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The Joys of Being Ordinary Extraordinary

One extraordinary being with feathers keeping an eye out for predators while his mommy naps – oh how I love him!

Are you ordinary extraordinary?

I know that I am.

Of course, you might be thinking right now, “No, I’m not ordinary extraordinary. I’m extraordinary extraordinary.” Which is awesome, of course.

The truth is, there are lots of flat-out extraordinary beings on this planet. They are doing unbelievable, unrepeatable things, like figuring out how to colonize Mars or make gasoline out of cheeseburgers or clean all that plastic out of our oceans.

But I am not in this group.

I, personally, am in the group that has her hands plenty full just trying to get through the average day. And I don’t ever seem to have any time left over from these oh-so-ordinary activities to tackle the tougher stuff like curing cancer or getting Pluto its “big planet” status back. Sometimes this makes me feel very ordinary indeed.

And yet I know I am not ordinary….or not just ordinary. I am also extraordinary. I say this with full humility and for only one totally fact-based reason: I am the only me there is. I am also the only me who ever has been and the only me who ever will be.

If that isn’t a clear bid for extraordinary, I don’t know what is. 

So who is an ordinary extraordinary being?

To me, it is the being who sees a small bit of trash and takes the time to stop, bend down, pick it up and pop it into the nearby wastebasket. It is the being who notices when a stranger seems to need to talk and just finds that extra five minutes to stand there and listen.

It is also the being with the warm wet nose and furry body who pads up to comfort a crying child in a hospital bed. And it is the being with feathers who perches right on his mommy’s chest to keep an eye out for predators while she naps off the cold that has been holding her sinus passages hostage.

An ordinary extraordinary being is every single person who went out of their way to help my parents in so many unremarkably remarkable ways when their house flooded during hurricane Harvey. Beings like this made the difference between memories of a nightmare experience and memories of a literal outpouring of human kindness.

And an ordinary extraordinary being is each person who chooses to post a kind comment online (or at least chooses to say nothing if they can’t say nothing nice) when they could have been a troll instead.

The truth is, we don’t have to do these things, but we do them because life is already quite hard enough, thank you very much. When we make today easier for one being, it gets a little easier for us all.

But I will admit it – sometimes there are still moments when I do wish I was extraordinary extraordinary.

And in those moments I can feel that stirring within me – the deep rumblings of a not-yet-wasted powerful personal potential that might yet move mountains. It is exciting to feel my potential stir. It is heady to imagine what I might be capable of, if I were to suddenly turn into my superhero-self instead of just my regular-self.

But this is unlikely to happen, mostly because I already have a whole life to live and responsibilities I have already willingly taken on and rent to pay.

And mostly I’m okay with being ordinary extraordinary because that takes some of the pressure off on the days I can feel Mount Everest beckoning and choose to curl up on the couch with my precious parrot for a refreshing nap instead.

Today’s Takeaway: Do you ever feel like you “should” be more…more something….more YOU….more extraordinary or impactful or active somehow than you are? Or do you feel mostly content and accepting of how we all fit together, each with our own opportunities and challenges that keep our respective hands full? Does it ever just hit you that you are the ONLY you who ever was, is now or ever will be? What does that feel like?

 

The Joys of Being Ordinary Extraordinary

Shannon Cutts


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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2018). The Joys of Being Ordinary Extraordinary. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 18, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/mentoring-recovery/2018/10/the-joys-of-being-ordinary-extraordinary/

 

Last updated: 8 Sep 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 Sep 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.