“Though often thought to mean mundane and boring, Average really means what occurs the most.” — Urban Dictionary
In February of 2020, I found myself co-hosting a glittering party sponsored by a major mall in the DC area.
Music pumping, champagne-sipping feeling like I was dreaming as I strolled around in a designer outfit styled by a professional stylist. Dreaming of everything 2020 would bring for my writing, blog, direct sales business and my growing social media. My eyes were set on making money on all fronts.
Two weeks later everything changed as we heard rumblings of a national shut down, an actual quarantine. In America? It was hard to imagine…
Somehow we knew this was serious. Dazed and confused, fighting fear we drove around Northern Virginia late one night trying to find a store that was still open and had anything left. It felt like a bad dream, as we arrived at a 24- hour Wal-Mart only to have the doors closed just as we arrived.
We joined other nervous shoppers that were turned away, returned to our vehicle and took off to try again. Once we found a store (thank you Safe Way !) that was open and still had items on the shelves (including toilet paper!) we did our best to walk that thin line between panic hoarding and purchasing in moderation. Making sure we had enough for four of us to hunker down for the foreseeable future.
What a wild ride and not the fun kind that makes you scream with delight. This ride we all now know as 2020 has seen me scream in frustration and cry desperately, break out in full body hives from stress and at times wonder if we could pay our bills for the month. It has seen me spend countless fearful, sleepless nights.
My mental health is suffering along with nearly 1/2 of all Americans, according to The Washington Post.
In addition to the mental and emotional stress of facing the unknown, this ride has forced me back to work after over 18 years of being a stay at home mom. This wild ride, and all of its life lessons, has made me realize how good I had it and actually still have “it”.
I began to wonder this past year, what is “It” anyway? I realized for me “It” = my average everyday life.
The kind of life I was dreaming beyond in February.
The kind of life I have learned to love and appreciate more than ever before.
2020. The year average became ok again. The year I realized this average life that I have been duped into thinking is not enough actually is enough. More than enough. It is the “it” I have always wanted.
I have taken a long, unplanned break from my first blog, #thesosblog, and social media (with the exception of Facebook Marketplace, I am addicted to fixing up my house for $30 or less at a time!)
The long hiatus from everything has brought me here.
It has brought me back to Average Alice.
The concept for this blog came to me several years ago. I even started to build it, then I was swept up again in all the “more” of life.
You see, for years, I wanted a life “bigger and better” than the one I have. I wanted more, but there was a tiny part of me that knew my life, my average life was enough. I felt compelled to share that the “everyday” many of us have in common is good and can be full of contentment.
Then I was lured back with all the “more” messages I receive from outside sources like social media, or rather all media, self-help books (even or especially “Christian” ones), church, podcasts, religious groups — you name it.
The common message was (and is) I shouldn’t be satisfied with my life. I should always be reaching, serving, building, trying, working for more…more…more. The message was if I struggle with life at all I must not be satisfied with who I am, what I have or where I am going and I need help changing all that.
All the conquer the world, wash your face, become insta famous, you too can make $10,000 in a month messages that are constantly tempting us on social media. Strangely the same messages come from the pulpit and religious leaders preaching more, more, more. All the gurus, life coaches, and well-meaning cheerleaders selling their courses and having us sign up for their freebies, they mean well. I know they do. They are just trying to make their dreams come true while “helping” us reach ours. All the MLM superstars wanting you to sign up and “start your own business” with health products, oils, makeup, or ??? they mean well too. I think so anyway.
I have done all of this. Over the years and during 2020 I have signed up for it all, from freebies to paid courses, even MLMs. I have followed religious leaders, listened to all the podcasts, bought the books, applied all the messages and I have paid for it in more ways than one.
I have paid with my time and money. I have paid emotionally, physically even spiritually.
Here is what I have discovered. Average is really where “it’s” at.
Our average everyday lives, full of family, cleaning up the kitchen (again), re-painting the walls (myself! Not hiring a painter.), piles of laundry, grocery shopping, going to work at a regular job and gathering at night to watch some tv….this is the life of my dreams. Average.
For so long I missed it. Working for “more”. Constantly being told I needed to be more, needed to want more, strive for more, give more. I needed to do “more” by doing “less”. So many confusing messages from so many places when all along — I actually had (and have) “it” all.
So I present to you (and me!) Average Alice.
My new to me, old school blog”ish” writing. Where I will write for me and maybe for you. Back to basics. Writing, from my heart, the heart of an average, everyday wife, and mom.
Average is the new cool, the new standard, the new goal. I just want my average life and I am ok with that.
Check out more from Heidi Suydam:
Average suburban housewife turned grocery store stocking clerk (thank you 2020), part-time blogger, full time dreamer. Owner/founder of #thesosblog.