Blog 365

The Details of Unremarkable Days

Originally written on August 3, 2012

It’s been said that books, plays, musicals, movies – are about “the day something happened.” Some remarkable event or turning-point in a person’s life that makes us sympathize with them. We don’t go to a play to watch actors eating cereal, working at a desk or doing yard work.

Yet those very details of “unremarkable days” are what make up our lives. And the misfortune of those of us artsy-minded people is we’re always looking for those big, flashy “movie moments” – and we get dissatisfied when life isn’t constantly handing them to us.

The irony is that those big moments only come mixed up with the unremarkable details. Movies and musicals condense time so much that we forget that between the break-up and the reconciliation there were probably many sleepless nights sobbing into a pillow. In real life the child doesn’t grow up instantly, the couple doesn’t fall in love overnight, and success isn’t handed to us in the next scene – despite what a two-hour, nicely packaged and well-written screenplay portrays.

Only when we get to a certain place in our lives do we look back and see the plot line developing, deepening, and shaping into something we couldn’t see at the time. We see that this happened because I did this and then that person reacted that way, and now I’m here. And life ends up being a lot more like the movies than we thought – probably because movies are generally based off of the human experience.

But we can’t be pining away for the condensed version of our lives or we’ll miss the beauty that all those small moments brings our way. Cuddle with your six-year old during a movie now because soon he’ll be taller than you and going to college. Spend a summer evening in the backyard watching the sun go down because who knows where you’ll be next summer. Cherish Mom’s homecooked meals, your brother’s guitar music, wending your way through a Dickens novel, Dad’s encouragement as he passes by, and even the stressful moments of putting on a camp because this is the here and now of life.

Tomorrow might bring equally (or more so) beautiful moments, but they could also bring moments of sadness. Or moments of change and uncertainty. Those will be part of the story, too.

Just never miss out on living every part as it’s happening. Because you don’t want to be that person who fell asleep during the movie, then woke up at the end, muttering, “What happened?” Let’s be alive to the thrill of every single thing God brings our way – Cheerios, car radio music, heartbreaks, popsicles, and all.

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