A guest post by Kristal Gunn of It’s My Favorite Day
“A good life happens when you stop and are grateful for the ordinary moments that so many of us just steamroll over to try to find those extraordinary moments” – Brené Brown.
I love this quote because there is so much truth in it. But learning how to embrace the mundane and thrive in the ordinary moments is not always easy.
Growing up I was taught the key to having a successful life was to go to college, have a good career, get married, and have a couple of kids. I embraced that fully.
I went to law school and embraced my new career. A couple of years later I got married and my children followed shortly after that.
What I didn’t see coming, is how do you balance between prioritizing rest and slowing down versus reaching for your goals and get all the things done that come with raising a family.
You see my heart began to long to be home and have more time with my children. I became more and more discontent with the way I was dividing my time.
When I was at work, I was worried about things at home, when I was at home I was worried about things at work. I knew something had to change.
I couldn’t just quit working I had spent years building my career? Or could I?
I took the leap and left the practice of law.
This brought these ideas in my head of how moments should be. I make detailed plans in my head and was working hard to have everything perfect.
But guess what, people aren’t perfect. Life isn’t perfect. I was so caught up in making everything perfect I was missing everything that was already there.
I needed to learn how to embrace the mundane and thrive in the ordinary moments that make up life.
How to Embrace the Mundane and Thrive in the Ordinary Moments
Although this seems like such a simple task, we live in such a fast-paced and media-driven world that this simple task feels quite complex.
While I confess this is something I’m still working on, here’s how I’m learning to thrive in the ordinary moments and even embrace the mundane!
Shut Down The Outside Noises
Peer pressure exists even as adults and it’s easy to give into.
Living in a day and age where social media dominates it’s so hard not t0 compare our lives to what we see on Facebook and Instagram. The reality is it’s easy to feel like we too should be doing all the things.
We read about our friends’ Facebook posts excitedly telling us all about their new car or their amazing vacation plans to Cancun. Our feed is filled with post after post sharing countless activities.
Our friends tell us how important it is to have the kids involved in every activity for their future college applications. We begin to question whether we should be doing all the things too.
You get to decide
But here’s the thing, this is your life! If you’re tempted to give in to peer pressure or fall into the comparison trap, it’s time to shut down the outside noises.
Now I’m not saying you must delete all your social media apps, but it is important to regulate the time you’re spending on there.
You can prefer cozy and calm and restful and that’s okay! You don’t have to do all the things.
Your kids can do fun things, but they don’t need to do everything. I promise they will turn out just fine. You may find that your kids are actually happier with less.
Give Up Perfectionism
The problem with perfectionism is it’s an impossible standard, one that can never be met. When we get caught up in making things perfect we miss all the good that is already there.
In fact, perfectionism makes it impossible to thrive in ordinary moments.
Instead, perfectionism demands the perfect home-cooked meal of beef Wellington, asparagus, and potatoes au gratin or a weekly night out at the town’s best restaurant.
Perfectionism insists on a perfectly decorated home with children that are star athletes.
All this does is creates high levels of stress that impact all other areas of your life. There is beauty in imperfection and in simplifying family life.
Exchange the fancy meals or restaurants for late summer evening walks to the taste freeze for an ice cream cone. Or exchange the sports team practices for family hikes and exploring new local places that cost nothing.
These are the ordinary moments that will create a lifetime of memories and strengthen your family bonds. As you look back, you’ll see they were truly extraordinary moments.
And you’ll be glad you made the time for them and chose to embrace the mundane and thrive in the ordinary moments.
Shift Your Expectations
Pre-determined expectations have a way of taking us from enjoying the moment. Expecting life to turn out a certain way sets us up for disappointment instead of appreciating the moment we are in.
When those unfulfilled expectations don’t happen, they lead us to force an outcome in a way that will meet our expectations.
Perhaps instead of forcing what you anticipate to happen stay open and let it become something else.
The challenge is to shift our expectations from what we thought it “should” be like to accepting things for how they are.
When we do this we can start focusing on the extraordinary things happening in the ordinary moments of life.
Stop Waiting For The Next Big Thing
This is another area where there’s great potential to miss the right now.
Have you heard the song by Trace Atkins “Your Gonna Miss This”? I’m not a huge country music fan, but I love this song.
The premise of the song starts with a daughter saying she can’t wait to turn 18 so she can make her own rules. Soon she’s a brand new bride and talking about babies and buying a house.
Five years later the Plummer’s at her house, the dogs barking, phone ringing, and kids are crying, all the while daughter’s apologizing to the Plummer for the chaos.
Throughout each of these life events the chorus reminds her:
You’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These Are Some Good Times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this
This song is such a great reminder of the importance of thriving in the ordinary moments rather than waiting for the next big thing.
The moments you are in right now will never happen again. This is your one and only chance to live in this moment. These moments happening right now are the ordinary moments you want to thrive in.
Spending your time waiting for the next big thing means you miss the joy of where you’re at right now!
Take Small Moments For You
We run at such a fast speed we forget where we’re running or why. Before you know we’re running on empty with no clear direction. There’s no getting around the fact that if you don’t take care of yourself, you will run on empty.
Look, the reality is it’s common for a lot of us to put ourselves last. We operate under this false assumption that caring for ourselves is selfish.
However, the problem is, we can only give what we have and if we have nothing for ourselves soon we have nothing to give for others.
You deserve to be cared for!
You don’t need elaborate spa days, a few simple things that feed your soul is all you need. Make some hot tea and light a favorite candle, or walk around the block. Embrace simple acts of self-care in your life.
If you have to, go ahead and hide in the bathroom and just breathe for a few moments. It’s the small moments you take for yourself that will help you thrive in the ordinary moments.
Most importantly, give yourself grace, realize it’s ok to drop some of the balls you are juggling. In doing so, you gain peace and contentment with what you are able to do well.
This is your one and only chance at life, make every moment of it count by learning to embrace the mundane and thrive in the ordinary.
Kristal truly believes in the transformative power of simplicity. Through her blog, It’s My Favorite Day, she provides the tools and solutions for simplifying your home and life to help you clear space for what matters most!
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