Writings

The joy of ordinary


One of the most surprising discoveries I have made through the years, is how very ordinary life is. How little firework there is in the everydayness and how satisfying the repetitive and common can be.
The joy of ordinary
I suppose it is also a sign of aging. We have as human beings an almost desperate instinct for new, more and tomorrows glory. In our youth that flame is sutained by our reckless hunger for experience and we race towards our destiny with a very light luggage. As we mature and take on the responsibility of others as well, partners, children, pets, lifelong friends and aging parents, we become more gravity bound. For engagement weighs more. Love weighs more. Time slows down and we realise that this in between feeling which we previously called boredom is in fact the fabric of life.

I was a very fast speeder in my youth. Wore many, some of them very exotic, professional hats, lived in more than 100 different apartments, had very many lovers and all that before the age of 28, year Igor. I remember that I in my youth thought that this life had to be special, that I somehow, probably based on my early perception of being different, had to be special. I came from great insecurity and had to push really hard in order to have the courage to even leave my home town. And I got my share of heightened exeperience, of special.

With the weight of love and eventually family, my pace has slowed down considerably. Cooking, cleaning, driving, working eats up my day. And this new, more considerate pace of life coupled with my fondness for awareness, allows me to be in boredom and reality more. To stay more present in what happens in the small picture, and the truth is that the majority of my reality is so very ordinary. I am so ordinary. And that is such a relief.
I am now more able to relish in observing the delicate nuances of life. The touch of my daughters hand when she caresses my face. The pleasure of newly washed sheets. The absolute luxury of running hot water in a shower (which feels like an incredible luxury at the moment since we just come from living for two years in a camper without hot running water...) The smell of a steaming hot mug of coffee, the sun in my face. The loving glances I exchange with my husband in silent recognition of our years together. So subtle. So breathtaking.

I have pondered and felt these ordinary moments for a while now, my life as, any other mid aged householder's life is full of them. Recently I have lived them with a feeling of being a bit more on the edge, since money has been scarce and life challenging. But in this no way out scenario I have been bound to bring my practice to life in order to not get stuck in self pity, worry and fear. I try to stay more present in the small, ordinary moments that compose my days. I slow down or pause, breathe through my resistance to the chewy persistent nature of the never ending cycle of things that must be done and slowly release the hold of the physical tension of restlessness that come in their wake. And when I manage to relax, the fuller, more detailed aspect of life becomes available. These small moments in all their delicacy can be fully felt in their complexity, and I am given the space to appreciate them.
Through this appreciation for the simple, or actually just by knowing that this appreciation is available without necessarily needing exclamation marks, life becomes so rich. And since time is ticking steadily away towards The End For Now, that kind of wealth makes this reality, so full of ordinary, feel almost luxurious.

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