I read this quote last week on Ali's blog and it has left a serious impression on me. I don't know what it is about these words, but they really were the thing that I needed to hear.
Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you,
love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest
of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it
may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or
bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands
to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.
I think that sometimes, I get too thrown off by a slight bump in the road, an unexpected mess, a bit of disobedience, a forgotten errand or ingredient, an argument between little girls. I forget that these things are just part of life. These things are part of a normal day.
And while I strongly believe that each day holds bits that are glorious, and sweet, and tender and darn near perfect–a normal day, I'm reminded–is an excellent thing. It is something to be celebrated, and recognized for what it is.
Maybe I shouldn't open this can of worms, but I think the search for "some rare and perfect tomorrow" can be one of the downsides of blogging and blog reading. Because it is true, we pick and choose what we share, what we photograph, the stories we tell. We often capture moments that look like bliss. We zoom in on the children playing happily and don't zoom out on the piles of laundry on the sofa and the ping-pong-sized dust balls scampering around under the furniture.
And that's okay. If blogging were only about those piles of laundry and dust bunnies, it would lose a lot of its inspiration. And the celebration of those blissful days and moments and creativity is important.
But if we think that everyone is having a "rare and perfect tomorrow" but us, then we are beginning to lose perspective. If we think our day was less than wonderful just because it was "normal," than we need to step back and take a look at what is good and healthy and what is part of our every day lives.
And though I've somehow managed to change my pronouns from "I" to "we", I'm still mostly talking to myself.
And on some days, when we may be lamenting "normal", there is someone else, somewhere, who is longing for just a little taste of normal once again.
So I hope you know, that this post is written for me. And that when I sat down to write this post, my intention was to only share the quote. I guess I had more to say. And I don't mean this to be a trashing of blogging because those thoughts showed up as I was writing. But lately, I've found myself really trying to keep my blogging habits in perspective.
Mostly I want this post and this quote to be an encouragement. Because while it left me thinking, it really encouraged me as well.
And this last week, I've really been enjoying my normal. Both the wonderful little nearly-perfect moments, the chaotic moments, and the mundane ones, too. Because they all make up my normal.
And normal is good.
41 comments on “normal is good”
What a wonderful post… This really resonated with me & was totally what I needed to read. I actually just posted about blogging in perspective for myself today, so reading this reminded me yet again to keep it all in perspective 🙂
i hear you. loud and clear, in fact. i’ve been feeling really quiet lately and i think it’s because there’s a whole lot of normalcy going on around this house. and you are so right – normal is good. in fact, maybe even great.
Ah Molly, I needed to hear your words this week. I am trying so hard this week to embrace the normal chaos of life. Thanks for this.
It’s so funny that you posted this today, because I was really moved by the very same quote in the very same place last week, and I have been crafting a post about it in our little space…we’ll see if it reveals itself, blogging time is such a luxury I rarely have these days.
Anyway, I hear you loud and clear, but for me I find it more of a really important and encouraging reminder to be present and incredibly grateful for all the amazing blessings that lurk in the very ordinary of our days.
Normal IS good indeed!
Normal is great. Normal is what happens most of the time and there are many, many wonderful moments in normal.
just yesterday i stood in my kitchen with my very dear friend, whose life is far from normal right now, thrown into chaos by a sudden and very grave illness, and we talked about how “normal” is the thing that’s been lost these past few weeks, and how we can help hold on to the everyday routines in the face of life-altering circumstances. she is longing for those simple, normal days that came before, and i won’t ever take them for granted again.
I love this post. Thank you for the reminder! I often say to my husband (as we’re doing something “normal” like answering a question for the eighth time) that “these ARE the good old days.”
You may have been writing for yourself, but I feel like you were writing for me as well. And it was encouraging. Blogging, for me, is a release of the good not a journal of the minutiae. The trick is remembering that while I read other people’s blogs. Most people have perfectly wonderful normal days just like I do…what a relief.
I think it’s a blog culture thing because the moment you talk about crummy stuff – which is normal – it seems people either think you are complaining or begging for sympathy. I’m right there with you on the normal. My mom tells me that one of the things she wanted most when she married my dad was a normal life, after her stressful childhood, and that was something that really attracted he to him. It reminds me that normal is what we all really need.
