Sunday, August 20, 2006

Remarkable

I have a friend who I tried to convert to scrapbooking for years. "I'm unremarkable. I have nothing to scrap. When I get a life, maybe then I'll do it," she always argued.

I always thought that was the saddest thing I'd ever heard. Of COURSE she had a life. She was (still is) beautiful. She had a great job. She was a Super Aunt to 2 adorable neices. She drove a Mustang. She had great taste in music. She thought her life was humdrum, so-so, unremarkable. But it wasn't. It was her life. I ached for her to celebrate it.

I have other friends who've started blogs, published a few entries, then abruptly stopped. "Why aren't you writing?" I ask. "I keep checking for an update." Invariably, the answer is the same: "I don't have anything to write about. My life's not exciting."

Neither is mine. I mean, really. I lead a pretty humdrum life. I get up at 7 most mornings, rush through the morning routine, get the two older kids off to school, settle down in my studio to work, break for lunch when I think about it or when Ian starts begging for food, think about dinner when Darren comes through the door at 6, stay up too late reading or scrapping or chatting, and start all over the next day.

Sometimes I have lunch with friends and drop a chipotle shrimp on my shelf without even noticing until my kid says, "Mom. There's a shrimp on your shirt."

Sometimes I get a call from Rodney (my beloved brother who lives in Seattle and whom I haven't seen in too many years) and we laugh and cry and snark and talk about stuff for 2 hours at a time until our sides ache and our smile muscles are weary and our hearts are spent.

Sometimes I swordfight with Ian in the front yard (he always gives me the BROKEN sword, little cheater that he is), dueling gallantly until he finally rips open my gut and chops off my arm and leaves me to die spectacularly in the overgrown grass under a 104-degree sun with who knows which neighbors giggling from behind their bushes or from the picture windows of their air-conditioned houses.

Last week, I packed for Aidan a lunch (it was bribery, I'll admit it) that consisted of S'more Sandwiches, 2 Oreo cookies and a Fruit Roll-Up, prompting a note home from his teacher which read "Please only send one sweet in Aidan's lunch per day."

I drew smiley faces and hearts and flowers and a big swirly "DANI" on my 15-year-old daughter's lunch sack (she's too cool for a lunch BOX, you know), hoping she wouldn't be embarrassed of it, and half figuring she'd throw the sack away and stash her sandwich and chips in her purse as soon as she got to school. But instead, she was PROUD of that little sack and announced after school, "Hey Mom. Marissa loved your artwork. She said she wishes HER mom would draw on her sacks." Oh... I forgot to mention that in the bottom corner of the sack, I wrote boldly, "Dani has the coolest Mom EVER." :)

Thursday night, I went upstairs to kiss the boys goodnight. When I reached the landing to head back down to the family room, I was suddenly slammed with the realization that I was exhausted. I haven't yet changed my nightly routine. I'm still staying up 'til 2 or so in the morning, but rising at 7. By Thursday night, it'd caught up with me and I turned on my heel and walked straight to my bedroom instead of back down the stairs. I was snoring by 9:30.

Tonight, we ate at CiCi's Pizza, then Dani generously bathed the boys and put them to bed while Darren and I snuggled on the couch and watched "Anger Management". We laughed and laughed. Our fat cat snuggled with us and (weird cat that she is) kept licking the back of my neck. Eventually, Dani came down and watched the end of the movie with us. We didn't even have popcorn.

These aren't exactly the things that define an exciting life. It's unremarkable. But it's MY life. It's everything I've ever dreamed of. It's safe, it's warm, it's happy, it's peaceful.

I'm not clothed in physical beauty. I'm not showered with monetary blessings. I'm not overrun with talent or grace or wisdom.

But I lead a life that's fun to scrap.
I have a life worth writing about.
Celebrate it, 'cause so do you.
Get to it! Be remarkable!

"My students were middle-class kids who were ashamed of their background. They felt like unless they grew up in poverty, they had nothing to write about...I felt sorry for these kids, that they thought their whole past was absolutely worthless because it was less than remarkable."
-David Sedaris, from an interview in January Magazine

8 comments:

Veronica in Aus said...

So true! Which means I should go and write my own blog entry, right? Sigh....;)

nandmmom said...

You are soooo inspiring. I think maybe what this says is that when we each look in the mirror, it seems our life is boring...but there will always be someone looking at you wishing they were in your shoes.

Jonesee said...

First...thanks for the new entry and inspiration!
Second... I disagree about you not being "overrun with talent, grace or wisdom"! You have more talent than anyone else I know and I learn something from you EVERY time I visit here. Maybe I'll give you grace because I have read your entries about falling out of your chair and your softball "incident". :)

Beth said...

I dunno how you manage to get inside my head and then transfer my thoughts to your blog, but it's happened yet again.

Thanks for blogging, Stacy. Your "humdrum" life is fun to read about. It often reassures me that I am normal.

We're exhorted to do everything to the glory of God. I think as long as we're consciously trying to do that in our daily lives, God is glorified, even if it seems we're not doing much with what He's given us.

Thanks for reminding me of that.

Jenny said...

First of all, you have to know that I love Sedaris. I'm going to see him in person before I fly down to visit you, whoo hoo!

Second, You are a big fat LIAR if you don't believe that you have talent and skills. You have an amazing way of reaching out to people and putting them at ease. And you make me laugh all of the dang time. I still giggle when I think about you with the chair. And the meat-dude at your door. And a million other things that the rest of the world would be too embarassed to share, but you do and it makes it all okay.

Third, God loves you no matter how weird you are. Or how boring you are. Or anything else that you may think, God created you and he loves exactly you.

Colleen said...

You inspired me to add another entry to my blog as well as to go ahead and publish 2 others that I'd saved as drafts months ago. Even though they're all pretty rough, if I don't just "do it" I will probably never get them polished. And my polished is still BORING. But anyway, now I have a grand total of 5 entries, and coming up on my one year anniversary.

You are ALWAYS such an inspiration.

Bobbie said...

You need to publish you remarkable writer you.

Darrcie said...

Your life may seem "humdrum" but it's your perspective on that life that makes it remarkable. That makes me want to read your blog every day. That makes me want to be more like you. That makes me want to meet you. That makes me want you to VISIT that brother in Seattle so that Heidi and I can throw you a Scrapshare Crop - Washington style!!