In Celebration Of My Ordinary Life

celebrate ordinary life

An ordinary life doesn’t equate to a meaningless life. And an extraordinary life doesn’t equate to a successful life, even though we’ve been taught that it does.

An accomplished life in the United States is associated with having a lot of money, fame and power. Used in the right way, they could be, but they aren’t necessary in order to leave a mark on the world. 

The external validation, achievement, power and status that we’re lured into never leads to joy.

Our acute need to be or feel exceptional or special only intensifies the need to compare, compete and impress others. It only causes us to feel rushed, ashamed and isolated.

Magic happens when we are present and aware of what we have: a perfectly brewed cup of coffee, an early morning walk, a cool breeze on a hot summer day. 

Extraordinary relationships don’t come from physical beauty, exotic trips, big houses, fancy clothes and cars. I’m not against these things; I just don’t like being fooled by them.

Ordinary relationships are transformed to extraordinary through simple acts of kindness, compassion and love. They are mined through the fire of hard work, tragedy, and disappointment.

I’m on a mission to celebrate my ordinary and magical life. It’s easy to do when I pay attention and take in the wonder and joy that I find in simple things, everyday activities and experiences.

The significant and unusual events, the highest achievements and biggest accolades all eventually seem familiar and ordinary after a little time has passed.  But beauty and magic lie in the ordinary moments that fill the space in-between. We only need to be present to discover, savor and take them in.

These are not trivial or mundane moments. These are moments that define your life! Your actions reveal your character and values. These are the times that shape who you are and the legacy you leave behind.

7 Steps to Make Your Life Meaningful and Worthy of Celebration

1. Love who you are and where you are. Appreciate the person you have become and your life exactly as it is in the moment.

2. Treat the taxi cab driver, the barista and the bathroom attendant as sacred people. Make these interactions meaningful. Show them interest, make eye contact, small talk and add a smile.

3. Make others feel special. Help low-paid workers feel visible. Give a larger than normal tip. Make them feel that life is on their side. Help them believe the world is a generous place.

4. Choose to see everything with amazement and wonder: a new blade of grass, the shape of a cloud on a sunny day, the wrinkled hands of a grandparent and aroma of dinner cooking on the stove.

5. Notice and appreciate the most ordinary things: running water, sand between your toes, the color of your eyes, the coziness and comfort of your bed.

6. Slow down. Turn off your electronics. Reflect, pause and breathe deeply. Be still. Pray. Meditate. Love.

7. Don’t miss an opportunity to be of service. Be a giver. Come from your heart.  Help heal the world. Make it a better place. 

I have found that when I celebrate the ordinary, my life feels extraordinary. Happiness doesn’t elude me and all is well with my world.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Beth July 6, 2014, 7:30 pm

    Good stuff, Tess! There is magic in the ordinary when we’re completely and totally present to whatever is in front of our noses.

    I love all seven but my favorite is the one about making others feel special. Everyone deserves kindness. Just tonight when the waitress asked if we were doing alright, I said, “Yes, are you?” She was completely caught off guard, but gave me a big smile and said, “I am and thanks for asking!”

    It’s the little things!

    • Tess July 8, 2014, 4:52 pm

      Love it Beth! Thanks for sharing with me!

  • Sandra Pawula July 6, 2014, 8:06 pm

    I’m with Beth! I really love your idea to do what we can to make others feel special. I find it alarming that so many people work so hard for minimal wages. This is one way we can immediately make a difference in someone’s life.

    • Tess July 8, 2014, 4:54 pm

      Yes Sandra, I don’t know how they make ends meet and so many are soooo kind. Not resentful etc like I might be if the situation was turned around.

  • Suzie Cheel July 6, 2014, 11:08 pm

    I am with Sandra and Beth, sharing and caring from our heart by making a difference brings joy both to you and others and helps everyone feel special

  • richmiraclefiles July 7, 2014, 5:52 am

    Hi Tess,
    I like what you say about making an extraordinary life.Great stuff really.
    And i want to add that never stopping to do good is another vital part of spreading the “cosmic emotions”.Giving a second chance very day ,every minute,is important.It goes beyond forgiving;it implies cussedness of the evolved type.The persistence to just do good at all costs….

