Mundane, which derives from the same root as the Spanish world “mundo,” means “characteristic of the world.” Though it’s come to mean something practical, boring, ordinary or commonplace, it’s actually something everyone shares. That’s, of course, partially why I decided to write this blog every day for a year of my life, and why I thought it might be interesting to look under the surface of what most of us do that’s the same. These are the things that connect us, no matter where we’re from, or what beliefs we espouse.
Today it was a dental appointment, which is usually about as much fun as surgery without anesthesia. I tend to read or fuck around on my phone until the last possible minute, when they’re practically removing it from my hands so they can do their work. It’s that boring to me. Today’s appointment, though, was something I had actually been looking forward to for a long time, to fix some stuff that went wrong in childhood.
Had trouble parking until I prayed to the parking goddess and one opened up. Then, when I got upstairs, I was told that they had painted the office over the weekend and the woman who was supposed to do my work, who’s pregnant, had left feeling nauseous from the fumes. Crap.
This week is exciting and slightly daunting for me business-wise. I have a lot on my plate over the next few weeks, and fitting in another dental appointment isn’t going to be easy. Part of me felt the same thing my 10-year old self must have felt — a little crushed and disappointed. Of course, I knew it wasn’t personal. Things like this happen. But I wrestled with my feelings as I got back in my car and headed to the office.
Staring out my window, I realized that life is filled with moments like these, the missing moments, or times of letdown. When we don’t get what we set out to attain, and feel that groundless feeling beneath us. I took stock of mine for a few minutes, then thought of the pregnant dental technician, at home with her nausea. I thought about her missing moments, and those of her baby, stretching on and on and on.
These were the moments I didn’t see every day, because I’m usually focused on getting my own stuff done. These were moments from the lives of others — equally important, equally valid — and I felt my throat close up with … something. I don’t know, connection? Realization? Love and respect for the fragile freakin’ nature of humanity?
It wasn’t an intentional reframing of the experience. It just kind of kicked in on its own, and I thanked whatever higher power keeps watch over me these days, content to know that I do have eyes, and ears and senses that allow me to connect to other people and their funny, touching little worlds.