roller-coaster than a steady, upward slope. Ups, downs, twists, turns, the unexpected loop the loop.  We all start at the same point and we all end at the same point, but some of our middles are a little more twisty than others.  

Lord knows I'm twisty.  

My learning curve just decided to kick into high gear with this milestone birthday and all the introspection that it brings.  Currently, the roller coaster ride is bringing me back to this one thought: 


THIS IS IT.

This.  This right here.  This year.  This day.  This moment.  This is my life.  This is all I get and I better start living it.

I've spent my whole life anxiously waiting to get to the next thing.  I thought life would start when I got there, but then it was on to the next thing after that.  

As a child I couldn't wait to be thirteen with braces (Where I got that hair-brained idea, I'll never know. I would even cover my teeth with those silver Juicy Fruit wrappers to pretend I had them.)  In high school, I couldn't wait to be in college.  In college, I couldn't wait to pursue dancing again.  After college, I couldn't wait to get married.  When I was dancing professionally, I couldn't wait to make it through some of those rehearsals or the next set of performances.  I couldn't wait to get pregnant, to have a baby. And when baby arrived, I couldn't wait to be out of the newborn phase, the terrible twos, the toddler years. I couldn't wait for the long days of early motherhood to be over and kids in bed.  I couldn't wait for school-aged littles and a break in my day. I couldn't wait to start this blog. What did I forego with all this waiting to start and to live?  

I push my friends, my husband, my kids away because I'm busy waiting and being impatient. Get out of my way, everyone, can't you see that I'm trying to get to what's next?

And here I am. Did I miss it?  Am I missing it?  Am I missing my own life because I was waiting for something else.  Something shinier or bigger or more extraordinary.

Extraordinary.  Extra Ordinary.  EXTRA. ORDINARY.  

Let that sink in for a minute.  

Open your eyes.  Life is extra ordinary.  It is both remarkable and unremarkable in one breath.  

The ordinariness of life, I have tried to sweep away like cheerios from the kitchen floor.  I want to brush it away and get on with it.   I wanted to do something... be somebody.  I didn't intend to end up here.  Small girl.  Small life.  

But THIS IS IT.

And I mean that not in a despairing or melancholy way.  I mean that in a WAKE UP AND LOOK AROUND way.  Beauty is all around me.  To these kids, I am their world.  To my husband, I am his one and only.  To my life, I am the leading lady.  

I want to carve, "Amy was here," all over my life. 

See, feel, taste, smell, hear this.  This is it.  This is your extraordinary life.   

May we be present in it.  May we savor the coffee instead of gulping it.  May we look into little eyes and mirror their wonder instead of rushing them along.  

May we be content in our smallness instead of coveting bigness.  And in our smallness, feel the vastness of God and understand that He created us for such a time as this.  For this exact day, hour, moment, child, joy, disappointment. May we not underestimate or discount the work we are here to do, the love we are here to give.  It is BIG and essential.  

May we give of ourselves freely instead of saving our time, energy, money, ideas, and love for later, because later we'll still want to save our time, energy, money, ideas, and love.   Later is not finite. It can never be reached, for there will always be later, more, better.  Time is sand sifting through our fingers.  

May we say yes more because right now is all we've got. May we say no more because right now is all we've got.  May the circle of the ones we love most deeply know that they are shiny, big, and significant in our lives, that they are extra ordinary and extraordinary. 

May we come to understand that it is most often the little things etched in our mind forever, the things we thought were inconsequential or felt totally random or normal that make a life well lived.  

My pinnacle moments include a sunset hour stolen at a park last minute, sun glinting off water and little feet swinging high, squeals and smiles all around, bedtime kisses with my son, watching my two bigs ski down a mountain while remembering when they were still cocooned inside me, that I got to take part in an extraordinary, ordinary miracle growing them and making life and now they are little people sailing away on skis like it's nothing, a $2 creative ice cream date with my husband so many years ago, a long dinner with friends. 

They say your life flashes before your eyes when you die, and I'm pretty sure these are some of the things I will see.  I doubt I will see the things I strived for, the manufactured mountaintops that only last for a second.  I doubt I will see the promotion or the time I fit into size 4 jeans.  I doubt I will see how many readers or likes or comments I got.  

I will see faces.  Faces.  Faces.  Faces.  Ordinary faces that were extraordinary because our lives intersected, and we chose to live it boldly, fully, richly.  We chose to be present and bump into each other and sift our sand together.

This is it.  Now is the time.  This is the opportunity, your happily ever after, your for better or for worse.  This is your life, your love, your people.  And these are your faces right before you.  

Don't miss it.  



5 comments:

  1. I saved this when you wrote it b/c I knew I would want to read it but I just didn't have time in the moment. This is beautiful and brilliant and just what I needed to read today. Thank you for sharing your heart. <3

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  2. Extra ordinary - now that is a gem to chew on!

    ReplyDelete

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