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Putting the Okay in Ordinary

As long as were on the topic of virtues that I am lacking I have another to share and it comes from a parenting book I’ve been reading “Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids” by Kim John Payne, M.ed.

While getting a few pages in during my dinner break tonight I was floored by the following statement:

“If we hold on to the exceptional-if our children adopt that as their measure of success – most will fail, and almost all of them will feel like failures.  There’s freedom in embracing the ordinary: freedom, and possibilities.”

The author is discussing our expectations and desires for our children, but this section spoke to me on a different level.  In the last year of career and life changes I have often struggled with that feeling of inadequacy – my brain, after many years of influence, tells my psyche that money, title, degree, notoriety, etc. are the measure of success therefore how can I be a success without a fancy job, title, award, etc.?  On those bad days it eats away at me – aren’t you a failure Mols for not succeeding in everything; somewhere along the line I began to associate failure with being ordinary.

I wonder how many of my generation are made to feel this way, particularly while navigating the current economic and job related waters.  I wonder how many of us believed those promises that everyone could and would succeed to those illustrious standards.  And I wonder how many of us would be happier if we just accepted the possibilities of being ordinary?

Accepting that we’re ordinary opens us up to extraordinary experiences.  We can have jobs, and not life consuming careers.  We can have hobbies and pursuits and revel in their imperfections and the joy we get from them – how many of us would have loved music lessons or sports more if we had just been allowed to do them with out competition?  We can have more time for others, which can lead to extraordinary acts of selflessness and compassion.

“After all, the ordinary allows for the exceptional, but not the reverse…  Loving something for its own sake – not for its potential in fame, glory, or music scholarships – is far from ordinary.  It’s an extraordinary blessing – a strength of character any parent would wish for their child.”

I look forward to reviewing more of this book in the future – if you are looking for an inspirational book on parenting and how a simple life of less will not deprive, but rather enrich you and your children’s live I recommend “Simplicity Parenting” though I’m only half way through.


2 responses »

  1. Thank you for sharing this. It resonates with me as I “finish” raising my last two kids. It really is true. Schools today are so competitive, I don’t think kids enjoy anything by having to “compete” constantly.

    • I wish more parents would be okay with whatever their kids enjoy and want to be – whether it’s an neurosurgeon or a cabinent maker – and let them enjoy their childhoods more, it’s such a fleeting moment in the grand scheme of things!


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