What you manage in a day

I was browsing through the comments on Fillyjonk’s latest post over at Shapely Prose on what I consider to be a good underdog story about singer contestant Susan Boyle.  There is a train of comments forming about our own little “Shove it in their faces” style moments when assumptions about what we can or can not do based on pre-conceived notions of beauty, age, color, size, gender, etc are bashed by our our accomplishments.

I had a hard time thinking of one.  Not because I haven’t done wonderful or interesting things in my life.  But because I can’t think of any one time of Stand Out Memory quality where something I did was a shocking surprise to pre-judging arse-monkeys.

But then I reflected on smaller achievements and thought about how often I get sounds of disbelief from people when I try to describe some of my many hobbies or just how MUCH I get done in an average day/week. Those looks/sounds of shocked disbelief come whenever I explain just what I do in a basic kind of day.

What to me is average can be, to others, some sort of unbelievable laundry list of tasks. Practicing Jazz on the trumpet, sewing my own costumes for belly dance, dancing in front of audiences, studying for a degree, working two jobs, swimming twice a week, writing for a self-acceptance/size-acceptance blog, cleaning and cooking and loving and living… all of these “small” things that sort of end up rolled into a regular part of the package that is my life can sound extraordinary to anyone who doesn’t do the same I guess.

So I challenge the rest of you to re-examine what it is you do and find the amazing in what seems so ordinary. Part of the trouble with wishing that we could be extraordinary to others is that we overlook the many ways in which our lives already ARE amazing.

So I guess today’s little post-reminder is to take a moment and NOT overlook what we take for granted everyday as just part and parcel of the normal course of events.  The laundry, the kids, the cleaning, the working, the helping and watching and listening and talking.  Whatever it may be, really look at just how much you do and acheive and get through and how many lives you touch each day, even indirectly.  Look at what you manage in a day. The results of such a glimpse might even shock you.


11 thoughts on “What you manage in a day

    • cicadasinmay – but that’s just it. Why are they “worthless” and “stupid”? Having a geeky hobby doesn’t invalidate HAVING that hobby (says the woman who also LARPS [Live Action Role Playing for non-gamers])

  1. April, you’re exactly right – the whole point of hobbies is that the person doing them finds them enjoyable – there’s no point to doing something in your free time if you’re not enjoying it! And it doesn’t matter if anyone who isn’t you thinks it’s a “waste of time” – they’re free to make that determination with respect to their time, but not with respect to yours! Your time is your own, and you get to choose what to do with it – including, nothing!

  2. I usually get disturbed by thinking that I am only a doctoral student while so many people seem to be doing that and much more. Then, reading your post, I started to realize how many things I do in a week under this single “label”: I read hundreds of pages, I take classes, I interview people, I spend hours online, I help my colleagues with their research, I work with professors in 3 different projects, I grade papers, and organize seminars and workshops, reply to emails…
    And this is only one thing – I’m also a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and each of these roles involve so many tasks…thanks for reminding me!

  3. Ah, the worthless hobbies. I read kids’ books. I read sf/f. I review both on my website. I was loath to tell my family — even though, for the first year, I was reading and reviewing five books a week — because, well, it’s not GRAND LITERATURE.

    But dammit, having a book review blog is an accomplishment, and reading five books a week AND coming up with cogent thoughts on them IS an accomplishment, no matter WHAT the genre. (Also, I don’t believe that everything written in a genre is automatically crap, but that’s a different point.)

  4. I get you on this. All the various and sundry things I like to do and are good at just seem ordinary to me, until I see them through the lens of someone who’s just getting to know me. I recently had a visit from an online friend of roughly a year, and at some point he commented, “Is there anything you *aren’t* good at?”, which kind of took me aback.

  5. Pingback: Being Fat: The New Magical Adventure « I AM in shape. ROUND is a shape.

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