Written by: Joe Fiduccia
Recently I enjoyed some drinks and a conversation with a good friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in quite a while. We were catching up on small talk, and spent hours reminiscing on the good (and bad) times of years past.
At one point in the conversation I proceeded to ask her: “so tell me something exciting that you did this year.” She sat there and thought about it, coming up with the response of “not much.”
So I tried to be more specific, inquiring about more recent months and what she has done for fun. And all she could muster up were six words that had a recognizable tone to them: “my life is not that exciting.”
Gosh that sounded so familiar. Where have I heard that before? Why did those words resonate so well with me?
And then is dawned on me – ALL of us say the same thing.
You’ve probably caught yourself in a similar situation. A friend or relative will ask how you’re doing, and responses will typically range from things like “I’m good” or “not much going on.”
All have our reasons for not spilling too much about life. Examples may include limited time, the belief that the other party doesn’t care, or a personal preference to keep things private.
I am willing to bet that it’s not.
Our perception of life isn’t always on par with actuality. We often think we are leading a conventional, sub-standard life with nothing that adds the ‘wow factor’. We go to work, we take care of the kids, and we go to bed (not necessarily in that order).
We have good days, and we have bad days. Sometimes there are bumps and dips along the way, but we attempt to do our best to get through life with a smile. And most times we repeat that same monotonous routine each and every day.
If something unexpected happens, we deal with it in our own way, and move on. Never once thinking about how pivotal that single moment will become in your life story.
Let me give you an example of what I mean.
A few weeks ago we arrived home to find the water heater in our basement leaking. It was after 8:00 PM and thus came as a total surprise. It had already been a long day, and all we wanted to do was enjoy some family time before bed.
Now I consider myself a pretty handy guy when it comes to home repairs, so I decided to disconnect the water heater in preparation for a new one that we would get the next day.
My young son was sitting on a nearby chair watching me work. So I asked if he would be interested in helping. Normally he just enjoys looking. But that night he jumped at the opportunity to grab his toolbox and immediately started working on the repair with me.
Him and I easily spent the next 90 minutes taking everything apart and moving the old water heater out of the basement. He stayed up well past his bedtime (which I normally don’t allow on a school night), and when he finally laid down for the evening, he said “thank you for letting me help daddy.”
Replacing a water heater after an already exhausting day is obviously not a repair you look forward to. Between the cost, the labor, and the time, I was hating that I had to do it. And typically this is one of those stories an ordinary person might complain about in casual conversations with their friends in the coming days.
But that’s when I stopped myself and instead, said thank you to the universe for this moment.
Because of this ‘bump in the road’ of my typical day, I was able to teach my son a new trade. He learned how to replace a water heater, he had fun working with his tools, and best of all – we created a father/son bonding experience that I will remember for a very long time to come.
And this is a perfect example of a bump in the road that became a defining milestone in my journey through life.
You see, life will never be perfect. There are challenges everywhere you look. Most times, they are unexpected and can utterly ruin your day.
But it is up to us to realize that these occasional bumps are exactly what makes our journey so unique. Everything we do and everything we experience, no matter how boring or insignificant it may seem, is what defines our story and the legacy we ultimately leave behind for our children.
My son will likely forget this moment as he continues to get older. And that’s why I’ve made it a point to document this very story in my own personal Footprint…something that I will one-day pass down to him.
But the next time you think about your life story thus far, and the experiences that don’t seem to have any wow factor, remember this: your journey, no matter how boring it may seem, is worthy of preservation.
Someone, someday will want to know all about the challenges you once faced. Because they may be facing those same problems one day, and will long for the wisdom you gained to help see them through.
Your story is unique. And that is why your life, even with those moments that make you want to throw in the towel, isn’t so boring after all.