Celebrating the ordinary when life is toughThere are times in everyone’s life when the familiar is mighty nice. Comforting even. Sought after.
By: Monica Isley, Lake County News Chronicle
There are times in everyone’s life when the familiar is mighty nice. Comforting even. Sought after.
Most people will admit to getting bored with the drudgery of each day, of getting up knowing--or thinking they know--exactly what’s going to happen, of facing the same old deadlines, the same old people, the same old places.
We’re told to grab gusto, to experience new things, to challenge ourselves and our abilities. We look for the latest movie, a new place to drive, the most modern cell phone with all the newest gadgets. We want diversion.
That only applies, however, when our worlds are rolling along on even, expected courses, when we have our personal rocks to cling to so we can let our diversions touch us and move on, like eddies in a stream. We can dabble in our explorations with one foot safely on dependable ground.
When something rocks our world, however, the familiar suddenly becomes a lifeline. And when someone else’s world is rocked, it’s only logical to sit and look at the things around us we take for granted, but which now seem very precious.
For me, it can be silly things. I sat in my bed early this morning, and listened to the rain fall softly outside my open window. It was a peaceful whisper that I could enjoy while snuggled under the covers, warm and toasty and with time, for the moment, to be idle.
Later, the phone rang. It was a call from a friend, his familiar raspy voice tinged with excitement over a recently conferred honor. I could smile in solidarity and rejoice with him.
My old dog hobbled over to me, tail wagging, cloudy eyes on my face, waiting for his morning massage. The familiar routine is comorting to us both.
I opened email and found notes from two more friends, wishing me luck in my challenging day, expressing confidence, sharing silly stories. Friends wrap around my world like cotton batting, warm and soft and comfortable.
Once dressed, I grabbed my camera and downloaded photos into the computer, some for me, some for the paper. I posted a couple to an online site, savoring the knowledge that comments would be forthcoming, another kind of sharing.
When I walked into the newspaper office, a coworker greeted me with a “good morning!” and a smile, and another did the same, his glance lingering as if to assess the true nature of my aura this day. The sharing here is of another kind, but necessary, supportive, appreciated.
I find that throughout my day, the familiar things fill me with the joy. Smiles from friends, graceful tree silhouettes against the sky, birds on the wing, soaring so high the world must seem inconsequential to them. Waves lapping on the shore, tulips pushing through the soil, grossbeaks in my mountain ash tree, squabbling over dessicated berry remnants, the prayers of Morning Mass, swirling around me like audible grace.
We can’t always avoid the catastrophes or make them go away. So, never mind the distractions or the gusto. I’ll take the little, ordinary, familiar things that bring quiet contentment and act as insulation from life’s jolts. These things are highly underrated.