For over a year now, I’ve been writing for this blog regularly (two times per month), and I’ve had a pretty good system down. Every 2 weeks, I would:
- Step 1: Pick a day.
- Step 2: Wake up at 5 a.m.
- Step 3: Tip-toe down the stairs, so the kids don’t wake up.
- Step 4: Write until I need to get ready for work.
That system worked out pretty well and became my normal routine. But around 4 weeks ago, that routine got turned upside down. My wife and I welcomed our third child to our family (a beautiful baby girl this time!), and let’s just say our lives have been anything but “normal.”
And I know I’m not alone.
Within the last month, we’ve seen various tragedies take place across the world. In particular, I think of the hurricanes that hit Houston and Florida. As I watched the coverage on the various news stations, my heart broke seeing the flooding, the damage, and the people displaced from their homes. And each time, one theme continued to arise: “We just want to get back to normal.”
Then, of course, last week we remembered the anniversary of the September 11th attacks. As a 21-year-old college kid at the time, I was trying to make sense of the world. And one of the thoughts I continuously had in the weeks and months afterwards was, “I just want things to get back to normal.”
But once again, I wasn’t alone. Although I wasn’t living in New York City at the time, most of my extended family lived in New Jersey, about 30 minutes from Manhattan. And you do know what they longed for?
With all this longing for “normal,” you’d think we would embrace it like a long-lost friend every time we find it. And yet, that’s anything but the case…at least for me anyway. When my life feels normal, I get frustrated. I feel stagnant. I feel bored.
But as a dad to 3 kids now, do you know what my wife and I keep talking about? Finding our “normal.”
Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t strive for greatness, seek the extraordinary, and achieve our wildest goals and dreams. But maybe we should stop every now and then. Appreciate what we do have. And stop taking “normal” for granted. If we do that, we may find that our “normal” is actually pretty extraordinary. And to be honest, it may be the most valuable experience we can have.
Question: What do you need to stop taking for granted? (Share in the comments below.)