Life in Stories

When I was a kid, I read a lot—like, a lot a lot. I remember sitting in my closet on my bean bag chair, reading for hours on end one summer (yes, there was a light in there and yes, I should have been outside playing). I devoured books—which I attribute to nature (my mom is a book worm too), and nurture (my mom read to us every night, most memorably the Little House series). I ate up the fluff—Babysitter’s Club—and the stuff that made me go deep—the Cynthia Voigt Tillerman books, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, Anne of Green Gables…

Sometimes I re-read these books, for two reasons (1) I love them and (2) they conjure up what I thought and how I felt when I read them the first time.

Since I’m all about the stories these days (professionally and personally), I think about this affinity to books and why they were (are) so important to me. I love getting lost in stories, and I’m often sad when a great one is over. I also think it’s an amazing opportunity to take the story view of life—because if we believe in it, we can also write (or re-write) our own, and change it if it went a way we’d rather it hadn’t.

The book I read on Monday that I mentioned the other day is a great reminder of this. It’s a collection of Dear Sugar questions and responses… and man, that Sugar has a perspective on things that is totally spot-on (plus she’s funny and evokes lots of emotions by telling/relating her own stories). It reminded me of a few things:

1. Don’t be dramatic

2. Things aren’t usually complicated

3. Follow your gut feelings

4. Change what doesn’t work for you


Easy…. (or maybe just simple!)  🙂

When I did my dissertation, I used a qualitative methodology called Narrative Inquiry, and I studied the stories of super healthy women. I read so much about stories, and how we live, tell, re-live, and re-tell them…and this creates our lives. Plus, we immerse in the stories of others—we experience their experiences too, and then we blend everything into our own perception and experience.

It may sound complicated, but it’s not. It boils down to having a choice about how you feel, what you perceive, and how you proceed.

In relation to this, I also think about the idea of theme songs–I have lots of them that correspond to different memories, but in general, I think we do also have themes that underlie our lives (our stories). I read a lot about life purpose and dharma and being inspired–it makes me feel good, and well, it makes me feel inspired to be honest and true to what I want and what makes me happy.

Tama Kieves is one of my favorite authors on this because she’s awesome and I love the language she uses in her writing:


…And because I’m risking making this post way too long, I’ll just say this…

When I get all dramatic, victim-y, and fuzzy about decisions, I read stories I love and books that inspire me. It’s a callback to earth and a reset button for perspective. The more I practice, the less often I leave the planet and the easier I can come back when I do.

News/Notes: Nothin’ much going on today, except work, chores, yoga…and hopefully a fun night out. It rained in Santa Monica yesterday, which was ok because it was still warm! I made dinner for K, and we toasted to her latest work successes. Dinner was nothing new—and I messed part of it up too (which I’m blaming on rushing and not measuring anything—she has no measuring spoons and I forgot to bring them). So it wasn’t really picture worthy, and it didn’t taste awesome either! You win some…

K has free passes to Universal Studios that we might use this weekend—we haven’t been there together since I was about 12 (or maybe we went once when I was 15), so it should be a ridiculous but fun day.

I have been getting major deliveries over here lately…. I’ll take more pics of the apartment when my stuff arrives, but I realized I really needed to buy certain things (like vaccuum, broom, trash can, etc.). This may seem like a challenge for a gal without a car…and I was kind of lamenting this last week because I want to save my uses of K’s car for fun things. Then I talked to a friend, told her my slight predicament, and her response was, “Duh. Amazon.”

Genius. Amazon Prime free shipping is the best thing since coconut flour flatbread… and who doesn’t love to get tons of packages?!

On that note, I’m off to check my stoop for more stuff, and I hope your weekend is your best one yet.

Happy #WineFriday!

What do you do to reign in your dramatic victim-y side when it comes out?

7 thoughts on “Life in Stories”

  1. God I love how your mind works. All the stuff about stories and applying it to your life? SO intriguing. I wish I could live in your brain for like a week, I think I’d be a more intuitive, thoughtful person, seriously. LOL. PS I used to LOVE Anne of Green Gables!! I should buy the series and read it again, what a great idea!

  2. cathy@1970kikiproject

    enjoy your night out, lisa!!

    i love those four “rules” esp 2,3 and 4 (i’m not much of a drama queen to begin with). glad you enjoyed this book!

    “..having a choice about how you feel, what you perceive, and how you proceed” yes!! lisa, we sure could talk indepth about this stuff…i TOTALLY agree that we have choices!! it’s exciting!
    hope you get some packages!!

  3. I usually go for a walk, or find something to distract my mind. I tend to keep to myself on those days too. Reading is an excellent getaway!

  4. I was a Babysitter Club fanatic back in the day! Stacey was my fav. I loved Judy Blume books too, I re-read Just As Long As We’re Together 5 or 6 times, for all the same reasons you mentioned. I’ve recently been reading Harry Potter to the girls, I never read any of them when they were new and all the rage, I totally get it now! J.K. Rowling is a fantastic writer and weaves a very vivid and incredible story.

    I will keep my eye out for this book, I’ve had Into the Wild on my reading list for a while, I know that many people liked it.

    When my dramatic or over-emotional self shows up, I try to remember to focus on my breathing – yoga has taught me so much when it comes to getting a grip on uncomfortable feelings and challenging situations. Life really is a practice.

  5. Yeah, I get a little dramatic sometimes too. Usually a call to a friend or going to work and seeing kids that have things pretty tough snaps me back to reality 🙂

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