Telling Stories

44-image2Last night I got a call from my Church. It wasn’t a solicitation for money. It was merely a friendly conversation prompted by a few quick, easy questions. It turned into a 25-minute conversation. I don’t know quite how it happened, but I started answering questions, going off on tangents, and I guess sometimes when I start talking about my faith, what it means to me, and how it helps me, well, I can’t stop.

Same thing happens when I start talking about coffee, lawn maintenance, writing, and a few other topics.

This isn’t meant to brag about how great I am, but aren’t we all the same? When we get talking about and sharing our passion, nothing can stop us or shut us up. The woman who called said, “I wasn’t looking forward to making these ten phone calls, and 6 so far were answering machines and voicemails, but you’ve made my night. When are you going to speak at Mass, next.”  Sarcasm? Well, if invited, I would love to.

That’s something else that might be good or bad – I enjoy talking to groups if I can entertain or inspire, or make them laugh.

But the story I tell myself is, Don, you really should shut up. What do you know about anything? You’re not a millionaire. Your marriage ain’t perfect. You’re 15 pounds overweight, showing a clear lack of commitment to perfection. You procrastinate. You sleep-in when you say you’ll get up early. You ate cookies yesterday at  Starbucks, then had a full dinner, and then happily had a piece of apple pie with ice cream. (that goes with my theory that if you eat lots of calories and nobody knows about it, you won’t actually gain weight)

Who are you, Don, to tell anyone, anything?

Who are you, Don, to have a Blog? Get back to being silly, talking about The Bachelor and American Idol, and leave the advice, pro-tips, and life-tips to the experts.

What makes them experts?

Where am I going with this? I’m thinking, it’s about the story I tell myself that dictates what I do? If I tell a story about a wasted year where I gained 15 pounds, didn’t write my book of short stories, and sat too much on the couch from 8:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. watching mindless TV instead of exercising, writing, and finding a “side hustle”, then I’m telling the story of a guy who’s tragic.

But what if I told the story of a guy in his mid-40s who woke up one day and said, “today is the sequel to the first book about a guy who did nothing?” Like, Bridgette Jones …but about a middle-aged father of three who took control and changed his life.

Now …that would be a great story to tell.

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