Recently, when I was in line at the grocery store, I picked up a magazine that boasted “Person of the Year” on the front cover. I could guess what I was about to encounter as I opened up to the article, but I looked anyway.
Sure enough, the article went on and on about the person of the year’s amazing achievements. She had started her own charity and a foundation benefiting a cause. This person volunteered weekly at homeless shelters and cooked meals for those in need. The list went on and on and was accompanied by pictures of this person and her picture-perfect family all helping others in need so selflessly.
Now, don’t get me wrong, all of that is great. I’m all for helping those who need it. But let’s be realistic here. How many of us can actually afford to start our own charitable foundation? How many of us, in the midst of our normal daily lives, have time to volunteer every week and give back to the community? While these are things we might all wish we could do, the reality is that most of us can’t.
That article really got me thinking. It’s great to celebrate someone who can do all those things and who has such great achievements in life.
But what about the rest of us who are just trying to make it through our “normal” lives day by day?
We may not be volunteering at homeless shelters on a weekly basis, but we do a lot to keep our families running. Why don’t we celebrate that?
Why don’t we celebrate “normal”?
I think we should.
I believe we should celebrate normal because, let’s face it, not many of us are going to be able to achieve all that the “Person of the Year” does. But you know what? That’s OK.
We may not be that person of the year; we may be considered average by society, but despite that, we are all EXTRAORDINARY in our own way. And that deserves to be celebrated.
We should celebrate the parent who works hard all day, comes home, gets the kids to and from soccer practice and/or play rehearsal, makes dinner, cleans up, puts the kids to bed, and maybe gets a few minutes of alone time with her spouse before going to bed and repeating the cycle all over again tomorrow.
Let’s celebrate the parents who have to endure the hardship of watching their child suffer through cancer and other illnesses. These parents who spend far too much time in a hospital room, sacrifice sleep, time with family and friends, and worry endlessly about their child.
Single parents should be lifted up and celebrated each and every day. What they do day in and day out deserves praise. Being both mom and dad, working hard to provide for their children all by themselves, doing all the household chores on their own, and never really having time for themselves.
We should celebrate the parent who is working full time, taking care of her family, and going to school at night in order to better herself.
And we can’t forget ourselves, the military spouses who run things on the homefront while our spouse is deployed or gone for training for long periods of time. And on that same note, let’s celebrate all those parents who are members of the military. These parents make countless sacrifices for their families, miss milestones while away, and put themselves in harm’s way to protect others.
All of these things are great achievements. Maybe they won’t earn us the Nobel Peace Prize or a Kennedy Center Honor, or even “Person of the Year.” But you don’t need the title or award to be celebrated.
You should be celebrated just for being YOU. You should be celebrated for being a “normal” human being who takes life one day at a time and deals with different battles day in and day out.
All of us average Joes deserve to be on that magazine cover just as much as the person who starts her own foundation. Don’t ever forget that and don’t let anyone make you feel like less of a person because you don’t have the title of “Person of the Year.”
Today I celebrate all of YOU no matter your status in life.