I can’t take credit for that subject header. Those are Stephanie Tolan’s words, not mine. I was fortunate enough to finally meet Stephanie in Warrensburg last week. I say “finally” because I’ve known OF her since I was a kid. Her book, The Last of Eden, was one of my very favorite books. In fact, I still have a somewhat tattered copy of it. Then, about eight years ago, our paths crossed on an e-mail list. I have a child with some unusual needs and Stephanie is something of an expert on children like my oldest son. So I e-mailed her privately when I was desperate for suggestions on how to help my child, and she was very generous with her time. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to finally meet her in person.
Anyway…while we were in Warrensburg, Stephanie gave a mini presentation on how to “change your story, change your life” one evening to those of us who were interested. Basically, the idea is that as we go through life, we are constantly telling ourselves stories about what is happening to us and why it is happening. The “story” we tell ourselves becomes our reality. But reality is not as “solid” as it appears. We each have the power within ourselves to CHANGE our stories, which will in turn change our lives. As a writer, I can really appreciate this way of looking at things.
For instance…this week is spring break. Our family has taken a vacation over spring break for the last four years. And we had planned to take one this year, too. First we talked about going to Hawaii, because that’s where my husband and I went on our honeymoon, and we will be celebrating 20 years of marriage next week! But truth by told, I’m not sure anyone other than me really considered Hawaii to be a serious option. We did seriously consider a cruise, though. Or a trip to the Florida Keys. But then we decided to do a driving trip. Maybe to Hannibal, Missouri, then up through Springfield, Illinois and finally ending up in Chicago. Then instead of going for a week, we were just going to go for 4 days — to Chicago. But the reality is…we are having our vacation at home.
I could choose to tell myself the story “my husband hates to travel…every time we go away, he doesn’t want to go…I shouldn’t be surprised we didn’t go anywhere…we will probably never take another trip as a family again because my husband hates to travel.” OR…I could choose to tell myself the story “having a vacation at home is FUN! We’re playing board games every afternoon, we’re eating every meal out (anyone who knows me very well knows that for me, the eating out part is one of the best parts of being on vacation), and we’re watching tons of Stargate S.G. 1 and Alias episodes on DVD.”
You know what? Having a vacation at home IS fun. And I will have plenty of opportunities to travel in my lifetime.
Now to push my EASY button from Staples (something else I got from Stephanie…every time I catch myself changing my story and changing my life, I will push my EASY button)