Learning a new language, interacting with an unfamiliar culture and its customs, living near an orphanage, living near a house of girls rescued from human trafficking, all these things can make my life seem overly exotic to someone living in America.
And while it’s true that living cross-culturally has been known to eat away at my mental and emotional margin, most of my life is extraordinarily . . . ordinary. I wash dishes. I fold laundry. I brush my teeth. I often combine those last two.
I cook. I grocery shop. I get to the end of some days and ask myself just what am I going to feed these people tonight??
I fetch the Band-Aids. I scrub the bathroom. I take care of sick people.
I make sure that my children study and that they play. I make sure that they put away their own laundry and that they brush their own teeth (though not necessarily at the same time).
I get irritable for all the ordinary reasons: being tired, being hungry, being hot. And during certain times of the month, I freak out. Even if I’m not tired, hungry, or hot.
I like to spend time with my husband. I like to spend time with my friends. I like to spend time by myself. (Translation: I like to check Facebook.)
These are not extraordinary things. These are the very ordinary things of my life, and I feel very ordinary doing them. In fact, I did all these things back in America, including the one-handed-laundry-sort.
And maybe, just maybe, you do all these ordinary things too.