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What is the point of living an unexceptional life?

Eivind Kjørstad

I live an entirely unexceptional life. Listen.

I’m a pretty average-looking 39-year-old guy. I’ve got a decent education, but nothing out of the ordinary. I’ve got a decent job that I enjoy doing, but it’s nothing earth-shaking. I’m married to a woman who means the world to me, but who has not thus far won either the Nobel Prize or Miss Universe, nor is she, I reckon, likely to ever do so.

I’ve got 3 kids. They’re healthy and happy children who do fairly well in school and have several hobbies they love. They mean the world to me, too, but thus far none of them have won the Nobel Prize either, nor do I have any particular reason to believe that they will.

I’ve got perhaps a dozen friends that I love, and a larger count of acquaintances of varying closeness. I live in a perfectly ordinary Norwegian house, and drive a 12-year-old Toyota that hasn’t been washed this month.

None of this is exceptional to anyone except for me.

This is my life and I happen to enjoy it very much. Actually, that is an understatement; if you’d told me a couple of decades ago that I’d be as happy as I am, I’d have refused to believe you.

From MY perspective, I’ve got everything anyone could possible want. Health. Hobbies. Friends. And Love.

I’m not exceptional in any of these things; but why would I need to be?

The rewards I desire don’t seem unreachable to me. On the contrary, I feel like being alive right now, just like this, it is reward enough. What more could I need?

I’m going to turn off the computer now, then I’m going to find a bottle of wine for when my wife returns later; and spend the 45 minutes until then playing the guitar. I do this because it’s fun, because it’s challenging, because I love learning and I love music, and because I can.

That’s my life. It’s not an exceptional one.

But my biggest regret is that I’m unlikely to get much more than 50 additional years of it. I intend to do my very best to enjoy every single day of it though.

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