Appreciating Everyday Life

The normal happenings of each day help beautify our lives. They are like the trees planted to spruce up a city block, or perhaps a painting in a room acting as a fixture to draw the eyes. They may be hard to notice in the moment, but the sum of our moments would be far lass valuable without them. I simply appreciate that life exists and I am part of it.

In my introductory post for Normal Happenings, I said, “if you ever catch me straying, remind me to go back and read this post.” Perhaps this post should be added to that arsenal as well, readied for the day I inevitably fall off the wagon and start speaking incomprehensible gibberish that only makes sense in my own head.

I want to take this time of relative respite, while the big events of the past few months — things like Tracking Shells or the Blog Awards — to reemphasize what Normal Happenings is all about. I’ll call it a renewal of vows, if you will, perhaps because I’ve recently been concerned I’m reaching a bit too far outside of my writing core. It’s important I slow my roll and do a deep-dive into my own motivations. After all, over-ambition can get the best of me — a topic I intend to discuss in an upcoming post.

I see so many of my friends and family so transfixed by the darker aspects of life — rightly so, events can seem pretty bleak when all goes wrong — that they’re no longer phased by moments of levity. It’s something I like to call anti-naivete. This failure to pierce the heart’s emotion makes me mortified of people when they’re turned off by a cheesy love story or are unable to find happiness in another’s accomplishments.

This past year of writing my heart and sharing in the memories and experiences of others has led me to some real moments of clarity. In a manner, I write this blog out of selfishness. That may not be the right word, but what I’m feeling fits the spirit of the word. Perhaps a better label to put on Normal Happenings is self-preservation, as selfishness implies a negative where none exists. I write about appreciating everyday life because it grounds me to a reality that there’s more to life than darkness. Or rather, it’s the small but glorious events of life that ground me. I write to share them with others and literally make the world a better place. One year ago I had one reason to attempt to renovate the world through words; now I have 563 of them. Well, minus the spam accounts — I hope the robots find what they’re looking for.

I take moments to watch the dust riding on the sunbeams filtering through the window blinds because I seek beauty in a life where solace can seem scarce if I forget where to look. Whether this is the first time you’ve read a post here, or you’ve read every single post I’ve ever written over the past year, I’m genuinely just glad you’re along for the ride. Come help the world appreciate everyday life.

“Change this something normal / into something beautiful”
– Jars of Clay


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How to Love Selflessly

– By Nikki –

Love is important in all forms, but today I want to talk about friendship (or as C.S. Lewis calls it “philia”) and how to accomplish loving a person selflessly. For those of you who want to learn more about his views on that type of love specifically, here is a helpful link, and I would suggest reading his essays in The Four Loves.

For as long as I can remember friendship has always made my life more enjoyable. My childhood best friends still make my life great because when we see each other we reminisce about growing up together. When I think of my high school best friends I still enjoy their company on occasion and we always remember the pains of puberty. And my college friends are also still very meaningful to me. I can remember running with a friend of mine and then getting to class a second before it was about to start. I remember the parties and the pains of becoming an adult because I spent them with people that took care of me, and I thought that maybe I took care of them as well. My husband and I even started out as best friends. I told him everything, and honestly friendship is an essential ingredient in our love story. Continue reading “How to Love Selflessly”