I've been thinking quite a bit about our personal stories lately. A few weeks back I wrote about a book, "The Alchemist", that was utterly life changing for me. What brought that post up was a book I read last month and have continued to return to, a few chapters at a time, called "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" by Donald Miller. I've read several of Don's books over the years, and I always seem to encounter them at a time when I need them most.
"A Million Miles..." Is about our story lines - crafting them into a life someone would want to make a movie about. Maybe it's my adventurous spirit, maybe it's my deep desire to leave a lasting impact on the world in some small way, but the idea of crafting a life that could be made into a dynamic film really resonates with me. Instead of making a movie about driving in the car, getting groceries and rushing to work, I'd like to be in a film about a woman who changes lives and sees the world and lives passionately - who scuba dives and learns new languages and interacts authentically with different cultures. Who made something of her life, however long or short it may be.
Because the reality is that there are no guarantees on how long we have - no one but God knows the number of our days on this earth. So why wait to make it spectacular? Why not do the things you dream of now? Our only limitations are the ones set by ourselves - the things we perceive. But time is fleeting - make each day matter!
I really believe that living a good story means being fully present in every moment of your life. Not wishing time away. Perfect example - yesterday was a rough day - it was long and tough and I caught myself at one point just wishing that it would be over. So I forced myself to shake it off and breathe and choose to live a better story for the rest of the day. And it worked. It was a better day after that. I lived a better story for the rest of the day.
Today I have jury duty, something that I do not have the luxury of time for this week. So I'm forcing myself to look at it as a gift - to enjoy the time to write and read and decompress. To make plans for my story so that the rest of the day is lived better. Maybe I will find an opportunity to live a better story while sitting in the jury pool today.
It's all about perspective and attitude, and choosing to craft my circumstances instead of drifting along wherever the wind blows me - dreaming of what could be but never living it.
As part of that, I've decided to re-examine the extraordinary chapters of my life that I've already lived, and those will begin to appear here on this blog. If we don't tell our stories, we forget them.
Let the storytelling begin.
And go check out "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" and Donald Miller's Storyline Blog - storylineblog.com