    Nothing is meant to remain static and absolute in the universe.Because that is a straight route to decay and disintegration.You,as a creative,intelligent human being ,are responsible to contribute your bit to the growth of the universe.
    And to yourself.

    So give a second chance.

    Let go.Pardon.Forgive.Smile.Release the past baggage.Extend a handshake once again.Do something good despite someone $%#@ .Stop expecting rudeness/negativity (yes that’s a second chance too).Stop focusing only on faults;in people,in things,in yourself.Stop remembering all the ##$$%%# of the past.


    • Tess July 8, 2014, 4:55 pm

      I love all of your ideas. They make for a happy life!

  • Michelle July 7, 2014, 10:02 am

    Beautiful, powerful post, Tess.

    #5 particularly resonated with me. Have I ever told you about my Princess and the Pea bed? 😉 It’s heaven. Much more heavenly than the Westin’s Heavenly Bed. 😀

    • Tess July 8, 2014, 4:56 pm

      Do I here a post coming on about the Princess and the pea???

  • Stacey July 7, 2014, 10:58 am

    Thanks for another inspiration post Tess – you have so much about you that is far from ordinary 🙂 I love this quote: “Magic happens when we are present and aware of what we have: a perfectly brewed cup of coffee, an early morning walk, a cool breeze on a hot summer day.” I just am writing about a blog about the importance of living in awe everyday to experience the “beginner’s” mind and being open and curious at all times! I think what makes my life extraordinary is the magic and beauty of real, authentic, genuine connection. I have never been competitive by nature, and I’m able to stop and live in gratitude each and every day for the simplicity of life, like the cup or coffee or the walk with my dog 🙂

    • Tess July 8, 2014, 4:58 pm

      I think that’s why my life is like it is. When we appreciate the ordinary, life becomes extraodinary! Yes I agree with the open mind and curiosity and let’s add wonder to it as well!

  • Elle July 7, 2014, 12:18 pm

    Great stuff Tess – the point about seeing others as sacred is so important. It’s far too easy to overlook those around us because we’re busy or focused on something else.
    And yet those interactions are often the most joyful in a day in my experience. It’s amazing what a smile or a thank you or a kind gesture can do.

    • Tess July 8, 2014, 4:59 pm

      I agree and really haven’t thought of that…being the most joyful part of my day. It’s so true!

  • Sebastian Aiden Daniels July 7, 2014, 1:48 pm

    Those are 7 wonderful tips. I am grateful that I can say that I do them on a regular basis in my life. I love to stand out under the stars at night and just breathe deeply and be amazed at how small I am and how vast and gigantic the world and universe are. I also am naturally friendly to strangers so I hope that people in the service industry appreciate it. I know when I was in the service industry, I appreciated it when people were really nice. It can’t be understated how such a little thing can affect a person’s day for the better.

  • Tess July 8, 2014, 4:59 pm


    I’m out under the stars tonight and I’ll be thinking about you under the stars in your part of the world. Love the idea!

  • Cathy Taughinbaugh July 9, 2014, 9:55 pm

    I love this post, Tess. “Ordinary relationships are transformed to extraordinary through simple acts of kindness, compassion and love.” is a such an important reminder. Thanks for pointing out how you won’t be fooled by all the trappings of money. You are so right, it does not buy happiness or true richness in your life. Reaching out to others makes such a difference. Your comment about helping low-paid workers feel visible is a good one! Great ideas here!

  • lynne July 16, 2014, 4:33 pm

    Really great! a very inspiring post. So true that if we try to see every simple blessings that surrounds us, life will be lighter, easier and happier. As a result, we’ll all have a peaceful satisfied life ahead. Thanks for sharing.

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