I was fourteen when I was first exposed to ‘Our Town’ by Thorton Wilder. The seemingly simple play (that proves to be anything but) was required reading for English class and served as my introduction to the literary world of American playwrights (hello Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller!). Over fifteen years later, Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire and her residents continue to have a special place in my heart, along with my love of metatheatrical devices on stage and in writing. The message is simple – daily life is precious because it determines our true reality.
Some of my favorite moments of every day occur within the first 15 – 20 minutes of waking up. Weston wanders into our room and climbs into bed between us for last minute cuddles. Violet is often nursing and our cat and dog always seem to appear at the foot of the bed. It’s an incredibly simple scene but one that rife with everything that fills my heart the most. It’s probably not a beautiful scene to outsiders – our hair isn’t perfect, I have mascara-smudged eyes, ‘Little Einsteins’ is on TV, and our dog is whining to go outside. But I think it is absolutely gorgeous – we squeeze in as much as we can in those fleeting moments before we climb out of the bed to go about our day.
There are days when I wonder if I somehow shorted myself from experiencing an adventurous globe-trotting life. I allow myself to doubt my decision to stay home for the couple of years while our children are young, potentially stunting my career. I think of how there isn’t enough money for our family of four to travel the world right now, instead we’re limited to exploring the United States of America. And I sometimes wonder if I am disappointing those who love me the most or disappointing myself for not living to my fullest potential.
But you know what? Over the years, I’ve learned that my identity is not derived from great adventures or spectacular experiences (no matter how wonderful they are), but rather my relation to the ins and outs of my everyday life. Those simple extra moments in bed each morning, the afternoons spent at the park, and the evening walks on the trail behind our house. Our time together. A lot of days it may feel like my story isn’t one worth writing – the monotony can be overwhelming at times. But when looking back, it’s those simple little moments I remember most. That has to account for something, right?