Friday, February 8, 2019


An Ordinary Life
by Bryan Neva & Allen Laudenslager

My wife and I were returning from a two week cruise in the Mediterranean where we visited Barcelona, Nice, Monaco, Pisa, Florence, Rome, Napels, Sorento, Venice, and several other ports-of-call.  The trip was fast-paced and we had little time to catch our breath, so we were actually looking forward to returning home for a vacation-from-our-vacation and back to our ordinary lives. The trip reminded me of my time in the Navy during the Cold War: I spent well over a year in Northern and Southern Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa and the Middle East; I saw a lot of extraordinary places and did a lot of extraordinary things (working my butt off) but all I could ever think about was getting back home to my ordinary life.

We live in a world that embraces the extraordinary in all walks of life. People strive for fame and fortune, but why is being ordinary so looked down upon?  We praise the intelligent, athletic, talented, beautiful, and successful, but when do we ever praise the ordinary? Joe/Jane the plumber, electrician, carpenter, artisan, service provider, public safety provider, healthcare provider, teacher, professional, etcetera deserve our accolades too. What they all do is quite ordinary but also quite necessary and important.

Beating yourself up because you were never the star pupil, never got that promotion, or never rose beyond the ordinary is just senseless. For every extraordinary person, there's probably at least a thousand ordinary people. You're in good company. It’s those ordinary people who make the world go around. The extraordinary may get the attention and the accolades, but it’s the ordinary that get things done.

The guy on the loading dock keeps the products moving to the customer. The gal in the office next to yours keeps the bills going out and the money coming in. Their jobs are not very glamorous or exciting but they're absolutely necessary.

Even the ordinary stuff around the house such as mowing the grass, washing the dishes, cleaning the house, and washing the clothes are important. Without someone doing those ordinary tasks our lives would degenerate into a sloppy mess. Since most of our day-to-day lives are ordinary, we should find a sense of simple accomplishment and satisfaction in the simple responsibilities and pleasures of life.   

We wake up and go to our ordinary jobs Monday through Friday; we come home to our ordinary lives; we kiss our spouse, walk the dog, make dinner, watch the evening news, and read a book; we go to bed and do it all over again.  We work for the weekend when we can do some grocery shopping and catch up on home chores. Maybe if we have time we can play with our dogs, have a glass of iced tea in the shade of our patios, and a quiet evening with our spouse and family. These things should be be enough for us.

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