Extraordinary Ordinary Moments


Dammit - I’m trying. Trying to be present. Trying to appreciate the small stuff. Trying to see that even the most ordinary moments are truly extraordinary.

When we first moved to Japan, I used to document every moment.  Because every moment felt special.  

It was kinda like that feeling you have on vacation when all of a sudden everything just wows you. Even the little stuff.

But a life that I once deemed extraordinary has become oh so ordinary.  Our life here, is just life.  A life filled with normal life things: trips to the grocery store, playdates with friends and date nights with my love.

I remember so clearly when I first got here, taking out my phone to capture images of the street Chase and I were walking down because it was different than the streets I knew back home and it was a street we had never walked down before and I couldn’t believe we were actually ON THIS STREET.  IN JAPAN. But then time went on.  And that street that once felt special is now OUR street.  The street I’m on multiple times a day as I drop the boys off at school, run to yoga and walk hand in hand with Steve to our favorite restaurant.  I stopped taking pictures.  And I let moments pass me by. 

I began to craft more extraordinary moments.  I planned trips to new places and new parks and new playgrounds.  I wanted to see new things and have them feel exciting again.  A friend of mine likens it to being a drug addict - where you need more and more to get the same high you got at the beginning.  

But then without fail, the newness ends.  And we would return to the rhythm of our life.  A dull drum beat.  Comforting.  But ordinary. 

Now don’t get me wrong.  I know my life here is like a beautiful piece of chocolate cake.  And man that cake is delicious, but when you eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it starts to lose its luster.  Your body begins to crave nutrition again.

Now, here is where it gets complicated:  Two years from now, as I look back at our experience here, I know as fact, it will be the ordinary moments that will create the patchwork of my fondest memories.  And with distance, I will understand that a life filled with chocolate cake is truly delectable.

The ten minutes spent with the boys at a street vending machine as they pick out a drink with jelly in it (yuck.)  The hour spent on a Shinkansen trying new foods (pickled octopus on a stick for the win.)  The weeks we spend at our beloved parks just a few feet from our apartment (Peanut Butter Forest forever.)

So dammit - I am trying.  Trying hard to be present. Trying to appreciate the small stuff.  Trying to understand how lucky we are. Trying to see that even the most ordinary moments are truly extraordinary.   

Since moving here, I keep having what I call “Drone Shot Moments” where like at the end of a movie, the camera pans out and all of a sudden the moment feels grand!  I think to myself I am not just in a park digging for roly polys with Chase, but I am with my son, in Robot Park, in Tokyo, in Japan and how cool is that?  Add in some sweeping music and it helps prove how truly special the moment is.  

Plus, I have been trying to take out my camera more.  Cause in a way, capturing the small everyday moments, not just the big ones, is validating to myself that what is happening right now is special enough to warrant being captured.  

So while I still have a long way to go, to appreciate all the ordinary, I am trying my best to realize the ordinary IS in fact extraordinary - in this wild chocolate cake filled life.  And hey, that’s something.  But also, when do I get my next hit?