A Million Miles

“Oh, my gosh. Where do I start? Nope. Can’t admit to that feeling… Nope, can’t talk about that…

Suffice to say that Wall Street is kicking my A$$ and I’m panicking. Telling myself don’t panic. Picturing myself tottering on a cane to my cubicle at work because I’ll never be able to retire. Telling myself “la la la la la”.

I put up a good front. I fight the good fight. But I’m breaking. I hurt and I’m afraid. But I think this means something big is around the corner. Something good is going to happen. I believe it. (clicks her heels,  “there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home”)

The following passages are excerpts from a book I’m reading by Donald Miller called “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life”  (which I am thoroughly enjoying listening to) accompanied by some photos I took last weekend around the Mill City Museum and Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis.

Donald Miller’s book often compares living a good life to being a good character in a story.

“Hold our tongue; don’t talk about that person that way; forgive the friend you haven’t talked to; don’t look at that woman as a possession; I want to show you the sunset; look and see how short life is and how your troubles are not worth worrying about; buy that bottle of wine and call your friend and see if he can get together, because, remember, he was supposed to have that conversation with his daughter, and you should ask him about it.”

“So as I was writing my novel, and as my character did what he wanted, I became more and more aware that somebody was writing me. So I started listening to the Voice, or rather, I started calling it the Voice and admitting there was a Writer. I admitted something other than me was showing a better way. And when I did this, I realized the Voice the Writer who was not me, was trying to make a better story, a more meaningful series of experiences I could live through.”
“At first, even though I could feel God writing something different, I’d play the scene the way I wanted. This never worked. It would always have been better to obey the Writer, the one who knows the better story…”
“So I started obeying a little….”
“…the Voice guided me from the defensive to the intentional. God wanted me to do things… Sometimes I’d do the thing God wanted, and the story always went well, of course; and sometimes I’d ignore it and watch television… but by this time I really came to believe the Voice was God, and God was trying to write a better story. And besides, nothing God wanted me to do was difficult.”
“I told God no again, but he came back to me and asked me if I really believed he could write a better story — and if I did, why didn’t I trust him?”
“…People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen. But joy costs pain.”
“A general rule in creating stories is that characters don’t want to change. They must be forced to change… Humans are designed to seek comfort and order, and so if they have comfort and order, they tend to plant themselves, even if their comfort isn’t all that comfortable. And even if they secretly want for something better…”
Scene change…
I love this photo that my niece in law (is there such a title?) took. I don’t usually like photos of myself so I don’t know what it is about this one that strikes me. Maybe because I look determined. Maybe  because I’m looking for something, that next perfect shot. Maybe because I look like I know what I’m doing. Maybe because I see something in my face and my stance that I believe in.
I hate what’s happened. I hate being cracked wide open. But something inside me says that something good is going to come out of it.
And not to make myself sound more important than I am, I believe, I hope, that other sparks will be ignited.

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  1. I think – somehow – we just have to keep on believing!! And – I see a woman in that photo who is on the edge of ‘becoming’!!!

  2. That book sounds really interesting. Many people are freaked about the market right now. Unless you panic and sell low, nothing had truly happened to you yet. Things will level out.

  3. Great shots of the stone arch area ~ love it around there:-) Your angles add amazing interest to a simple shot. It sounds like a pretty interesting book you are listening to, with some pretty good direction. The market is a scary ride, but it will be ok, I do believe that if you ride it out, it will pay off. Having said that, it is dang scary to face retirement and wonder at what point the market will be when you want to make the leap. Wonderful shots of you on the shore!

  4. Love the photos..The “M” in the window is may fav. The shot of you with your camera is fantastic. You do look determined but relaxed.

  5. I love the photo of you too. You’ve been posting so many outstanding shots! Just around the corner….something good is going to happen. Yes!

  6. It is oddly reassuring to read about someone going through many of the same thoughts I am. Interesting choice of photos to go with this post also. I’m guessing you saw elements of yourself in that old mill (other than the obvious M for Maery 🙂 ).

  7. I love the insights from that book. My favorite is: “…People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen. But joy costs pain.” So true, so true.

    Thanks for sharing.

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