The ho-hum, unremarkable, and downright commonplace things in life

commonplace_things_in_life

image credit: jian xhin

I don’t particularly enjoy grocery shopping or other mundane chores” and tasks” and to-dos.”  

You know what I’m talking about. Things like folding laundry. Dusting. Paying bills. Re-filling the gas tank. 

They probably don’t mark high on your list of exciting and adventurous things you do on a regular basis either.

I’d much rather be doing something a bit more thrilling like hiking up a mountain in the Swiss Alps. Or sailing in the Caribbean. Or kayaking near glaciers. 

You know the cool stuff we could be doing with our lives. 

 

 

And yet here we are. Doing the boring, adult-ish things most days. 

Realistically, these boring” tasks aren’t going away any time soon. 

Even those thrilling and adventurous experiences involve boring and tedious things (don’t let our society’s romanticism of those moments mislead you).

Now, how do we handle these ho-hum tasks? Maybe we hire people to do them for us. Or try to get them done as quickly as possible. Or procrastinate. Or outright rebel against doing them at all. Maybe we even try to guilt trip ourselves (and others) into feeling thankful about these things with #firstworldproblem and #yourlifecouldbesomuchworsethanthis.

I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t be thankful for the mundane, but is there a better way to process these moments? To move away from seeing them as more than just inconveniences of our current lifestyle? Is there a possibility that we can find satisfaction, maybe even excitement, with these simple activities that make up our everyday lives?

I came across the following question in this book that got me thinking about this whole thing a bit more:

“What would it be like if I looked at the world as if I were a butterfly dreaming I am a human being?”

I know. It’s a strange question. The idea of thinking of myself as a butterfly dreaming of being a human frankly never crossed my mind before I read that question either. And I was a bit stumped too at first. My mind resisted thinking about it because I’m not a butterfly. I’m a human. I have no idea what the world would look like from a butterfly’s perspective. 

But as I started to just relax and play with the question (no right or wrong answers here) I started thinking of things slightly different. I started playing with a whole new perspective.

If I were a butterfly dreaming of a human, maybe I’d be envious that humans don’t have to worry (as much) about predators chomping on them at any given moment. They’re not afraid that children will chase them with nets across a field trying to capture them and put them in glass jars. Nor are they afraid of being captured by the larger humans who plan to spear them with pins and put their carcasses on display in decorative frames (idea for new horror film?). 

Maybe I’d miss my wings and extra legs. Or maybe I’d miss seeing the colors I could now no longer see with human eyes.

What do you think it would be like? Go ahead. Give it a moment and just think about it.

Tell me about it if you’re feeling brave enough to share (either in the comment section below or e-mail me). I’m curious to know what others come up with.

Now, how does this question apply to the mundane tasks of everyday life?

What would happen if we played at viewing the boring things from a different perspective? Through someone else’s eyes?

Perhaps grocery shopping, if seen through the eyes of a devoted cook, wouldn’t be so boring. Maybe it’d be an opportunity to flex their creative muscles. Or what about someone who hadn’t been to a grocery store in a long while? Maybe it’d be a bit awe-inspiring the plethora of food choices available nowadays. 

What if you were someone who time traveled from the past (or the future) who was looking at our society as it currently stands today? How would you view things in your life differently? 

Or what about as someone who’s an elderly person? And the flip side to that is what about seeing it through the eyes of someone much younger than you are now?

The different perspectives out there are numerous. 

I think it’s important to remember that our perspective is not the only one that exists. And playing with different perspectives just might open our minds to a host of new possibilities and new dimensions.

The ho-hum, unremarkable and downright commonplace things we do nearly everyday don’t necessarily have to be boring and tedious. It’s just that we’ve chosen to see them that way. And we can always choose to see them in a new and different way too.

Thanks for reading,
 
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