Friday, April 25, 2014

A Short Story

I love the first page of a new journal. The smooth white paper represents the beginning of a new journey that will be revealed in the pages to follow. Anything can happen. Like looking into a crystal ball—gradually the future comes into focus as the pages fill up.

I recently experienced the joy of a "first page" after recording a final entry in my red leather journal. Just the act of choosing the next journal brings me joy, and since I love buying journals, I usually have a stack from which to choose. This time I chose a small brown leather journal that Oprah Winfrey sent to everyone who registered for her Life Lessons class. It's a smaller journal that I usually buy, but it was free, so I can't complain.

On the first page I wrote:

"The first page of a new journal—always exciting and filled with dreams, hopes, and visions of what will be the story of this journal. This is a short journal—I think it will contain a short story—maybe I can pack a lot of living into a short story."

And so this is how I'm approaching the next couple months of my life. I have only 70 pages to create my story. I'll need to put forth extra effort to make it an interesting story—one that I'll want to read over and over again. I can't waste pages on boring, everyday stuff. And so, every day I look for something that will add to my short story. I plan to go for the adventures, initiative courageous conversations, and to grow by getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.

My short journal is a metaphor for life. None of us know if we have a long journal or a short journal. Last week I attended the funeral of a 48-year-old friend. I'm sure he thought his "journal" was much longer—that he had plenty of pages to fill. He didn't know that he'd been dealt a short journal.

Retirement is the perfect time to approach life as if it is a short story. Perhaps for the first time in your life a boss, your business, or other commitments are no longer managing you. The pen is in your hand. The blank pages are yours to fill.

All writers know that facing a blank page can be scary, but it's also an opportunity to write a bestseller. So get started—write your story, one that brings you to the edge of your seat and is too good to put down. You are the author of your life. Make it a bestseller!

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