My life is very ordinary, and it’s at its most ordinary on Tuesdays.
This morning, I woke Georgie up and got her out of her butterfly footie pajamas and out of her Mickey Mouse diaper and into a fresh Elmo diaper. She wanted to wear a skirt to play-care, I think because she finds skirts easier to pull on than pants. She picked a skirt with flowers on it and a shirt with hearts. I drove her the four blocks to her play-care, which smelled of fresh pancakes. She bounced away from me to play with her friends. I drove across town–past a Taco Bell, a Rite Aid, a produce stand, and a farmer’s row crop–to the Barnes & Noble I get my writing done at.
I would love for you to picture me working from a sunlit urban loft, or a fair-trade coffee shop in my neighborhood–but, in honesty? I find my voice at a suburban chain store that shares a parking lot with Target.
I’m sitting at the corner table I always grab before someone else gets here. It’s early, after all, and people don’t shop at bookstores anymore. I’m drinking my tall black coffee as usual, and I’m pushing through the desert of having no words once again. I know I have a couple hours to myself before I pick Georgie up. She will want to go to the park, and I will watch her climb the plastic equipment and tell her I am proud of her while I sneak glances at my phone. If she falls, I will hold her close and kiss the place that hurts. I will blow raspberries on her belly to make her laugh again.
We will go home, and I will figure out what to make for dinner. It won’t be anything fancy. Even the new filters on Instagram won’t help it look pretty. Joe will clean up after dinner and I will pick up the Legos from the living room.
Have I mislead you, readers? Have I pretended that my life is something that it is not? Or do you see the highlights of my life and fill in the blanks to make yourself feel more ordinary than me? Oh sure, sometimes on the weekends there are shows and trips and parties. I like to tell you about those things. But here is what my life looks like, on a Tuesday, the most ordinary day of the week.
Writer Emily Freeman says to pay attention to Tuesdays, for our in the smallness of our Tuesdays we learn to be human.
Sometimes I feel inadequate from the conventionality of my life. It’s easy to do when I have writer friends who have these beautiful alternative lifestyles, like living in a yurt off the grid to practice economic justice. As I sit in my suburban bookstore, she is probably baking bread with a solar oven and making things holy.
But no matter how radical or conventional a life is, it is still ordinary. And this is part of the beauty. There was a time in my life I feared becoming ordinary. I am not sure what of that comes from my personality, or from my generation and faith background that told me that a small life was a wasted life. But what I once feared, I now count my greatest hope. Yes, sometimes I feel trivial and boring and I want to package my life in an interesting lens to make it look Bigger or More. I lean in to those feelings. I know if I keep pressing into the ordinary, if I pay attention to my Tuesdays, and not write them off as a connecting day to get to the more exciting parts of life, I will find beauty. I will find words when I don’t have any. I will find meaning in my smallness. Because it is in the ordinary, not the fireworks, that we learn to give and receive love.
And that is never ordinary.