There’s a lot out there about living intentionally right now. I mean, I saw a Magnolia magazine article titled along those lines, and if Chip and Joanna Gaines are talking about it… it’s gotta be pretty mainstream, right? Anyway, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this recently, and about how to live a better life. How other people go about this, how I go about doing this, and how my imagination factors into all of it.
I was raised to live intentionally. I didn’t realize this until well into adulthood, but I really was. My long-time mantra has been something along the lines of “If you’re bored, you’re doing it wrong.” And, frankly, I think this applies to everything from babysitting to reading bad books. I took profound issue with a book lately. I mean, it was bad. It was so bad, I told my Pixie-in-law there was no way I could finish it, let alone try to do a ‘wins’ review of it. And, yet, I have gotten not one, not two, but three excellent rants out of the thing. Everything from character to plot to setting; the author failed all of the building blocks with truly spectacular style. Yet, I gave this steaming pile of failure 40 whole pages of my life. Why? Because I was raised by the 40-page rule. Read 40 pages of a book, and if you still don’t like it, you can quit. And, if you reach that mark and are still completely unengaged by the book, you can quit it utterly guilt-free.
Yeah, the book was bad. Do I consider it 40 pages of my life I’ll never get back? No, not really. Like I said, I got three good rants out of it, and it vehemently reinforced some fundamentals of writing for me. So you see, it wasn’t inherently a bad experience. It happened. It wasn’t good. But I took it and I turned it into a learning experience. What should have been a negative was crafted into a positive.
The 40-page rule was only one part of what has lead me to the idea of living with intentional awesome.
I think a lot of people want to be able to do things. Anything. Everything. But I think most people are afraid to try, afraid of what people might think of them, or maybe just afraid to be different. But if you can imagine it, you can do it! Whether it’s grabbing an extension cord so you can take a party outside or bringing a fondue pot to an outdoor concert while everyone around you has a sad fast-food sandwich: life is what you make of it.
I was raised outside the box. I was raised so far outside the box, that I was confused when first introduced to the concept of ‘box’, and, if I’m honest, I still am confused at times. What do you mean most people don’t do this or that? Does it matter what “most people” do?
I have a very vivid imagination as an author, artist, and student of life, so that’s what I’ve done. If it’s a bad book, I make it a good time. If it’s a boring babysitting gig, I pull a party out of my head and turn it into something interesting. It’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission.
This has permeated my entire life, and I don’t think I can say it better than one of my favorite quotes, though I can’t for the life of me find it right now. Basically, if you don’t believe in fairies, you’ll never find one.
So here’s my challenge to you: imagine an awesome life… then start living it.