I love the every day, the again and again of days unfurling into months into seasons into years. The ordinary, nearly insignificant moments that pile together to make a day are among my most valued treasures.  I want to capture these bits, arrange them with words so I can hold them and examine how each adds up to making this little life of mine shine.

These moments, many of which can seem drab and ugly and gnarled, are the basics of each day. The laundry, the kitchen conversations, the bath-book-bed routine, the one more hug, the packed lunches, and the oatmeal with fresh berries every morning make up bits of ordinary. This is not to be confused with sameness, themundane events marking the minutes of each day.

Rather it is the rhythm of the moments I choose to embrace. It is a choice. The day never goes as I planned. My minutes have too much free will. This used to bother me, before I became a recovering perfectionist.

Now I find magic in moments posing as meaningless. When I seek these bits and write them down, I find significance in story. I’m pretty sure this is my mission in life — to find significance in story and inspire others to do the same.

Join us at Two Writing Teachers for
the 6th Annual March Slice of Life
Challenge. Just click on the image.

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  1. Your catalog of the “bits of the ordinary” made me smile – those were my every day moments, too, when my children were young. Now that they are just memories, I see the wisdom in celebrating those moments in the moment, drab and gnarled though they appear to be. They were glorious moments…even back then…

  2. I love your words “recovering perfectionist”.

    Ruth, I believe you're right. It is your mission to find magic in seemingly meaningless moments and inspire others. I know you have inspired me–and not just in my writing, but in living a more purposeful life.

    Here's to a great March!

  3. I believe this is your mission. I know you are one of the reasons I even have a blog – our conversation at NCTE 2012 spurred me to finally do it. So thank you! Keep doing what you are doing.

  4. I think that “the one more hug” is precious beyond anything else. The bits of love stirred into a porridge and conversations in the kitchen are gems that often may go unappreciated. You can clearly see beyond the ordinary.

  5. I love your phrase “significance in story”. Today I celebrate my one year birthday as a writer who is continuing to capture the bits. Thanks for inspiring me!

  6. beautiful post….your words hit home as I sit here thinking about the everyday tasks I need to complete today but also the hugs and kisses I will receive from my little guy and to treasure these everyday moments.

  7. Fantastic Ruth! I love “Find magic in the moments posing as meaningless.” I think I will post that on my wall! btw Your mission is a success!! Myself and countless other slicers and beyond are here because of you. I have read your book and you have visited my school for our PD days a couple of times. This time, you caught me and I am in! Thank you Thank you! Can't wait!

  8. Your message is so powerful! I loved every single sentence in this piece. You have touched so many lives, made a difference in the way lives are lived by sharing your stories. Thank you!

  9. Mission accomplished in this piece, Ruth. You have inspired me countless times. You seem to have that one little word/phrase that always sparks the heart.

  10. It is almost as if we have to rank what is most important each day. The day doesn't go as planned and we have to forge ahead…enjoy the interupted moments!

  11. I love your stories and your moment to moment grasp that they matter. Thank you for all of this, and for encouraging us. You impact the future with your shine. xo

  12. “Now I find magic in moments posing as meaningless.” This has to be my favourite line, not just because it's true, but because there's poetry in it.

  13. What a great outlook to have, to appreciate each ordinary moment and accept it for it's own particular kind of beauty. Inspiration is everywhere!

  14. Hi friend–I had another comment typed, but instead am sending a big hug and best wishes for the start of what a I know is a busy but much-loved month for you.
    The other comment was the kind of funny you and I would giggle at without taking away from the power in your words…but others might misinterpret. 🙂

  15. The rhythm and word choice in this post are incredible, Ruth. “magic in moments posing as meaningless” is just gorgeous! I also love the idea of a “recovering perfectionist”… maybe someday I will be one! Right now I haven't really started recovering…
    I'm looking forward to reading more of your amazing writing this month!

  16. That was my favorite, too, “magic in moments posing as meaningless.” I am thankful for your mission and the way it has worked in my life. SHINE yes you do!

  17. Finding “magic in moments posing as meaningless” is the purpose of art, a too-rare and precious and vital mode of consciousness, a terrific one-line English curriculum, and a magical piece of insight and alliteration. Browsing the comments, I'm clearly not alone in my awe. Wow.

  18. This reminds me of a Roald Dahl quote: And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.

    You inspire all of us to find the magic in our every days, the again and again of days unfurling into months into seasons into years, the ordinary, nearly insignificant moments that pile together to make a day.

    And for that you are awesome.

  19. Holy cow! Another beautiful piece. You do it again and again and again. I especially love these lines– “I love the every day, the again and again of days unfurling into months into seasons into years. The ordinary, nearly insignificant moments that pile together to make a day are among my most valued treasures.” Such an important reminder. Thanks.

  20. Truth, honor, grace, praise, hope, inspiration, your writing voice finds me in quiet moments and brings me back to what is important. Thank you for sharing that with all of us, Ruth, and for using your voice to light the way. One of my students wrote about ordinary moments yesterday too (http://dft.ba/-djpost). I pointed him this way in comments.

  21. As usual, your writing moves me to the core, Ruth. It really is about the small, meaningless moments in life that we find real meaning at time. I love that you have made this your mission.

  22. I've used the phrase “bath-book-bed” with my girls too but hadn't realized that others use the same phrase, so it was fun to see in your slice. This seems to be an appropriate slice to launch the monthly challenge because slicing which also inspired me to scrapbook the everyday have had a huge impact on helping me to be more intentional about savoring the everyday. Thanks again for starting this challenge!

  23. Ruth, I truly appreciate your sharing. I want to get back into writing but it seems retirement has curtailed it. I saw your blog and just had to comment! I wish I had had you for my teacher in school. You have enriched my life. God will help me to get to the writing. I feel it. Thanks for your continual writing about your own feelings!

  24. OOO baby… this blogging stuff is rich! I LOVE reading your words Ruth. It's like talking with you, but with whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry on top. A treat for the soul for sure. And I love this post, especially the “recovering perfectionist” – me too! I think my kids are definitely part of my 12-step program. Thanks for patiently asking me year after year to try slicing. I wish now that I never would've waited.