These days, it’s all about perspective.
Looking at things in a “glass-half-full” mindset.
We’re not “stuck at home.”
We’re “safe at home.”
Which brings me to Katrina Kenison’s memoir The Gift of an Ordinary Day.
Because as much as I’d like things to be different, there is also much to celebrate and rejoice in these “ordinary days.” I don’t take for granted our family’s good fortune and good health.
This week, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite takeaways from Ms. Kenison’s memoir:
“Immersed in the physical and emotional realm of parenthood, we develop reserves of patience, imagination, and fortitude we never dreamed possible. At times, the hard work of being a mother seems in itself a spiritual practice, an opportunity for growth and self-exploration in an extraordinarily intimate world, a world in which hands are for holding, bodies for snuggling, laps for sitting.”
“How in fact life is not all about planning and shaping, but about not knowing, and being okay with that. It’s about learning to take the moment that comes and make the best of it, without any idea of what’s going to happen next.”
“Learning well doesn’t always mean scoring high. It also means acquiring the tools necessary to take on the most challenging work of all – becoming the person you are meant to be.”
“It may well be that success lies as much in our ability to behold the world before us in gratitude and wonder as it does in owning things and doing things. And it may be, too, that happiness really is a state of mind we choose for ourselves, a way of being that we cultivate from one moment to the next, rather than the result of realizing our ambitions or acquiring whatever it is we think we most desire.”
“That we can’t always choose what happens to us, can’t always pick the hand we’re dealt – but we can choose our response and decide how to play the hand we have.”
“None of this was ever part of the plan, but life so rarely unfolds according to plan. Real life is just where we are, in this moment, and the only mistake we’ve made so far has been not to pause long enough or often enough to realize that even this odd in-between time is precious, fleeting, and worthy of our attention.”
“That there is no such thing as a charmed life, not for any of us, no matter where we live or how mindfully we attend to the tasks at hand. But there are charmed moments, all the time, in every life and in every day, if we are only awake enough to appreciate them.”
“Ordinary days. The days in which nothing momentous happens, no great victories are won, no huge disappointments suffered, no milestones achieved. Most of our lives are made up of days just like this – if we’re lucky, that is, and the seas of fate are calm. Days that are not particularly memorable, but that are nonetheless the only days we have.”