Normal. By which he means up at eight, out to work and back at five. Work and family and repeat. The same life as the friends he grew up with in Liverpool have lived while he has played his out in 90-minute instalments.
It's one possibility. He doesn't say - maybe he doesn't even think about it now - that if he hadn't made it as a footballer there might have been another. If he hadn't become a professional footballer there's always the chance he might be dead.
The title of his autobiography admits as much. In many ways How Football Saved My Life is a typical autobiography by a footballer. Stubbs talks about kicking a ball about as a kid in Kirkby, signing for Bolton and playing for Celtic and then his home club Everton.
He talks about playing at Wembley and Hampden, about the players he played with and the managers - good and bad (he had both at Celtic Park) - he has worked under. As footballing lives go, you could say that was all pretty normal too.
It's just that the book starts with a failed random drug test after the 1999 Scottish Cup final. A drug test that, as no drugs were involved, revealed Stubbs might have a different problem. A day later he was in a private hospital in Glasgow having an ultrasound scan which revealed he had testicular cancer.
Twenty-eight at the time, Stubbs was back playing just weeks after an operation to have the diseased testicle removed. Weeks into the 2000/01 season, though, he learned the cancer had returned.
Some 13 years later Stubbs is sitting in his office at Finch Farm, Everton's training ground. He is surrounded by calendars covered in fixture dates. Behind him is a whiteboard bearing the names of all of his reserve and under-21 charges, each with three bullet points alongside outlining areas in which they need to improve. This is his work now.
He loves being a coach, loves passing on his experience and knowledge. His principles too. "Players have an awful lot of responsibility about their conduct off the pitch now and we at Everton are really big on making sure they adhere to what we believe in at this football club.
"That is that, first and foremost, you represent the club and you represent what the club stands for. And that brings a moral responsibility to behave in the right manner and with the right demeanour."
That can be a big ask for a teenager, though. Was Stubbs always able to behave properly himself? "It would be very easy for me just to say yes to that even if I wasn't," he said. "But I have to say I was, because I was very clear-minded that nothing was going to stand in my way to stop me achieving what I wanted to be and that was to become a professional footballer."
The same straight-ahead sportsman's mentality came into play when Stubbs was first diagnosed with cancer. "It's very easy when you are given such horrible news to think 'that's the end' and you wait for the inevitable to happen," he said. "When I was first told, I don't know why and to this day I couldn't tell you why, but I never ever thought this was the end. From the outset I was trying to be as positive as I could and I had 100% - one million per cent - belief that the doctors who were treating me were going to cure me.
"Maybe that was me being a little bit naive, and I've got to say there was possibly a bit of that, but my one focus from the day I got the phone call to the day when I came back after the second time was always 'get on a pitch and kick a ball again'. I had a burning desire to not let this beat me if I could and luckily for me I had a choice. Some people don't have a choice."
He knows that all too well. Not long after he recovered his father was diagnosed with cancer and died soon afterwards. In 2008 Tommy Burns, the manager who took Stubbs to Celtic Park, died of skin cancer.
Six weeks after the first operation, Stubbs was back playing and showing his scar to his Celtic team-mates. Second time around, it took him a little longer and the journey was much harder. "The first time was like going in the ring with my son," Stubbs says. The second time was like going in the ring with Mike Tyson. The second time was horrendous, I've got to say."
A tumour had been found at the base of his spine that necessitated an aggressive bout of chemotherapy and then surgery.
When it came to the latter the surgeon couldn't give him an epidural in his lower back because his muscles were too well developed. The needle finally went in but some distance from where Stubbs was going to be cut open.
"When I came round afterwards I was still dazed from the anaesthetic but the pain was instant. As soon as I opened my eyes it was as if someone had 50 hot knives and they were sticking them in my body. In the wounds. It was unbearable."
Stubbs was given a morphine pump to try to help him deal with the pain, but no matter how much he clicked, it wasn't easing. It took four or five hours for the pain relief to kick in. And then his whole body went numb.
"To suddenly go from no pain relief to total pain relief and my body shutting down was one of the scariest moments of my life.
"The only movement on my body was my eyes. I didn't think I would ever walk again or move again. That was terrifying. The nurse came into the room to speak to me and I was mumbling and all I wanted to know was whether I would play again."
And he did, three months later playing his part in Celtic's domestic treble in the 2000-01 season. By the following campaign he was off to Everton. Stubbs finally hung up his boots in 2008. He got to play for the team he grew up supporting and won an England B cap, but it's Old Firm games he remembers most vividly, having played in 24 of them.
"I loved them. I absolutely loved them," Stubbs said. "I loved the atmosphere. Walking out at Celtic Park or Ibrox and to have the hairs on the back of your neck stand up with emotion or trepidation was something I could never explain to people. From an atmosphere point of view, I don't think anything touches it."
Stubbs played in winning teams and losing teams in the derby fixture. He played for managers he trusted and some he didn't. It's the John Barnes appointment at Celtic Park that he singles out, saying: "John Barnes' appointment didn't work for a number of reasons, one of them being he didn't trust the players."
It was soon clear they didn't trust him either. "You have to earn that," Stubbs says. "I think John Barnes thought he would automatically get it because of what he did as a player."
Stubbs wants to go into management, so it's a lesson he's taken on board. It is striking how many of the men he played alongside - Malky Mackay, Paolo Di Canio, Owen Coyle from his Bolton days, Davie Weir - have already made that move. "If the right opportunity comes along I'm ready," he says. "I've had one or two possibilities which for one reason or another I haven't pursued. I'm glad I'm in a job. Unfortunately, there are a lot of ex-players and managers and coaches who are not."
The game has changed immeasurably in the years Stubbs has been involved. From Hillsborough to the first €100m player, the latter representing an upward trajectory he thinks is ultimately unsustainable. "I think there's going to have to be a ceiling put on wages before too long. If you don't you're going to have more situations like Rangers and Portsmouth and clubs going under."
Stubbs worries about the future of the game he loves. But he's also aware these days that it's not all he loves. Football may have saved his life but it's not his life. Not totally. "At the time football was everything," he says. "When I think of that now I was wrong because the proudest thing was seeing the birth of my children. How can football be more important than them?"
It comes back to work and family, in the end. Normal life. Alan Stubbs knows how precious normal can be.
How Football Saved My Life, by Alan Stubbs is published by Simon & Schuster, priced £18.99.