An ordinary life

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A hit song from 2002 had the refrain “I’d rather be anything but ordinary please”.  What I really don’t understand about the sentiment is “Why is ordinary bad?”

Personally, I like thinking of myself as ordinary. I looked up ordinary on Dictionary.com, the definition I use is the 4th option on the site, which cites ordinary as meaning “customary; usual; normal”.  My life consists of activities that would fit that definition to a T – and I’m pretty happy. I like my Monday – Friday work schedule, starting off with my usual caffeine boost, maybe doing the Sudoku puzzle in the newspaper and then starting the workday. Some days I take a break at lunch to walk or run, then I work until dinnertime. Weekends I get to sleep in and hopefully get to see friends or family. We share a meal, see a baseball game or listen to music. All very ordinary, but good stuff!

Sure, I have times in my life that are outside the norm, that you could call extraordinary. But their infrequency is what makes them special. The majority of my life is amazingly and wonderfully ordinary.

If you’ve made it this far, you might be wondering why I am even writing about this. It is because I see people making themselves miserable because they are not “special’ or “extraordinary”. My teenage children have complained to me at times that kids their age all think they need to be special at something. Being a teenager has always been rough, but I do think it is tougher today. Why? Because people become instant stars on You Tube (think Rebecca Black’s song Friday) and, probably a bigger reason, the explosion of social media. Much of it glorifies superficial qualities as important. It is easy to think of yourself as unworthy if you don’t match up to what you see online. In an earlier post that focused on Facebook, I mentioned a quote from the movie “Easy A’, when a teacher laments that social media included really trivial things, like someone had a Coke Zero that day. To be honest, I wish social media included more ordinary posts mixed in with the glamorous ‘selfies’ that teens are intent on creating and sharing. If more people posted ordinary things, then we’d probably feel better about our own ordinary activities.

This brings me back to the reason why I created this blog — one of my objectives was similar to the goal of the TV show “Seinfeld”. The show was supposedly “about nothing”. It really wasn’t about ‘nothing’, it was about ‘ordinary’. That is what made it so fun to watch. The characters were often doing ordinary things, but they had a blast doing it.

Since I just discovered Seinfeld re-runs on Hulu, I think I know what I’ll do this evening. Have a great Tuesday evening, all you fellow ordinary folks. 🙂

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