Ordinary

Hello!

It’s been awhile since I’ve written here.

I could try to explain, but mainly, I’d just like to quote my brother-in-law, Rolin Martin, upon the re-starting of his podcast (Everyday Expertise) after a break:  “We’re back.”

I admit that I don’t quite know how to re-enter this world, but I know that I want to.

What are the reasons behind why I want to be here again?

First of all, the less I write, the less I have to write about. And that scares me. (I can journal endlessly for myself. It’s not that the words have left me. The skill that I am hoping to hone here is organizing my thoughts into something that can be enjoyable and beneficial for others to read.) I suspect that it is a slight anxiety issue for me: my amygdala activating the “freeze” response in my brain, causing my mind to feel blank and bleak. I haven’t pinpointed yet why this happens to me when I think about writing, but I’m told the way forward is to go through. Through the very valley of the shadow of death. Ugh. It is so much easier for me to be quiet. But also… silence doesn’t quite sit right with me. So here I am. As always, I’m grateful for those of you who gently journey with me.

Secondly, Luci Martin is currently sharing a post every single day on her blog, and she writes so warmly about ordinary life AND larger issues that it reassures me that there is power and beauty in sharing the ordinary things and gives me a craving to do the same.

And on that note, I shall share a few small ordinary details of my life with you, to catch you up.

  • Every morning, right after I wake up, I go stand at the window for a few moments to pray, drink my water, and see what there is to see. Every morning, the glorious golden tree across the street is a little emptier of its leaves. I like to be aware of the small things like this. They seem important.
  • Speaking of mornings… we’ve been waking up early around here. I’m talking 5:00 a.m. early. Waking up early has never been a simple thing for me. Do I want to be an early riser? Why do I feel like I should be one? Is it beneficial for me to be an early riser? I’m hoping to write more about this sometime.
  • This morning (Sunday), I went on a walk to ponder whether I really wanted to start blogging again, and I stopped to buy a drink. When I stepped out of Tim Hortons, Christmas cup in hand, it was just starting to snow. The air was so crisp, the sky so grey, AND my vanilla latte was delicious. (Is it just me, or have Tim Hortons drinks been extra variable lately?) It was easy to be present in that moment. I’m trying to practice existing fully in the moment I am in, rather than engaging constantly with the past ore the future. My ability to focus is lacking, and it shows itself in a myriad of areas. I’m excited about pursuing growth in this area. I’d like to write more about this sometime, but first I need to spend some time thinking and practicing.
  • I’m a student these days. Conestoga College, the Educational Support program. It has been a learning experience in many, many ways. I’m grateful for the opportunity to study and grow, and to learn how to assist well in classrooms. One thing that this experience has revealed to me is how often I let fear dominate any new situation. It’s almost impossible for me to approach new things with excitement, because I am so afraid of them. I’m trying to learn how to utilize the glimmers of excitement that work their way through the fear. To pay attention to them and then to remember them in the moments when I feel purely scared. I’m hoping to share more thoughts on the process of learning and growing sometime.
The aftermath of a presentation for one of my classes. (The crackers and hummus showed up after I presented.)
  • For our Christmas present this year, Ricky and I chose to buy a new bedframe and mattress. After six years of marriage, we are upgrading from our double bed and mattress (I brought these to the marriage with me) to a queen size. Yes, we are a little worried about losing each other in the night. Thank you for asking.

How to end this little post?

A blessing, perhaps.

My prayer for you:

If it feels like there is too much to do, if your head is spinning, if your body is a step away from shaking, if your soul is quivery and scattered,

Or

If the days feel too still, the darkness too near, the quietness overwhelming,

Or

If life is just ordinary and beautiful and simple…

May there be a quiet and still moment, when the veil is split and God appears. May you have the courage to dwell in that moment- to see, feel, touch, taste, and hear. May your body, mind, and spirit rest there.

And after?

May the path appear a little less steep. You do not journey alone. He hems you in behind and before. He lays his hand upon you.

Amen.

(Jasmine Martin)

What does your life look like these days? Did you survive the time change? How do you feel about the dark evenings? Are you a morning person? If so, HOW? Can you teach me? Do you like a big bed or a smaller bed? Have you had good luck with Tim Hortons’ drinks lately?

(Clearly, the main reason I am taking up blogging again is so that I can ask you guys questions. I love to hear your answers!)

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10 Responses

  1. I am a morning person. The newest experience in my life is being part of a research project with the University of Waterloo. The section I am part of is looking to see if the ability to complete tasks improves after a time of reading a book for 15-20 minutes. My least favourite task was to count backwards from 100 by 7s. I did not do well at all but if I have that challenge again I will be better prepared for I now have a plan. Another challenge was to name as many animals (could be birds or other creatures) as I could in a certain time. It’s a good exercise for my brain and the women I am working with are interesting. One of them comes from Iran and can speak their language, German, English, some Arabic and is learning French.

    1. This is so interesting, Marjorie! Sounds like a fascinating project to be a part of. I am astounded (and appalled!) by how quickly my mind gets distracted. I can relate to your struggle with counting backwards from 100 by 7s… I recently did some backwards counting as a way of practicing focus and it definitely takes mental work. The challenges you describe would certainly keep me on my toes! 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  2. Tim Hortons drinks have been terribly variable lately. I’m so glad you understand, too. Although of course, I wish nothing but delicious drinks upon you.
    Also, that prayer was just the thing my soul was craving after a long and hard day. Thank you.

  3. First of all… so good to read you again! I’ve missed you! 😊 I love your thoughts on the ordinary or otherwise.
    The dark evenings are comforting and lovely. Unless I’m trying to get things done. They’re not very motivating.
    I used to think our bed was big. It’s a queen. But since 3 little people sometimes come to snuggle with us in the morning, I’m starting to think a King might be more appropriate. Also our bedroom seems bigger than it used to and our bed looks small in it. We want a new bed sometime in the next year or 5.
    On Tim Hortans drinks, they definitely do seem to vary a lot lately. I attribute that to the amount of turnover in staff they (and everyone else) has right now. Recently I was given a London Fog in an iced form. (Not at all fitting the mood I was going for) 😂 But I still buy them. The other day while I was driving home from an errand, I decided to stop for Tim Hortans. While I was pulling out of the drive-through, a funeral procession drove by and we pulled onto the road and followed it (for many miles) all the way back home to our neighbouring cemetery.
    Now the boys like to line up all the hotwheels cars around the house because they’re on their way to the “cemeterio’. Never stop at Tim Hortans without weighing the consequences.

    1. Thanks for missing me! 🙂 And thank you for commenting! I enjoyed reading your response so much. I laughed out loud over the iced London Fog! That is so unfortunate. I had a London Fog from Tim Horton’s recently that was so sweet it legitimately tasted like a marshmallow. And your boys lining up their hotwheels… that’s cute. Your point about the turnover of staff makes a lot of sense!

  4. Thank you for putting the effort into writing this lovely post. I feel kind’ve cheesy reaping the benefits of your hard work 🙃 let me know if you find a way to enjoy early mornings, or how to face new things with excitement instead of anxiety.
    Btw the ordinary life is the magical one, so I love to hear about it. I always look forward to reading your blog!!

  5. Jasmine, I love this post and was so startled and honoured to see my name in it. Thank you.

    I’m struggling a bit with time change, but I’m fairly resigned. I used to fight it every year. To no avail, of course.

    We have a queen size bed and like it. Just like you, we upgraded from a double a few years into marriage. We’re finding each other just fine. 😊

    I won’t answer all your questions. You hear enough from me. The prayer is beautiful.

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