Slice of Life Story Challenge 2017.
It has really been a challenge for me to write every day. Finding the time is challenge enough but then add on what to write about, how much to write, how much of my soul to bear, how much of my life others might find interesting and it it truly a story challenge.
My husband has been reading a book that a friend recommended. It is one man’s struggle to find meaning and purpose in life. His philosophy in the beginning of the book is to write his own story. Instead of letting life happen to him, he made it a goal to write his own story. He traveled far and wide and sought out experiences that make my stories look mundane and provincial. We have been talking about how we write our story each day. We are trying to be more purposeful in our choices and are seeking out new things instead of continuing in the same old easy patterns. But even being more thoughtful about writing a story instead of just letting it happen around you hasn’t made my own stories any more exciting or engaging.
We spent a night with some friends in Aspen this week. They are both about 15 years older than us. They had other house guests at the same time; a couple they had known when they had their first jobs out of college many years ago. We sat through a long laughter filled dinner listening to their stories. They drove old junker cars across the country, set up new homes in tiny towns where they fought off mosquito killing chemicals, worked with underprivileged folks to find them jobs, read to the blind, sat on community boards that supported health care for those who can’t afford it all the while earning Master’s degrees and PHDs in everything from psychology to public policy. They told stories of meeting senators, presidents, movie stars, and famous Westerners. My husband and I did a lot of listening. We both felt as though we had few if any stories of such caliber to share.
Last night we invited my teacher partner, her husband, and kids over for dinner. We played a rousing game of Dogopoly with the 7 and 9 year old. We laughed and joked while we moved the Flea and the Mailman and the Fire Hydrant around the board. We traded dog breeds to move the game along and roared when S went to the Kennel for the 4th time in the game. We called it quits at 9pm as it was way past bedtime for the little ones. Before sending them home, we sat in the hot tub collecting snow on our heads as the kids tried to figure out how to design a light bulb that shed light in all directions but was still attached to a post of some sort. They were thinking and creating and designing and sharing. I could not have been in a happier place. While we didn’t share stories, we shared an evening together and maybe created a few stories of our own.
We all have different stories. Our Aspen friends’ stories are loud and public. I have read from fellow bloggers stories that are heart breaking and painful, hilarious and laugh outloudly, thought provoking and deep, educated and world changing. I think mine are just smaller and quieter and more private. They may not entertain the dinner party or impress the listener with fancy names and titles and degrees, they may never be worth publishing. But my stories fill my heart and my days. And they are mine. I am so very grateful of the challenge to get them written down, if only for me.