Everybody has down days. It’s raining, you can’t get warm and dry. Maybe your car has a flat, or you’re just in the doldrums and nothing can revive your good spirits. When I’m having “a day,” certain circumstances dictate that I make a beeline for a brownie, a cup of hot coffee with cream, and my personal list of my life’s “Most Awesome Moments.”
A couple decades ago I considered becoming a life coach. Then I took a really good look and knew in an instant I’d have to put my own crazy existence right before I could ever help someone else find balance in theirs. (Excellent choice, Molly.) So I began to try to make sense of my world, and one of the behaviors I acquired in an effort to move in the right direction was to get organized. And how I accomplished that was to create … lists.
Since that time I’ve become a big fan of lists. I’m a list person. Scribbling notes like this worked for me beyond my expectations, and I use them to organize my day (as if), my tasks, my goals, birthdays, anniversaries and events I want to remember and acknowledge.
The truth is, my list habit goes deeper than what I want to accomplish on any given day. One of the best inventories I maintain is always within reach, kept safely folded away in my Appreciation Journal (which I wrote about in a recent post.) This is my favorite record. This special list contains a catalogue of the most moving, touching, meaningful events I’ve ever experienced. Hence the name, Most Awesome Moments.
I’ve often lost my way, but it’s been a very long time since I felt I lost myself. May not sound all that huge to you, but I consider it a personal accomplishment, and I owe much to keeping a written memory of the times that have defined me. The times I’ve felt the most loved, moments when I glimpsed what I suspect to be the true meaning of life, or when nature gave me a peek of something absolutely spectacular. I have a sneaking feeling that each of these events have acted as a beacon. The Universe nodded, a door opened, and I walked through – in these special moments – and I remembered. Who I am.
If you haven’t already, I invite you to create your own list of the incredible, wonderful, funny, loving events of your life (so far). Times that changed you. Occurrences that formed the person you are today. And during those inevitable rough patches we all know so well, you can use your list to remind yourself of good times, one exquisite minute after another. Remember how you felt, revisit the marvelous moments. You can go there again, and the trip will also remind you that there are, indeed, more fabulous incidents to come.
As writers, we can also repurpose deep feelings – the awe, the astonishment, the pure joy, the jolt of being humbled by something larger than yourself. We can transfer these emotions to our characters. We can flesh out the people who populate our stories by providing them with experiences that define their lives. We can transfer our deepest feelings to our beloved heroes and heroines and by doing so, show our readers the situations that molded them.
Although I don’t have children, I have tucked my Most Awesome Moments in with my will. I hope someone will read them aloud at my funeral, and that some of the people I shared happy times with will be in attendance. I plan to pass through the veil listening to a catalogue of the joy I experienced while I was in this world.
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