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Bringing ‘regular’ back!

Updated: Apr 22




I stumbled across an instagram account the other day, which talked about how underrated ‘regular’ things are.


Regular jobs

Regular homes

Regular food


Nowadays, there seems to be so much importance and value placed on 'amazing,' that ordinary has become both undesirable...and almost insufferable.


I see the evidence of this scattered around social media on an almost daily basis.


It's in the ten-step skincare routines.


The endless neutral interiors and clean lines.


The pre-occupation with 'vibing'- which sees jobs, dates and friendships abandoned on impulse.


The ubiquitous Stanley cups, which have rendered the age-old commodity of 'a glass' uncool at best... old hat at worst.


I was discussing this topic with a friend recently, who was saying how in the corporate world, there seems to be an emerging trend of job candidates ghosting employers (even after having been offered and then accepting a position.) They simply don't show up, nor endeavour to offer up any form of 'thanks but no thanks' pleasantry, as was common courtesy not so long ago.


Similarly, it's entirely expected now that someone can get up mid-date on the grounds of an elusive 'connection' or 'spark.'


I pondered these signs of the times for quite some time after this conversation.


Was this a symptom of the mainstreaming of 'knowning your worth?'


OR, are delusions of grandeur becoming a worrying default?


This idea that we should be doing, seeing, experiencing, striving for and generally expecting more, has had the side-effect of making everything that’s ordinary and regular feel like ‘settling.’


It’s open to debate as to what extent this 'because I'm worth it' culture is impacting wellness, but if I had to hasten a guess, I’d say the consequences are three-pronged.


Firstly, it sets the scene for disappointment, which is by all accounts a heavy emotion to lug around.


Secondly, it de-sensitises our joy receptors to anything less than ‘wow!’ or ‘mind blowing!’


Lastly, by dismissing all that seems to do the ego a disservice (ie. the menial jobs, the mediocre meals, the hand-me-down plates that are at LEAST 50 years old!) the margin for character-building experience is narrowed.


Mindful of this, I’ve always tried to stay in the ‘easily pleased’ camp, where everyday things continue to delight and inspire.


One of the things that has always managed to do this, was this view (above).


To many, the sea of sheds might leave much to be desired, but if you look closer, there is a clear outlook to the trees beyond, that the estate-builders couldn’t have orchestrated better if they’d tried.


As I write this, I’m reminded of a chapter in Losing Eden where the author talks about how her stint at London living cultivated an outlook of ‘anything is a bonus’ when it came to nature.


She talked about how one lone pear tree would sweeten the vista outside her window, and how she found a kind of emotional stability in the predictability and continuity this tree offered.


This outlook is not one that is shared by the masses, but it’s one that probably should be.


It's tempting to try and back this statement up with cliches of 'finding the extraordinary in the ordinary,' and platitudes of 'the little things being big things.'


Instead, however, I’m settling for something more anecdotal. The realisation that as lovely as it would be, for the houses and sheds outside my bedroom window to be an olive grove in Provence, or the caldera of Santorini, the ordinary-ness of this housing estate in almost-spring belies a subtle, hidden beauty that is not to be overlooked.


It's the beauty of families warm in their homes.


Sleeping children tucked up in beds in the next room.


Tea being brewed.


The whirly-twirly steam of boilers kicking in. A hallmark of a cosy home.


This nuanced, ordinary outlook needs to be pushed more, I feel, if people are to feel better about their day-to-day lives, and not get lulled into the 'compare and despair' trap that the highlights reels of Instagram has as its main side-effect.


In my mind, it's an aesthetic that looks a lot like...


Cereal for breakfast

A normal car

A 'work in progress' home

An unkempt garden

A faded, favourite coffee mug

Normal eyebrows...


To name but a few!


These are just a few of the defining characteristics of a regular life, which if only we could be exposed to more often, might help to make more people feel like they are succeeding, than probably do already.


I should probably insert a caveat here, that this post is not to diss ambition or promote a mindset of stagnation. It's merely to validate the vanilla. To remind those who might have forgotten, that it's exactly what repelled Dorothy from the black and white world in the Wizard of Oz, that ultimately drew her back in.


That the key to changing one's outlook - is to change one's outlook, and vice versa!

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