I was chatting with a friend recently, and as we parted she asked if I was doing anything special in the upcoming weekend. I replied that I was just doing the usual. That conversation got me thinking about a commercial that has been on t.v. lately. In the commercial, the woman is a cancer survivor who is having an “ordinary day” after undergoing treatment.
I was reminded of the time I received the diagnosis of a brain tumor. As I left the neurologist’s office, I was struck with how different the world appeared to me than when I had walked in to my appointment. Colors looked different, and I was shocked that there were no outward manifestions of the news that had rocked my world. People were hurrying in to the medical center as cars passed me in the parking lot. I wondered how people could be going about their days as if everything was the same. I clearly remember having the thought that my life would be forever changed and marked by the time before and after the tumor.
That was the first time that I realized the beauty of an ordinary day. A day that contained no “special” moments, just the usual activities that make up so much of the precious time we have. A day that might include preparing some meals, commuting to work, stopping for groceries, throwing a load of laundry in the washer and the smiles and annoyances that come with trying to fit everything into the waking hours between dawn and dusk. A day that did not include doctor appointments where fear leaves a sour taste in your mouth, “what if” discussions with family members and sleepless nights where the dark closes in while your mind races.
So, I wonder…do you have to have a bad diagnosis or a trauma to appreciate the gift of an ordinary day? Is it possible to breathe in the ordinariness of a day with gratitude and appreciation? After all, “just an ordinary day” is pretty extraordinary when you think about it.