Saturday Musing: Adulthood-When Mundane Becomes Extraordinary

Being an adult is an underrated form of being extraordinary. After a day of cleaning (well half cleaning) the house, I’m sitting here writing this post. I’m not sure why this never donned upon me before, but being an adult is truly extraordinary. After an exhausting week of work, we are greeted by the weekend. A time we are supposed to reserve for rest and relaxation. A time that many of us reserve for doing the work in our lives that doesn’t get recognition or pay-cleaning, cooking, paying the bills, going to the grocery store, and general preparation for the week ahead. Adulthood and life in general is composed of these little, mundane moments. That’s why we fail to acknowledge our extraordinary. I didn’t feel like waking up early in order to preserve my sleep schedule and I certainly didn’t feel like getting out of bed today. Yet, I did.

We are so sold upon the idea of what we have to do that we forget to appreciate ourselves for getting it done. Yes, the house must be cleaned and the bills need to be paid, but it doesn’t make us any less extraordinary for doing those things. During our early years, we are rewarded for our efforts through very obvious forms of advancement. We move up in grade levels, earn diplomas, and for some of us degrees. Finally, if we’re lucky, we get our first job. That’s where it ends. No matter how many promotions you may get or cities that you move to, your life is defined by the mundane because adulthood is mundane. However, the extraordinary comes in when we choose to embrace the mundane. Some days we may run from it and that’s okay, but on average we get things done without so much as a second thought.

I always saw the extraordinary in my mother. It seemed like she moved through life with ease-no small feat for a single mother. I didn’t realize it growing up, but there’s nothing easy about it at all. I was even selling her extraordinary short. She made a million selfless, mundane decisions that kept our world turning. Her extraordinary was beyond what I could fathom. So today, and every day, take time to appreciate yourself for the mundane-especially if you’re a parent. Just know that your mundane is what makes you extraordinary.

I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what makes your mundane extraordinary.

Sincerely,

EM

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Failing Upwards

Full disclosure “failing upwards” is totally one of those motivational phrases that I absolutely abhor. I am most definitely failing, but the only thing going upward is my debt. No… seriously. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the premise of the phrase. We owe it to ourselves to do something that scares us, go for our dreams, and inevitably risk failure. However, as a society we have become risk averse. We are so risk averse that we have lost sight of what it truly means to fail.

Failure has suddenly become synonymous with not doing enough, doing too much, or not knowing what to do at all. In essence, we’ve begun to attach the word failure to any moments in our lives that make us uncomfortable or question our long-term trajectory. The issue with this lies in the fact that failure is not a state of being, but rather a description of an outcome. This is where the idea of failing upwards falls short. No you are not a failure because you’re unmarried, your kids suck, or because you like the new Kanye. You are, however, a failure if you let outcomes become your identity. On the bright side, this means that you’re most likely not a sociopath so there’s that.

In all seriousness, as a society we need to work towards embracing the idea of growing pains and erasing the idea of failure. Normally, I am opposed to the new-age, “participation trophy” approach to life. No, not everything is good. No, not every result is positive. Yes, you have failed and you will fail again. However, in the overexposed society in which we live we do not have a realistic litmus of where we should be in life. This leads us to attach failure to any aspect of our lives that “falls short”. In an ideal world, failing upwards would describe a comfort in knowing that not everything will go your way in life. However until we learn to escape the pressure of what should be and embrace what is, we will continue to universalize the implications of our failures. Stop failing upwards. We must learn to just fail and keep it moving.

Until then, have fun defying the laws of gravity!

Sincerely,

EM