In Ann Kiemel’s book I’m Out to Change My World, there’s a section in which the author is explaining to her mom about an ongoing difficulty she is experiencing in her life. Her mother’s reply goes like this:

“Don’t [you] know

That life is made up of ordinary days

When there’s no one to pat you on the back?

When there’s no one to praise you?

When there’s no one to honor you?

When there’s no one to see how brave and noble you are?

Almost all of life is made up of ordinary days

And it’s how you live your ordinary days

That determines whether or not you have big moments.”

Ordinary days. We’ve all had our share of those. Between work, deadlines, to-dos, appointments, phone calls, caring for our families, cooking, cleaning, and laundry (which is probably somewhere at the bottom of the list), we find ourselves exhausted and frustrated at the end of the day with the feeling that we’re not accomplishing anything significant and seem to be nowhere closer to reaching our goals.

It’s during times like this that a quote from Marian Wright Edelman comes to mind: “We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.”

It seems that if I want to make the most of my ordinary days or change something in my life, I have to start with daily steps in that direction. Most children don’t start walking or riding a bike from one day to the next, and that gold medal the athlete is proudly holding up to the flashing cameras is the result of many ordinary days of consistent training.

It’s the ordinary days that build character. It’s the ordinary days of making the right choices and doing the right actions that shape our future. Let’s do our best to make something out of our ordinary days. Who knows? The Big Moments may be waiting just around the corner.