I just began reading Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly.
She addresses the idea of people being perceived as more narcissistic today, especially with social media.
But she suggests that instead of narcissism, maybe there is a fear driving this “look at me” behavior.
The fear of being ordinary.
When I read this idea, I felt my head nodding in agreement.
The fear is real.
Regular life has suddenly become alarming and uncomfortable.
Questions like, “What did you do this weekend,” send us into a panic.
Did we do anything noteworthy?!? If not, why?!?
Noteworthy moments used to stand out in contrast to the ordinary.
But we have elevated everything to noteworthy/post-worthy. We have raised the threshold for what is exceptional.
It feels like we struggle to enjoy any of it, and we cheapen the ordinary while striving for extraordinary.
We must recognize and embrace the ordinary.
Last Saturday we watched college football, ate ice cream, napped, and went to the park. The end. It was an ordinary and great day.
But the fear creeps in still. Was it “enough?” Will my kids look back on their childhood and remember the ordinary?
I think the answer is yes.
As a child, I remember waking up to find our L-shaped kitchen counter covered with frosted sugar cookies for our classrooms. My mom would bake all night, and carefully frost and decorate over 100 cookies.
I loved seeing that table covered. It was covered in love.
I remember climbing on my dad’s lap to watch whatever random action movie was on TV. I would steal sips of his Diet Coke.
These two memories were not extravagant. They were familiar, comfortable.
And in the moment I didn’t know I would cherish them.
So maybe the very thing we fear–the ordinary–leads to the very thing we want–the memorable.
(This post also appeared on No Sidebar)