That quote is from Mr. Carson, a wonderful character on Downton Abbey. He’s right, you know. As we write our life stories, it is the memories that we have to hold fast to as we sit and sift through the best of ourselves…and the worst. Memories remind me of my Grandmother’s Attic. They have their own little space tucked away in the upper corner of my mind. Some memories are covered in cobwebs but always there for dusting off and trying back on for size. They sit on top of each other like old trunks, some locked with a rusty lock and others wide open. Some are albums with vivid pictures and others only journals filled with words, our own and others. The thing that I tend to forget is that I have control over those memories that I make…or don’t make…. to put into that attic. If I have control, then it is my duty to be intentional about making them as I write my story. There’s that word again.
Steve is always reminding our kids to stay up and make some memories from a Dave Matthews’ song. They’ve heard it so many times, they either politely smile and tune him out or roll their eyes in frustration, but either way, he continues to say it and mean it. Good for him. I really don’t think that we can be reminded about that enough. The Donald Miller’s and the Bob Goff”s of the world are all about encouraging us to write that wonderful life story for ourselves that will provide us with those memories…the ones that we will later cherish in the revisiting and the retelling. Their words inspire me to be a better author of my own story. I want my inspiration to turn into perspiration as I do..rather than I think.
The Bible reminds us in Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom and thus in the prioritizing of those days, we seek to write the best story, the story that God has planned for me.
So what does this look like..a marriage of these thoughts….to number our days, gain wisdom, and acquire memories? I must put in some dedicated thought toward the potential of my days. I think that it means putting the BIG rocks in first. God has given us the gift of people to journey with. They are my Big Rocks. Spending my time with them is of paramount importance. They get top billing so to speak and, if I am intentional, they will get my quality time rather than my quantity. There are definitely some necessity rocks that have to go in next. These rocks though may take some extra thought. Some times “need” gets confused with “want” and therein lies some trouble. Our world provides us with so many choices that sometimes I get confused on the difference. With intention, I will sort that out.
Next I want to leave some breathing room for those spontaneous opportunities that just come out of nowhere. I have found that some of my greatest adventures and some of my best memories are when I said “yes” even when I was tempted to say “no”. Sometimes for me, saying no is just status quo…there is no real reason behind my no other than I just don’t want to make the effort. That’s just being lazy. That can become a habit if I don’t watch out. Life is too short to be lazy!
“Living a life fully engaged and full of whimsy and the kind of things that love does is something most people plan to do, but along the way they just kind of forget. Their dreams become one of those “we’ll go there next time” deferrals. The sad thing is, for many there is no “next time” because passing on the chance to cross over is an overall attitude toward life rather than a single decision.” ~ Bob Goff
Steve and I plan to embark upon a planning session date soon. We will sit, ponder, and merge our dreams together. We do not need another single stick of tangible stuff to add to the excess we now possess. We prefer to tip our proverbial scales toward the intangible experiences and embellish our lives. We are packing our backpacks as a we journey forth. They will be filled with intention, whimsy, an extra bag of “yes’s”and a mental camera. We have been incredibly Blessed thus far, but it is those overstuffed attics that are the most interesting kind to explore, so too with our memories.