The headline is good clickbait, but it sets up an argument that the author — Krista O'Reilly Davi-Digui — never makes. What's mediocre about a small, slow, simple life? Many people would say that the life described in the essay is the essential, most beautiful human life, centered on the real, immediate world of home and family.
The word "mediocre" does appear in the essay, but only to describe relatively unimportant aspects of the small, slow, simple life. Her body is mediocre. She might be a "mediocre home manager" in that she "rarely dusts," sometimes orders pizza, and has some messy "areas" in her house.
The alternative to the small, slow, simple life she likes certainly doesn't sound less "mediocre." ("Mediocre" means "Of middling quality; neither bad nor good, average; (hence contextually) indifferent, of poor quality, second-rate" OED.) O'Reilly Davi-Digui's alternative is "to hustle, to improve, build, strive, yearn, acquire, compete, and grasp for more. For bigger and better. Sacrifice sleep for productivity. Strive for excellence. Go big or go home. Have a huge impact in the world. Make your life count."
I mean, I want to hear more critique of the ethic of achievement that is so dominant these days. You know me, I'm still hearing echoes of a Be-In that took place half a century ago. There's a ridiculous demand for careerism these days, and young people should only take the part of it that works for them and fits their values. Take care to identify which values are really yours and have the courage and commitment to go there. Don't call that "mediocre."
This subject made me want to reread one of my favorite poems, "Ode on Solitude," by Alexander Pope:
Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.
Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.
Blest, who can unconcernedly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,
Sound sleep by night; study and ease,
Together mixed; sweet recreation;
And innocence, which most does please,
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.