Friday, October 14, 2011

Scenes to Remember

I find myself thinking, "How can I create a better story for my life?"  In A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller talks a lot about creating scenes which are memorable, and acting out those scenes, that when reminisced upon decades later, will make you smile and cry with fulfillment.   The most memorable scenes are the most painful and cause you to push yourself beyond any limits you thought you had.  The most memorable scenes involve great self-sacrifice.  What memorable scenes can I create?

I have a few scenes I am drumming up at the moment.  I have my health & fitness scene which includes a possible full marathon, I have my relationship scene which includes communicating patiently, rationally and with love, and I have my journey to healing scene, which essentially includes the above scenes plus a thousand more mini-scenes.  All of these scenes will involve painful times which stretch me to my limit.  And all of these scenes will end or pause for intermission with moments of joy, accomplishment, and peace. 

I don't want to focus too much on separating scenes into categories and possible rewards and how each scene will fit into my life story.  I want to focus on living the scenes, acting out the courageous and loving characters which make memorable scenes possible.  And I don't need to worry if my scenes don't involve explosions or creating world peace; it's often the small, day-to-day moments which make the best scenes.

I forced myself into the gym yesterday with the goal of doing cardio for 60 minutes.  I ran on the treadmill for about 10 minutes, but my shins were bothering me.  I thought about getting into my car and driving home.  I got on the elliptical and set the time for 50 minutes.  After every 10 minute increment, I thought about getting into my car and driving home.  But I told myself, "Just another 10 minutes and I'll see how I feel."  But the thought of getting off of the elliptical before the time that I had set reached zero was a big, in-my-face motivation to finish what I had started.  And I did.  I got into my car and drove home, sweaty as can be, with 60 minutes of cardio under my belt.  And then I did something memorable.

I rolled down my windows to feel the cool, evening air and I turned up the music as loud as my speakers could stand.  And I just jammed out, singing all the words of all my favorite songs, and smiling all the way home.  I hadn't done that since I was sixteen driving my first car, in the days when driving was more exciting than getting to the place I was driving to.  And last night, my journey home and the miles and the music which formed this journey, mattered more than arriving home.  It was such a simple scene that felt incredibly freeing and lighthearted.  Why don't I do this more often? 

I definitely didn't think this about the cardio session - it was painful, difficult, and for lack of a better word, just plain sucked.  But I pushed myself to finish what I had started; I acted out my health & fitness scene.  And I will knock out more cardio sessions, not because it's freeing and lighthearted, but because it is painful and uncomforable, and every good story involves both sweat and loud music.

1 comment:

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