Monday, November 14, 2011

the gift of the ordinary

(see - even this mangroves next to a stream is beautiful - i can see the sky and the sea and land and living all in one tiny glimpse of a dirty creek...)

Hi lovely one,
sorry i have been away so long - it seems i am incubating and i am unable to leave the nest for long....

i wanted to write about the gift of the ordinary, because as i spend more and more time at home i realise how friggin amazing ordinary is

For most of my 46 years i have craved to be noticed, be extraordinary, be seen as special

better than

more than

i wanted to travel to exotic and interesting places, achieve amazing and extraordinary things...

i bought lock stock and two smoking barrels into that "dream big be more don't settle" that we are all exhorted with.

i could not be worth anything unless i achieved remarkable things

and as i hit midlife i felt ashamed of the fact that at that mid point of this life i had two children and an ordinary marriage and ordinary struggles and ordinary occupations

i was frumpy

i felt like i was missing this huge extraordinary life that i had imagined

i was resentful as all hell

i was unhappy

somehow i felt like i had let the world, the Universe, God and all the saints down...

Nothing to tell St Peter

nothing to eulogise

i felt bereft

and i wallowed there for some time...

then ploddingly i began to do the things that called me

then as the girls got older and my life became less of a round of cleaning and feeding i did more

and more

i started to record gratitude (and some days my lists were as mingey as being able to breathe and having spectacles so i could see, and the car starting)

but it helped me notice that actually these things were gifts

spectacular gifts - i didn't have to compare myself to an Ethopian orphan (because God knows when i go down that path i just end up with more self loathing i mean here i am in a clean house with a family and cupboards full of food...)

i have worked with some people with disabilities in situations that make the Ethopian orphans look fortunate... one man, Henry, was his happiest when we was outside, he was deaf and had no commmunication but when you took him outside and he turned his face gently this way and that, recieving the gentle touch of the wind on his skin with such grace, well it just made my heart explode...

but that i could see was a bloody gift, that i had a car and that meant i could go to the big trees and just sit for a while that was a bloody gift

and soon i began to see that the washing basket and the way it is woven is an amazing art work,

the way she slips her hand into mine as we walk to the supermarket is a benediction

the way the kitten calls to me with her chirrup to find where i am is grace...

Brene Brown spoke about research that asked bereved people what they most missed - it wasn't graduation day pride, or marriage ceremony elation - it was the kid fighting with his brother in the next room, or the towels left on the floor...

oh make no mistake - i still hate cleaning the fridge or the floor or....

but i don't feel like my life is wasted because i allow the green out my window and the fact i can poo everyday and the food in my cupboard and that i can touch my toes count for something...

i think it makes me count the moments i am living rather than regret the ideas i once had of bbeing the only worth ones...

the most remarkable people i have known are those who are kind and loving and generous - not the captains of industry or the heroic adventurers but the other ones... ordinary ones who were ALIVE ......


  1. Such a beautiful, awesome, powerful post...
    Bless you, Jane ~ having you in my world is WONDERFUL!!!

  2. Once upon a time you told me I was Christmas, and I thought that was one of the most beautiful things anyone ever said to me. I laughed out loud with delight and clapped my hands together in glee and felt my heart be filled with your love. And I started sharing that with others - telling them I wanted to tell them something that someone (YOU) had told me and I watched them light up with those words too.

    THAT is what makes you BIG and JUICY and "all that" plus a half cup more. THAT, more than where you've traveled, or what you've accomplished is what makes you remarkable.

    You are a benediction to me Jane - in my life and in my heart.

    Thank you.

  3. I am grateful for you and for these words to remind me that yes, an ordinary life is so extraordinarily wonderful!

  4. BTW - I've lost my links to your other sites and don't see them here, will you remind me of what they are?

  5. Ha! You can touch your toes ... that, my friend, is remarkable! All I can say to this lovely, self loving post is YES, YES, YES!

  6. *smiling*
    and nodding
    You are extraordinary!
    Little light

  7. what a most beautiful soul you are, surely Christmas for the rest of us!
    love you and all of your wonderfulness!! xoxo!

  8. I love this post Jane! I just found your blog through SouLodge....I couldn't wait to read your words are such a beautiful soul! I am off to read more of your blog now....hee hee....I have a feeling it's going to put a smile on my face!!