Being Extraordinarily Ordinary

Do you ever have those days where you feel a little too proud that you were able to accomplish the most basic tasks?

For instance, sometimes I feel overly accomplished when I can do things such as…

  • get out of the house on time instead of three minutes late
  • remember to put the trash on the curb
  • park between the lines on the first try
  • make a doctor’s appointment
  • answer an email right away (I’m skeptical/in awe of anyone who answers all emails right away all the time)
  • manage to ease the brakes and come to a beautifully smooth stop in the car (even though no one is in the car with me, so it’s not like I care)

Yes, it is something to be grateful for that I can do these things in the first place (car, home, opportunities, hooray). But I’m talking about the fact that on some days, I feel like giving myself a pat on the back for doing these absolutely ordinary things.

Like, why?

Let me backtrack a little bit.

I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all had dreams of being a superstar of sorts. When I figure skated, I wanted to be the next Michelle Kwan. When my brother won the school geography bee, so did I. When I was in middle school, I wanted to write songs and be like Miley Cyrus (LOL). When I danced, I wanted to be like Alvin Ailey dancers. When I read some of my favorite blogs that have become so successful, I want to improve my blog to maybe become like theirs. When I see people doing handstands on Instagram, I want to be able to do a press handstand, like, yesterday.

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The point of me sharing my deepest darkest secrets (not really) is to exemplify our desire to be extraordinary. According to dictionary.com, the definition of extraordinary is:

exceptional in character, amount, extent, degree, etc.; noteworthy; remarkable

And who doesn’t want to be any or all of those things?

I’m generalizing here, but I think when most people consider an extraordinary person, they think of someone who can do what the majority cannot do, or someone who possesses what the majority does not. Therefore, by nature of the word, not all of us can be extraordinary on a large scale.

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excuse the language, but this made me laugh

However, as I have matured (slightly), discovered more about myself, and learned to love who I am, I have accepted that maybe I can just be extraordinarily ordinary.

That sounds like it’s coming straight out of a sob story, but I mean this in the best possible way.

How would I define “being extraordinarily ordinary”? I would define it as going about my daily activities and endeavors with my best effort, a willingness to improve, and a greater purpose.

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Of course, hard work, dedication, and sacrifice are involved in becoming extraordinary. The saying goes something like: If you set your mind to it, you can do it. But I kinda need to tell myself that every day for the littlest things.

I don’t have to be “extraordinary” at anything in particular. I don’t even have to be good at ordinary tasks all the time (um, someone help me learn how to pay taxes…and stuff). I just have to do little things with a purpose in mind, no matter how insignificant the purpose may seem in the grand scheme of things. In God’s time, being extraordinarily ordinary can turn into being extraordinary.

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A lot of the improvement, discovery of self, and truly joyful moments happen when no one is paying attention— when you’re just being an ordinary human (cue this song). That’s where being extraordinary starts anyway.

So tell me:

Do you relate!? Am I the only one who sometimes feels accomplished for doing the most minuscule things right?

How can you be extraordinarily ordinary? I try to pick a personal development goal to work on each day (ex: holding my tongue when I want to be snappy, meditating, smiling more, conversing with more people, etc.).

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At Peace + Giveaway Winner!

Thank you a million times over, y’all. All your comments in yesterday’s post means everything to me. Your words of wisdom, support, and encouragement are so motivating, especially in the many times when I feel like none of this is really worth it.

YOU are awesome— in the most literal and genuine sense of the word.

I was nervous about posting yesterday, but after receiving such wonderful support and encouragement, I am actually quite at peace now. I will do this resting thing right.

I’m also feeling better…and stronger(!?) physically. I’m eating more and resting more, and my muscles actually feel stronger right now, since I am coming out of a week of lots of fitness in Colorado. This just goes to show how much rest and fuel you really need to grow. More than you think!!! Now I need to keep that up and get some padding on myself as well 😉

Mentally, I feel liberated. I don’t have to worry about doing a workout if I’m sleepy or about bracing myself for an intense workout that I know will wipe me out. By just moving my body gently and doing exercises and stretches that feel nourishing to my muscles, tendons, and ligaments (hey, physical therapist in me coming out), my mind feels refreshed and relaxed.

Spiritually, I also feel liberated. Throughout this past year, I knew that fitness had some sort of harness on me that was keeping me from being selfless and humble at times. I had put fitness at the front of my mind so often that it would distract me from God. I tried to fight the distraction, but my continuation of intense exercise, when I knew it wasn’t the best thing for me at the time, still made me feel very unsettled.

So thank you again for your love and prayers. Know that I am keeping you all in my prayers as well! If you ever have anything special you’d like me to pray for, please email me!

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Enlightened + Blend Swag Giveaway Winner

And now for the giveaway winner!

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Katie! Congratulations! Shoot me an email so I can send it to you ASAP 🙂

I hope you all have a fun and relaxing weekend. You’re the bestest.

There’s More To Life Than…

Wowza.

It has been a whirlwind of a weekend and week so far! Actually, it may seem clear from my lack of posts that these past few weeks as a whole have been a hurricane, tornado, and earthquake. All at the same time.

Boo hoo, Alison. Welcome to this thing we call life.

I know, I know.

But there is still so much joy! It is true that I have had less time to do things like sleep, work out, blog, etc. Don’t worry— I am making sure to be kind to my body as best as I can. However, with the end of Lent and the glorious start of Easter amidst all the craziness, I have learned that there is so much more to life than worrying about every last health detail.

In the past, the stress of missing a workout, eating something unhealthy in a pinch, or losing an hour (or two) of sleep would have added to the pre-existing stress of homework, activities, appointments and exams. Today, I realize that striving to be the picture of health can actually work against me during busy times. I realize that…

…there’s more to life than worrying about all the cream cheese, sour cream, butter, and cheese in your Easter brunch.

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Ham, potato casserole, broccoli and cheddar rice casserole, and fruit salad made by some great people at the Catholic Center!

…there’s more to life than sugar guilt.

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coffee cake + baby cinnamon roll

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white chocolate and chocolate chip cookie + vanilla ice cream + strawberries, courtesy of the faculty member living on our floor

…there’s more to life than staying in to study when you can be singing in choir and celebrating with friends on Easter Sunday.

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ladies in dresses and gents in bowties ♥ 

…there’s more to life than worrying about the partially hydrogenated oils in dining hall peanut butter, because some peanut butter is better than none.

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…there’s more to life than going to the gym. Bodyweight workouts and rest days are just what need to happen when there’s so much going on.

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I was initially bothered by the fact that my “healthy living blogger” self has taken a back seat recently, but when life gets hectic like this, I am humbled and reminded that bodily health is just one piece of the puzzle. Yes, we are temples of the Holy Spirit and should thus care for our physical health, but it’s not everything. Likewise, academics are definitely important, but they’re also not everything. Emotional and spiritual health need not be forgotten when we’re working our little hearts out.

You’re all busy bees as well, I’m sure of it. Make sure you do something that makes you smile today and every day. You might have expected it, but my advice would be to pray, eat, move, and groove. 🙂

So tell me:

What did you eat for Easter or Passover or just Sunday night?

There’s more to life than_________.