Designing an extraordinary life (or what I learned on summer vacation)

Designing an extraordinary life (or what I learned on summer vacation)

My summer began with a wedding and ended with a funeral.

And life happened between.

But isn’t that how life goes? Life is dog-eared, for better or worse, with big moments. Big moments that we cut and paste into a mental a scrap book and turn pages whiling living out our ordinary days.

This summer I came to appreciate and learn about the ordinary day.

“Fishing” was taken by Mary S..Mary’s photographs have been a huge addition to my posts.

The ordinary day allowed me to drink coffee, write, teach, exercise, listen to music, watch my children play, cook dinner, and talk to my wife about ordinary things.

Our lives are made of more ordinary days than extraordinary ones. It’s not even close. And because of this unevenness, there’s a feeling our life is not as great as those lives we see glamorized on television.

 Last week I told you about my children completing the 50 day soccer challenge. And how at the beginning of the challenge they were excited and in the middle days they were not but by the end they were excited again at the prospect of completing the challenge.

When I consider the challenge as a whole it’s extraordinary–especially for an 11, 9, and 6 year old. Yet when I compartmentalize the challenge it’s simple– one ordinary day, followed by another for 50 straight days.

And now, after successfully completing the challenge, I hope my children realize that all days are important.

That the sum of ordinary days can equal an extraordinary moment.

We often dismiss ordinary days as unimportant. We think ordinary days are just stepping stones to extraordinary beaches. And we plod along believing the extraordinary ones are the ones worth talking about.

But how many ordinary days do you have to simply endure before we meet an extraordinary day?

This summer I learned the key to an extraordinary life is to designing the ordinary days into extraordinary ones.

But how do we do this?

Do the things we love each day.

Do things that bring us joy and peace and help us positively connect to others.


Use our imagination.



Make someone laugh.

And train ourselves to observe the little miracles happening all around us.

(As I’m writing this, my 9 year old son is getting his own breakfast– which constitutes as one of these miracles.)

And if we can do those things–we are designing an extraordinary life one day at a time.

Be well,


Can writing raise the dead? I believe so. My adopted aunt died last week after a 15 month war with cancer. But through the transformation power of storytelling she will never die. Last week I wrote this for her and raised her from the dead. It was one of the hardest yet most rewarding pieces I ever wrote. 

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