The Ordinary Oscars

“I think it’s a great honor to win an Oscar but I think if you aim to be rewarded in your life you’ll get nowhere. I think that the biggest reward is the work itself and what you get out of it and the connections you make with other people.” ― Natalie Portman

The Academy Awards always manages to get me thinking and dreaming. Watching artists honor one another is an incredible and encouraging experience. But I wonder if within the extraordinary world of Hollywood glamour and fame, is it possible to claim anything as ordinary?

I’m on the couch wearing a sweatshirt from Target, pants from Old Navy, and wrapped in a blanket that is older than my marriage and oldest daughter combined. I’m 38, stuck in a writing rut, inspired by conversation, and sustained by coffee. I’m a stay-at-home mom of two. I volunteer at my daughters’ preschool, struggle with laundry, and obsesses over maximizing the most of things, especially time. I have big dreams that are often interrupted by potty training, sleep deprivation, and a serious case of self-doubt.

My husband and I are college sweethearts. He is the ying to my yang. We don’t share a blanket in bed because I am a selfish sleeper. In the past week we’ve talked about purchasing a mini-van, a new grill, and painting the kitchen. In short, we are typical suburbanites who occasionally lust after the leisure of our late twenties. But most importantly, we relish the tiny humans we created together. Our kids are entertaining, humbling, and motivating.

I’m making a new recipe this week, which is a source of simultaneous joy and anxiety. I’m also launching myself, vulnerably, into projects that have been years in the making. I’m trying to overcome and emerge. I often get distracted and have a moderate to severe addiction to all things Bravo. But my favorite guilty pleasures will always be modern British literature and fried pickles.

This is my ordinary life. I’m not sure if it’s Academy Award worthy, but it’s mine and I love it. What would your ordinary Oscar speech be? I think it’s worth exploring or dare I write, performing. Natalie Portman is right. We don’t need to be rewarded for whatever our work is or might be. We need to concentrate on the connections and lessons. Here, in the ordinary pages of our stories, we find the very purpose and pride of life. Family, faith, love, and legacy.

I’m off to bed. This night is always special for me. I’ve consumed their work and now it’s time to go do my own.