Mostly life is mundane. That is just how it is for most of us; we go through days and weeks tackling the everyday challenges and enjoying the everyday joys without much up and down. Don’t get me wrong, there is some variation off the middle – you might have a great Saturday relaxing together as a family that goes above the median line or you might have fussy kids on a Tuesday who fight you to get out of bed and don’t want to do homework when they get home so it drags the day down a little. Mostly, life is NOT extreme.
This weekend my wife and I got new phones so we were going through the exercise of deleting pictures from our old phones and deciding which ones to put on our new phones to carry around with us in our pockets. I came across the picture above of our family trip to Oregon this summer when we snapped this pic in front of Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach. That was pretty extreme – on the other side of the country on a two week camping vacation exploring areas we’d never seen! Life at its best, right? It was great, and it was certainly a highlight of the summer, but it really wasn’t what life is all about.
And then I found this picture. It was a Tuesday last fall and instead of taking her to preschool, I told Josie she could stay at home while I worked in the morning. I worked for a few hours while she played with Barbies or something and then we went and ate lunch. And I snapped this picture; this picture is really what life is mostly – a regular day that has a little bit more joy than any other day. A chance for a dad and a daughter to each lunch together and smile at each other. I don’t remember what we talked about, it doesn’t really matter. It was just a little above the median line, but it was great.
So yesterday, when I had both kids at home all day with me while I worked (or attempted to work); because school hasn’t started yet but all of the college babysitters have already gone back to campus, I was going crazy. It was a day full of interruptions, fighting, crying, childhood boredom, and an impatient father. I lost my cool more than once and we all just wanted to get away from each other by the time mom got home from work. As I reflected on it this morning, however, I realized that it was just a regular day that happened to be a little below the median line. I fantasize that every day I get to spend with my kids will be like that day on the Oregon coast at Cannon Beach. The fact is, life is NOT that Extreme and I need to relish ALL of the days – good and bad, easy and tough, happy and sad, exciting and mundane because that is where the richness of life comes from – staying in each moment, no matter what that moment is bringing.