Welcome to On Ordinary Things.
It is the ordinary things that make a life and, oddly, it is the ordinary things that are the most difficult to master. Tony Robbins puts it’s best:
“In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.”
I was able to create large-than-life-size sculptures in marble before my thirtieth birthday, but I cannot keep a schedule. I struggle to decide what to eat and maintain a healthy weight. I do not exercise every day. I struggle with money management, and I never get quite enough sleep. I have done some extraordinary things, but it is in Ordinary Things that we do every day or every week that make a life.
(Wait a second, did you say “marble sculptures?” Check out my sculpture website here: HempelStudios.com)
It turns out that self-mastery is much more difficult than carving marble. We should not be surprised. Ancient Greek philosophers were wrestling with it and numerous writings of the Saints reveal that mastering the ordinary is a struggle for all of us, saints and sinners alike. So, what can we do? Do we stop trying? No, we press on.
On Ordinary Things is a place where I’m going to try to pay closer attention to the ordinary things in my life, and hopefully help you in your journey as well. What do you do that makes your day a little better?
A few things I do do well: waking up before my family to enjoy a quiet cup of coffee and write in my Morning Pages journal, take tea in the afternoon in one of the fancy cups that my grandmother gave to me, walk to destinations if I am able, hand write letters in cursive, say grace and verbally express gratitude, and I tend to clean my kitchen on Wednesdays.
I am still working on sleeping well, getting enough exercise, managing my money, meal planning, saying “no” well, and removing clutter from my house. I wish I spent more time outdoors and I would like to host more parties and gatherings at my home. Heck, I wish my home were cleaner and more orderly.
—Sarah Hempel Irani