I was working at my computer one day when I received a notification on my phone that a photo memory slideshow had been created just for me. I clicked on the memory suggestion, and the highlight reel of my life began scrolling across the screen. I was immediately overwhelmed with gratitude. These were not just vacations and Instagram-worthy moments; these were real life. I was reminded of moments cooking dinner with my kids, the time I got the lawn mower stuck in the pond, and lazy moments lounging around the house with our dog. It was a collection of the simple things we do every day: eating, doing chores, and resting. I have heard the saying, “For in the mundane is usually where the extraordinary takes place.” I think it is easy sometimes to take those daily life highlight reels for granted, when in reality, those ordinary activities are actually an extraordinary gift.
Over the holidays, we took a vacation to Dubai, and it was terrific. It was the first time my kids had ever ventured outside the United States, and it was an incredible way to kick off their international travel journey. We logged almost twenty hours in the air going one way! Dubai is a place we knew nothing about, but we knew we were in for a unique experience.
While it was nice to unplug (which is easy with a ten-hour time difference between us and the rest of our normal world) and make once-in-a-lifetime memories, I remember that dreaded last day of vacation feeling creeping in, bringing with it the daunting reality of returning to responsibilities and “the real world.” It was so conflicting when, on one hand, I found myself ready to sleep in my own bed, get back to work, and get back to my everyday life, but on the other, I wasn’t quite ready to leave. I realized I wanted the best of my daily routine, coupled with the best of my vacation. Our time in Dubai was extraordinary, but I knew it would only be momentary; it was never meant to satisfy me completely. That one week was not meant to cause me to question the other 51 weeks of the year, but to refresh and renew me and to help me move forward with a new perspective.
What makes life spectacular is not transcendent experiences that are here one day and gone the next. The extraordinary comes from our ability to recognize and experience magnificence, even in the mundane moments of everyday life. This month’s issue shares the stories of incredible people accomplishing extraordinary things simply by walking through their normal routines. Take time to read their stories and be inspired.
We hope you enjoy all we offer in this month’s issue!