Life Is Big Beautiful Busy Ordinary
Friends, I’ve missed you. It’s been a minute since I’ve written anything on Petit Elefant, and I wish I could say there’s some freak busyness in my life keeping me away. Some massively cool reason I haven’t been here hanging out with your gorgeous mugs. But the truth is, I’m as busy as all of us, living our everyday lives. I’m parenting and disease-ing (that should be a real, non-hyphenated word so I’m claiming it right this second: diseaseingTM) and working and activisming (again, TM) and swim mom-ing. I’m living a regular, busy, wonderful life.
That’s actually what I want to talk about, so let’s huddle for a sec and talk about what a beautiful thing it is to live a regular, average, busy, ordinary life.
I spent my youth, and unfortunately a fair amount of my young adult life, believing my life would only be successful if it was celebrated, recognized, and driven by external accomplishments. The kind of success measured with high salaries and big titles, corner offices, first-class travel, and trophy-like awards presented at expensive galas.
Now I’m officially a middle-aged, living cliche, in the suburbs, with a husband, two children, and backyard chicken coop. And I’ve changed my mind about what it looks like to have a successful life.
Here’s what I mean.
I’m currently on a flight heading home from Washington, D.C. after a few successful days of meetings and lobbying on Capitol Hill with a nonprofit organization I work with, called Shot At Life. Shot At Life is a really cool organization filled with volunteers like me from across the United States and abroad. We raise awareness of vaccine preventable deaths in developing nations, and lobby for funding from legislators who have the power to make it happen.
Would you like to know who comprises the bulk of these volunteers? Everyday humans like you. Nurses, teachers, nurse practitioners, college students, moms, dads, writers, documentary filmmakers, physical therapists, bankers, professors, insurance agents, Girl Scout leaders. Everyday humans doing everyday things to move the needle a little bit at a time. People who struggle to pay their mortgages, but still carve out time on the train ride home from work to call their senators and congresspeople about the things they care about. People who get up to work non-glamorous jobs all day, where they make the world a tiny bit better one day at a time.
Everyday humans, like me and you.
And while it took awhile to understand, I finally get it. The miracle of the human experience isn’t how much money we make. It will never be measured by awards. It’s the small joys we experience when our stories cross paths for a moment with people all around us, like the stranger we meet at the valet stand of our hotel. The cab driver who takes us to the airport. The flight attendant who’s still cheerful after 10 hours on their feet. It’s the spouse and kids waiting for us when we finally arrive home.
Success is beautiful, busy, ordinary magic, and I’m here for all of it.