Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ordinary Lives

Well I guess the accelerated efforts by Ma Nature to bring us Mainers up to where we should be on the shortest day of the year has been successful. The image of my house yesterday after an 18" dumping and the image of it a year ago in the previous post are almost indistinguishable.

Enjoy this idyllic Christmasie image. It is about to get washed away. Rain is headed our way. Apparently lots of rain. I would rather have snow. Once snow has fallen, it tends to stay where it fell. Rain on the other hand goes where gravity and obstacles make it go. Rain on top of snow and frozen ground leads to all kinds of problems. Do I dare mention my ongoing struggle to overcome in the Sump Wars? And should the rain be of the freezing type, Life just gets plain ugly around here.

I read these past few words and the ones of my recent posts and it strikes me how very ordinary my life is. That concerns over the weather take top billing over concerns about Bama Man's pick for HUD secretary, or some lost tyke in England.

Ordinary is what Life really is about. We can anquish over the trials and tribulations of others in far away places, but what we absolutely have to pay attention to are the ordinary things that affect us on a day to day basis. Certainly events in far flung places can have their effect on me. Just look at the national economy. My livelihood has been deeply affected by the latest downturn. But I have no control over those events. I can only respond to what they bring into the ordinary facets of my life.

Which brings me to just what I guess I have been mulling over here. Why does the idea of "ordinary" have such a low regard in our collective minds. What is standard everyday stuff for me has to strike someone someplace else as being anything but ordinary as they struggle to make it to work under sunshine and palm trees packed onto eight lane highways in southern California. To both of us, each other's existence is anything but ordinary. Yet both of us look out our windows and see nothing but the same old shit.

Some lives are filled with adventures we all consider somehow outside the realm of what we feel is normal. My stint as a rock and roll truck driver might fall into that category. Yet, after the newness had worn off, that job, that life became ordinary. That what I did somehow conjured up romantic images in other's minds did nothing to build them up in my mind once I had been fully engaged in the lifestyle.

All of us lead ordinary lives. The trick is not to become bored with them. So as the this year sputters to a close, I will make one resolution for the new year coming. I will attempt once more to embrace the ordinary and make it interesting. Instead of pissing an moaning about the same old shit, I will try to look at just getting out of bed as the first interesting thing I do that day. Seems when I do that, no matter what comes my way, I am interested.

A side note of sorts - A news person on the local news used a term I was not used to when talking about the recently passed Winter Solstice. Instead of referring to it as the shortest day of the year, she instead, called it the longest night of the year. My first knee jerk reaction was, "Jeez, what a pessimistic attitude."

Then I contemplated what most folks called it - "the shortest day of the year" and decided that neither term filled me with much optimism and fuzzy good vibes. I tried to find a term that exuded optimism when talking about this day of short light and longer darkness. All I could come up with is, "From here everything starts looking up."


Demeur said...

I've rarely had an ordinary job, but I know what you mean. Even extra ordinary jobs can become dull after a time. My current occupation, when there is work, is never boring. I guess that's because if you make a mistake in my field it gives new meaning to the word terminate. Always need to be focused.

As for the longest night there are some who enjoy long nights. It's the Dracula syndrome. Wanting to get the job done and get home to bed before the humans awake.

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

Life is only as good as YOU care to make it. Its all to easy to fall into a habit of seeing only the ugly, the boring, the drab, its more of a challenge to see the upbeat,and the new discoveries we each make each day from the small to the large---it sounds like you well understand the challenge of it all-----good post, very thoughtful, I kinda needed hearing it myself (Palm trees and eight lane freeway symdromes)

Dawn on MDI said...

I prefer "longest night" because it harkens back the pagan tradition of calling back the light to begin the new year.

I'm thinking of doing a NaBloPoMo thing in January - care to join me? We can observe the ordinary together without letting it get us down.

Randal Graves said...

From my twisted vantage point "longest night of the year" sounds pretty groovy simply because I prefer the evening over the day. Either that or it's the blood drinking. Thanks to Demeur for letting the secret out.

You're spot on about how we view ordinariness. I dig the rock, so of course, my initial reaction to your trucker posts was along the lines of "Zeppelin rules!" One doesn't think of the hauling vast gobs of crap from A to B over and over. It's a routine. We both need and fear such things. We all engage in rituals that we need to do yet we're afraid of slipping into the mundane.

Maybe I'll start setting fireworks off in the library. Perhaps your Sump Wars can be a corollary to your postapocalyptic fiction. Who knows what lives under the basement.