Here’s a thought that I’ll bet has crossed your mind many times…”I wish I could be like (insert your hero’s/idol’s/role model’s name here).” Am I right? Of course I am. Media, teachers, friends and even family members encourage us to “be like” someone else who is considered to have their act together and has everything going for them. We cut and style our hair, wear certain clothes, buy specific types of things, go certain places, watch sports, listen to the chosen genre of music, sculpt our bodies (naturally or unnaturally), and include the jargon favored by “our crowd,” all in order to be like someone else, to fit in, to be admired and accepted. Phew! A lot of time and effort goes into being “special.”
My wife, Kathy, and I have talked much about this topic over the past couple of years. We’ve discussed how we’ve fallen victim to the imitation game. We’ve also slowly discovered what it’s like to just be and do that which “sparks joy” in our lives simply because it resonates with us, because it just feels right and makes us more comfortable in our own skin. It’s not easy to go against the flow and chart your own path and we’re not always successful, but it has definitely been freeing and sometimes just downright fun!
Kathy recently wrote a “morning musing” titled “Thoughts on being ‘just regular'” and has given me permission to share it with you. Enjoy!
Thoughts on being “just regular”
“I read a lot…of others achievements…contributions to the world, creativity, athleticism, super parenting/grandparenting. And I aspire. Within that aspiration comes the creeping thought…others are so fantastic, so cool…look, look, I want to do that…how fun, how creative, how holistic, spiritual, helpful, inspiring…yet I am just regular. I am ‘past my prime’ as you say and cannot even remember exactly what I was doing in my prime besides spinning plates and trying to keep my head, and the six little heads that were mine, above water. It’s most likely a very good thing that I had less to compare myself to back then before social media, as the ‘thief of joy’ (comparison) was more limited and thus more subdued.
“I turned freaking 59 this year. Holy moly! I still weigh the same as I did thirty years ago but it is definitely not positioned the same. I am in good shape with the added ‘for my age’ — yada yada yada. I can do some cool stuff and I know it, but it is ‘regular’ stuff I think. Like making up a great meal from refrigerator and pantry misc., knitting crazy stuff, piano, art. I like to do a lot but I am pretty regular at it.
“Today I decided to be okay with that. No one will invite me to do a TED Talk or demonstrate anything on YouTube or publish me in the Huff Post…you name it. And finally my over-achieving, people-pleasing self has decided that this fact is okay.
“I shall quietly pursue my passions. Embrace my years and the good and the bad. Live and love large in the way that is true to myself, not some other woman who seems to have super powers.
“I feel the urgency of getting on with unpackaging myself and allowing obsession over things I desire to do. To be my best self, whether or not that self stacks up to anyone else.
“Regular is not bad.”