This blog existed for almost two months before anyone knew about it. The first post I shared with anyone was the 18th post on the site. Actually, I hadn’t even intended on sharing the blog at that point, but the piece was so important and felt so big, I knew I had to share it. So, accidentally, hello world, here is this little project. No big deal. Just my heart and soul on display for all to see and comment on.
Truth be told, I’ve been writing a blog for years now, but not one anyone could read. There’s been this running commentary in my head, a voice working to make sense of the strange world around me, speaking like it has an anonymous audience. That’s been happening for years, but I tried to ignore it. I’ve got a lot going on – career, marriage, kids, house, synagogue, life – who has time for a blog?
Something kept poking at me, though. Recently, I heard a podcaster say, “You’ve already won the lottery. You were born! Don’t waste this one opportunity. Share your gifts with the world.” Won the lottery, huh? I decided to do a little research and found out that The Odds Of You Being Alive Are Incredibly Small, so small in fact that it’s basically impossible. The end of the piece declares:
So, the odds that you exist at all are: basically zero.
Now go forth and feel and act like the miracle that you are.
Don’t Hold Back
What’s the point of holding back on something like a blog when it’s clearly trying to fight its way out of your head? It’s my old friend fear, mixed in with exhaustion and self-doubt. Not to mention there’s this funny thing about being in a stage of life where you’ve done all the things you thought you were supposed to do. I went to college and graduate school; picked a solid career path – one that I even believe in, putting me ahead of the game. I was lucky as hell and found my perfect partner and we had two beautiful kids. He settled into a career; I got a promotion; we bought a house. All set, right?
I’ve always looked forward to this time when we were “settled.” But now I’m starting to see that vision of “settled” means sitting still, doing nothing new, routine day in and day out. In others words – boring.
Age Has Nothing to Do With It
I was having coffee recently with a woman who has discovered a passion for graphic art. She’s “settled,” too – mother of two little ones, military wife, homeowner, etc. But there was this art in her that had to get out. So, now she’s taking classes to learn the technologies she needs to get the art from head to reality. She’s got big dreams about this art – a career, a pro bono side business for startups, and a storefront that will include co-working space.
She has that dreamy look in her eyes when she talks about this future. But when she started talking about school, her whole demeanor changed. Her shoulders hunched down. She sighed. The students are all much younger than her. And she didn’t go to art school; she studied something else in college. She feels like maybe there’s something that happens for people in art school, something she missed out on and won’t get.
I immediately thought of my aunt, Ingrid Magidson. Today, she’s a successful artist. But she spent plenty of time struggling to figure out how to bring what was in her head to fruition. In this mini-documentary about her (yes, I am related to a celebrity!), she talks about haunting images in her mind she couldn’t get rid of. Eventually, she turned her backhouse into a studio and gave herself time to create. After spending plenty of time trying to figure it out, she created something so spectacular, she’s been able to support her family from her art.
Better to be Unsettled
I’m giving up on settled. I thought the point was to walk along some scoped-out path and follow it through to “settled” and then sit down and relax. It turns out though that there is no end to this path. (Well, there is a pretty definitive end, but I’d like to wait many decades before I get there). It’s about the path itself.
Yeah, yeah I hear you. What a cliché! “Life is a journey, not a destination.” We all know that song. I knew those words but I didn’t see how they applied to me. When I reflect on my life, I recognize the love I’ve devoted to nonprofit work, to climbing up the ladder in my career, to my marriage, and to raising my kids. But there are lots of other things I have loved, too: helping my husband launch two albums and side hustles, starting this blog, and so many other things.
I won the lottery. And I’m unsettled. Turns out there is no settled. Better to be unsettled and take advantage of the incredible opportunities all around.
Ordinary Days, Meaningful Life is a labor of love geared toward working moms ready to embrace the chaos and find meaning in it. If you found this post meaningful, please share it with someone you think would enjoy it too! I’d love to stay in touch with you! Leave a comment below, contact me, or sign up for the mailing list. I can’t wait to hear from you!