For one whole week in the winter of 2013, I was on a mission — collect ordinary moments that create an extraordinary life.
My daughter was a senior in high school. I was looking for something to give her for Christmas. Something unusual that she would hopefully love when she opened it and for years to come. I decided to follow her for a week of her life and take photos. You know. Stalk her and capture her life for posterity. Being a good natured soul, she allowed me to follow her around with a camera even though she didn’t know why I wanted to take the photos.
So I was off!
Morning coffee making and lunch making. Check. Check.
Leaving the house on a school day. Check.
Me picking the dogs up from a day out at doggie daycare. Check.
Her Dad passing out dog treats on his way out the door leaving on a business trip. Check. Check.
These were all just ordinary moments. Daily moments. Life in the routine.
But then something unusual occurred. We had a huge amount of ice and snowfall! (For those of you not from Arkansas, our HUGE winter weather event consisted of 1/2 inch of ice and 5 inches of snow.) In Arkansas this is beyond a big deal. This is epic! This is clean out the grocery stores and settle in for what will surely be weeks of cookie baking, schools out and life suspended in all forms.
Still I continued on with my photos.
11:00 a.m. on a school day still in bed. Check.
People celebrating on Facebook. Check.
Skeeter deliriously happy experiencing her first snow. Check.
Practicing French Horn by the fire when the power went out. Check.
Hauling up Christmas decorations from storage. Check.
The snow lasted a few days. A few short days and then everything went back to the ordinary.
A Taco Bell run after attending the Christmas Symphony. Check.
Saturday breakfast at our favorite hole in the wall. Check.
And finally, readying for school on Monday. Check.
In the end, I had captured 7 days in 135 photos.
Some people hate the word ordinary, but I love it. The snow was beautiful and exciting, but I found the most joy in the routine and rhythm. I found the most beauty in the customary and usual. I found the most soul satisfying feeling in the everyday.
Extraordinarily ordinary. I have found that those are the moments, things and experiences that create our lives — creating who and what we are in this world. And I want to touch, smell, taste, feel and find a way to capture them so I can make sure that the life I’m creating is the life I want to live. So I take a picture, or inhale the scent or sometimes just close my eyes and open them back up quickly to be sure that I’ve frozen a fraction of a second of my life into my mind.
There’s beauty in this world. Take a look at your extraordinarily ordinary moments because that’s where you’ll find it. And if you don’t find beauty there, it’s time to change your ordinary.
One more thing before you go…
I’m introducing recurring Extraordinarily Ordinary weekly blog posts with this story. Each week, I plan on sharing with you a simple thing I love or an ordinary instance that made me smile. I’d love for you to tell me about your extraordinarily ordinary happenings. I have a feeling they are just as beautiful as mine 🙂
Interested in more of my stories? Go here to read my most popular blog post. Curious about the post that started it all? You can find it here. Want to read them all? Start at the top right here and work your way down.
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