This is a guest post by Liz Wolfe, who spends her days reviewing tax returns and her nights trying to forget what she does for a living. She induces this forgetfulness by reading an eclectic selection of books, writing a never-ending short story, and watching her fish swim. You can find her at Did I Digress?
I came across this thought-provoking essay, Honor in the Ordinary: Teaching Honors Intensive Writing at BYU, Fall 2006,
on Friday and I’ve been thinking about it over the weekend.
The author, Lisa Rumsey Harris, provided me with two questions to ponder, questions that I’ve thought about before:
“Does everyone really have a story to tell?”
And, “Is there honor in the ordinary?”
She answers both of these with a hesitant, and then resounding “Yes.” And as I’ve been thnking about in in a Gospel perspecitve, I’m inclined to agree with her.
But honestly, these two questions are ones that I’ve reflected on often in my life and have lead me to ve very unhappy at times, with where I am and what I’ve accomplished.
Would I want to tell my story?
I don’t know. I’ve often joked that my life is so mundane that my journal would consist of one entry with all subsequent pages stating “see page one.” And what I did over the weekend (i.e. nothing) only goes to support that.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I know we all have moments when we look back over our lives and think “What if” or “If only.” And I also know that if that’s the only way we see ourselves, we’re only going to be disappointed and dissatisfied—and that makes it impossible to be happy.
But, it is hard when I think of where I thought I would be at 32 and what I thought I would be doing. Aside from still being alive, nothing else is what I’d imagined.
It’s hard to let go. And it’s disheartening to take stock of accomplishments and be able to do it on one hand.
Is there any honor in my ordinary life?
In the end, I have faith that there is (even though I don’t always see it).
I’m working on it, though.
So what about you? How do you find “honor in the ordinary?”