"Brian called me this morning with 'an exciting opportunity.' His name didn't ring a bell, but Brian chatted as if he knew me well. And, it's not every day you get offered an exciting opportunity. Brian wanted me to have a free satellite dish. All for me. This kind of generosity makes you all tingly inside, doesn't it? I could get five hundred channels, Brian told me. And all these options provide me 'so much more to enjoy in life,' Brian chirped (literally, he chirped). And (Brian's spiel had no pause button) I would never have to be 'afraid of missing anything,' because I could TiVo all the good stuff. I didn't want to burden Brian with the fact that being faced with a lot of options like standing in the grocery store trying to choose cereal or toothpaste makes me want to beat my head against a metal pole, so five hundred channels might send me straight to the floor in a fetal position. Instead, I told Brian that while I was 'in awe' of his offer, I would like to make my decision after I spent some time deadheading my roses, filling my bird feeders, and taking a brief nap in my lawn chair. Brian was quiet. I'm not sure he understood.
"While waiting for perfect, we pass on ordinary.
"While waiting for better, we don't give our best effort to good.
"While waiting for new and improved, we leach the joy right out of the old and reliable.
"There's nothing wrong with looking forward to something. Like my friend who likes to say, 'I'm not going to have a midlife crisis until I can afford to buy a Mustang.' Fair enough.
"But most of the time, Alfred E. Neuman is right, 'Most of us don't know what we want in life, but we're sure that we haven't got it.'
"In a culture of lottery winners and bigger and louder and faster and newer and shinier, ordinary gets lost in the din. Ordinary, like watching dusk settle while reading in my favorite chair, counting nuthatches when they return to the feeder, enjoying a handful of fresh strawberries (they sit on the tongue with a sweetness that makes you believe in heaven), and wrestling with my son on the back lawn. Ordinary, yes. But a day without the heaviness of expectation, worry, or fear.
"I read this in a wonderful book called Children's Letters to God. Sara writes: 'Dear God, I didn't think orange went with purple, until I saw the sunset You made on Tuesday. That was cool.'
"That's the spirit, Sara."