An Extraordinary, Ordinary Life: A Moment With Bill Reflection
Meet a Man Named Bill
There once was a man who lived in the fast lane. He worked hard; he played hard; he indulged hard; he crashed hard. Then he would get up for a new day and do it all over again, day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year.
In search of what he did not know, but always there was a nagging need to do more, try more, strive for more, and inevitably there was the adrenaline-crashing dejection when “more” could not be attained.
What was he after? He did not know. What did he need? He did not know. What would make him happy and give him peace of mind? He did not know.
Imagine if you will!
Imagine the frustration. Imagine the gut-churning aggravation of always coming up inches short of a prize that had no description? Imagine, then, looking for substitutes when the goal could not be attained. Imagine finding solace in alcohol, and embracing that solace as one would an old friend who has been missing in action for so very long. Imagine discovering that the old friend was really intent on harming that man named Bill, and eventually would sink its talons into him and not allow him to function as a normal human being.
Imagine if you will!
From the depths of sorrow and hopelessness there was a pinprick of light seen in the distance. What that light meant he did not know, but it was welcoming and appeared to offer at least a glimmer of promise, and so he pulled up his anchor and set sail for that distant beacon, and as he grew closer the light shone more brightly, and eventually there was warmth from the light, and then….and then….the light became one with this man and he found….
And extraordinary, ordinary life!
Finding joy in simplicity
Follow Him Through An Ordinary Day
He rises each morning and staggers to the shower; he then has breakfast with his wife and heads off to the studio where he writes all day long. He can hear the chickens clucking during the day, and other various sounds of a neighborhood living life.
He will make a handful of calls to his wife while she is off working, and also throughout the day be in contact with his son and various writer friends around the world. He will learn of their lives, share in their celebrations and mourn their losses.
As the working day ends he will prepare dinner for the family, do a little cleanup around the house, and then settle down for what appears to be a rather mundane evening of cribbage or a movie. A dog or two will nestle next to him, nudging him for attention and love.
They live in a modest rambler in a modest neighborhood in a modest city. News agencies do not descend on this home looking for the latest captivating story to feed to the masses. Producers do not contact them to discuss a tv-movie about their lives. By ten or ten-thirty they are in bed, snuggled deeply beneath the comforters, and they close their eyes and greet another well-earned rest.
Quite ordinary indeed!
Love is extraordinary
But upon Closer Inspection
Yes indeed, let’s take a closer look.
He is loved and he loves, and every single day is an expression of that love. From the moment his eyes open in the morning to greet another northwest day, to the time he closes them and says goodnight to wakefulness, he has been surrounded by love. How extraordinary is that?
He spends his day at a job he adores. He is paid to write; he is paid to create sentences and stories and to feed the souls and electrify the senses of readers around the world. He has discovered a way to feed his own passion, and he is firmly standing upon a platform that allows him to reach out, quite literally, to millions of people and make a change through his words, and how extraordinary is that?
He has been in contact with people of other cultures; he has learned of their lifestyles and they have learned of his, and in so doing they have bridged the gap that existed between them….and….in bridging that gap they have made this world a smaller place and yes, a more understanding place. How extraordinary is that?
He is the keeper of a legacy handed down by generations. He is his father’s son, the apple of his mother’s eye, and the culmination of all Hollands and O’Dowds who preceded him. He carries the family stories within him; he tells the old stories to his son, and passes on family traits. He teaches the old ways and in so doing replenishes the well of learning for those who follow him. How extraordinary is that?
He is, in fact, a walking, talking miracle, the culmination of thousands of years of evolution, the highest combination of intelligence and physical prowess this world has ever known, and he is growing daily and will continue to grow until he draws his last breath. Never before has there been a man like him; never will there be a man like him. He is unique among his species, priceless among seven billion priceless individuals. How extraordinary is that?
And when he dies he will be remembered by thousands. What he has done during his lifetime will be remembered, and each of his actions will cause ripples to spread out across the land, and span oceans, and those ripples will create other ripples, until a single act by this man will have unbelievable ramifications years into the future and yes, my friends, how extraordinary is that?
And so It Goes
There once was a man named Bill who lived in the fast lane. Today he has down-shifted and finds solace in the far right side of life’s freeway, enjoying the scenery as he continues his leisurely trip through life. The frantic pace born from desperation is gone. The aimless wandering is gone. The feelings of helplessness and loneliness are gone. The need for artificial stimulation is gone.
What remains is quite ordinary. What remains is quite mundane. What remains is quite beautiful. What remains is quite peaceful. What remains is quite satisfying and lovely and rewarding.
What remains can be seen in every home in America, and across the seven seas in far-off lands. What remains can be found in the workplace and the temples, the mountain paths and the busy metropolitan streets. What remains can be found juking and jiving on the court of life no matter where you tie up your sneakers and play the game. What remains can be found in the hearts of the poorest and the souls of the richest. What remains has been written about, sung about, waxed poetically about and philosophized about.
What remains is quite extraordinary.
Welcome to my extraordinary, ordinary life.
And welcome to your own.
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Raising awareness one person at a time.”
Author’s note: this article was inspired by the movie “About Time.” In the movie trailer the words “extraordinary, ordinary life” are used. I hope you enjoyed my reflections about such a life.