Considering that my day started with the cat barfing on the floor and will end with a wake tonight, I certainly appreciate what you’re saying, Molly! It’s only when things are awful, as many have said, that we appreciate how wonderful normal is!
this is so beautiful and well put.
as much as i love all that is beautiful and inspirational in blog land, i so wish more folks were keen on occasionally sharing the grimy underbelly of their days. everyone has bad days, weeks, months, or even a cruddy year or two. the bad days help to put everything into perspective as much as the good days do.
Great post, beautifully written.
Love this one, Molly. Thanks for the reminder – it’s a about the journey. Every step is a gift.
thank you for this molly….keeping it all in balance and perspective. you said it all so well.
yep, perfectly put.
you said it, mama.i love this. bookmarking now, so i can re-read it when i need to 🙂
Yes. And Yes. And Yes again.
Thanks! I need to keep that in mind.
A timely reminder. Thank you.
so exactly what i needed to read. such a good reminder. thank you.
Ah, so very well said.
It is too easy to read things and get caught up in how your life “should be”. I love the quote, thank you for sharing it!
I think my children prefer the normal too.
Absolutely we should embrace normality. Anything can take that away in the blink of an eye, and it’s really only once it’s gone we miss it. But do you not think that blogging in part is a celebration of the good things; the things we want to remember, the things we want to share with the world? We have a little exercise at night when we have dinner of each saying 3 good things that happened that day. Rather than off loading all the bad negative stuff (which tends to feed on itself), it helps us to remember each and every day in a positive way. I kind of think of blogging like that (although of course we all share some bad stuff-otherwise it’s not real). I tend not to blog when I’ve got nothing”blogworthy” to share. But maybe that is a task I should set myself. To find one little NORMAL thing each and every day that made me feel good and blog about it. Even if it’s just folding that pile of washing and getting it put away, even if it’s just a drawing brought home from school that made me smile, even if it’s just that one of the kids did something good with out having to be asked. Surely we can celebrate the normality of life! Anyone want to join in?
This is so so true!
Thank you…. it is so nice to read this and to stop and realize that normal is good, ok, and memorable in its own right…. There are some blogs that I read some days to escape normal, because the lives on those blogs seems charmed…. healthy home cooked meals, homeschooled children always engaged in non-television meaningful play, knitting and sewing galore…. the kind of life one might fantasize about on a “normal” day…. Some days I can’t even read those blogs, because they do seem so painfully perfect. Thank you for putting some perspective back in my blog-surfing; a normal life is full of mundane housekeeping, drudgery cooking, laundry piles of miniature Elmo underpants, snuggly toddlers, dirty companion animals, and a less than Pottery Barnish decor…. and I wouldn’t change a thing….. except maybe the cooking bit. I hate to cook!
I blogged about this quote too after reading it on Ali’s blog.Take care!
you are dead on right. i have been reading in many places (blogs) about a certain amount of discontentment. and this is true in myself as well. and i think you hit it on the head. reading about the craftiness, the time spent on well loved family land, even the cooler weather in other places. it all adds up. if you let it. and i think i’ve been letting it way too much lately.
thanks for the eye opener.
Molly, posts like these are the reason I read your blog.
I can certainly get caught up in wanting the “rare and perfect”, when everyday normal can certianly be quite a pleasure in itself.
So very, very true Molly. Thanks for helping us keep life in perspective.
So very well put, Molly. Amen for normal!
I’m so happy that you posted this because i find myself reading these blogs, subscribing to them, and hoarding them as if they were life instructions…and then I come away feeling, to be blunt, like shit. I feel like I’m not enough for my daughter or my partner. I don’t cook a meal everyday, I certainly don’t take flawless photos, and I don’t sew, knit, or create much of anything but sometimes I take a break and realize what you’ve just said that each of these women is sharing what they want and that the reason most of the photos they share are of their homes, children, pets is probably because LIKE ME they have huge bags under their eyes and are too damn tired to do their hair. That was my long way of saying thanks for telling the truth.
You are spot on, not trashing blogging at all! So often I get discouraged and frustrated by reading some of the blogs I enjoy most, allowing myself to fall into that false trap of thinking everyone else is doing the mommy thing much more successfully than I am. Then, one of my friends who doesn’t blog wrote me an email saying she had to stop reading my blog because it made her feel inadequate. WHAT?! I couldn’t believe it. That, more than anything, really made me realize what little snapshots blogs can be…and also their power not only for communicating moments but also for helping the writer focus in on one or two things, rather than the mountainous to-do list or the endless frustrations…
I would pay good money to have a normal day again.
Thank you, that was wonderful.
This quote and discovering your blog is exactly what I needed today. Thank you. You said it perfectly.