Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Finding Forty, Day 221; My Ordinary Day

I've just closed the pages of a beautiful book, written by Katrina Kenison.  It's called the gift of an ordinary day and reading it has moved me, stirred my soul.

Kenison's premise is simplicity at its finest.   Her words are whole milk with a warm cookie, soft kisses on a flushed cheek,  tiny fingers wrapped around your hand and your heart.

I read her book cognizant on many levels.  As a writer, she makes me yearn to follow my art, my heart.   As a woman, I understand her mid life longings.   But it is as a mother where she truly speaks my language.

The message in her latest book is to savor those mundane, quiet moments in life.   The ones that go unnoticed, barely perceptible, but just so happen to be the most breathtaking times in our shared existences.

I've been told I think too much, that I'm too sensitive, and perhaps I am.   But if that's the case, then so be it.  I'm not changing that about me.

I keep being told that I can't find happiness until I know full well what I want.   Perhaps.  But knowing everything I want, in this moment, seems impossible.

What I do know is that I want to feel everything.  I want to stop and recognize my ordinary moments.  I want to receive those gifts.

I've been fighting my ordinary days lately.    Driving to see my kids for a handful of minutes or hours after work each day has left me bitter and grumpy.   Being in the house where they were conceived and almost birthed makes me sad and lonely.

But rather than fight my reality, I plan to embrace the gifts of these ordinary days.   I can step into that house and inhale their smells, feel the dust on the tile floor under my feet, even find joy in folding their boxer shorts and marveling at how close in size they've all seem to become.

There are gifts aplenty.  Today I called spelling words out to my littlest one while he circled me on his bicycle.   My oldest son, a full 3 inches taller than me, came back to the car tonight after walking away to hug and kiss me, and my middle son, so guarded and quiet, will always let me squeeze his soft cheeks.   That he lets me hold his head pressed tight into my chest just a wee bit longer than he'd like is a gift.

My reality tonight is a pair of large, gray sweatpants.   I'm not thrilled that even yoga pants feel constricting, but I will revel in my comfortable spot on this couch, a fancy new laptop perched atop my legs to help me convey my innermost thoughts.

I could cry everyday about the state of my life, the reality that I gambled everything and in the end lost both men I loved most, that my mom, my confidante is gone, that I look nothing remotely like the woman I was a year ago, and that my babies fall asleep with their sweet, sweaty heads on pillows that are fluffed halfway across town.

Katrina Kenison has given me the gift of recognizing an ordinary day and finding the  inherent beauty in it's simple nothingness.     Smoothing a wild patch of bed head, nagging a bit about the whiff of unbrushed teeth, rounding a corner to find a son drinking milk straight from the jug, forgetting to feed the guinea pigs, these boring, simple moments are where I will focus on finding and enjoying the now.

So, with a sharp reminder of how quickly the past is gone before we know it and a mindful eye to the well being of all our futures, I think I'll stop and smell the roses that are blooming all around, underfoot, right here in the garden that is my life.

I feel abundantly blessed.


  1. I would say that you certainly need NOT know everything you want before you can be happy. What one needs to be happy is A Decision To Be Happy.
    And it seems as if you're pretty near that.

  2. Being a mother is such a wonderful gift. I don`t have children yet but I want the same joy I see from mothers. I have my own goals that won`t allow me to have children, but I want that happiness. I guess I need to know what life I want.

  3. Excellent writing - one of your most insightful posts yet.

    Sometimes we are so focused on what is to be that we miss what is. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. I truly needed to read this post, Kate.

    I've been feeling a bit down lately (mostly because I saw my Ex appear unexpectedly and because I tried on a pair of new pants that don't fit me) but, rather than sulking my way through the day, I need to just remember that even the simplest of moments are the ones to cherish.

    Thank you for this.

    -Your Cheerleader

  5. It is a struggle to be grateful. I have to work to remember that I have much to be thankful for. While there is always much that I want, there is really nothing more that I need. I'm working on being happy with what I have because it is's an almost unAmerican thought, isn't it?

  6. Thank you...just, Thank You...