What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Inspiring Stories

It’s the first week of 4th grade and it’s my turn to stand in front of the room. Deciding what to share about my escapades of the last two months was a lot of pressure! Did anyone really want to hear what I did? Would I be as funny as Sam or as interesting as Molly? What difference would it make to share my story anyway?

Many decades later, I must admit that those 4th grade thoughts still surface. When Facebook first came out, I ignored it. After all, who cares about what someone had for breakfast?

Years later, I surrendered and opened a personal account. Why? Mainly because my two best friends were telling me about what was happening with some of my family before I knew it! I felt less connected from those close to me.

To this day, I don’t post much at all; instead, I primarily use it to peruse photos of my niece’s 1-year old twin girls who live many states away. I look forward to the visual story of Avery and Keira’s lives. I do care about their new adventures at the beach, and their trials at taking first steps. Simply seeing their growth and learning inspires me with hope for this future generation. I wonder how they will impact the world.

Wow! My V-8 moment – simple messages can change a perspective; willingness to share the ups and downs can forge stronger connection; offering ideas can create action; challenges that stretch and grow others can inspire a movement that changes lives. That’s the true power of storytelling. And one more V-8 moment: There are lots of ways to tell stories beyond social media: songs, poems, journaling, presentations at work. And we can do it every day through conversations – with individuals or groups.

So, what did I do during my 4th grade summer? We drove across country because “we” were transferred again. We spent hours in the car — singing songs, anticipating the new friendships we would form, reading Nancy Drew adventures, and taking naps (where I made my 5-year old sister sleep on the backseat floor because “she’s always on my side!”). We saw my Minnesota grandparents, sat at the foot of the giant Paul Bunyan, visited the Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, and Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park. But the best part of that summer was at each motel swimming pool – the joy of jumping into the safety of my daddy’s arms and then splashing around in the cool of the water. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that have the biggest impact.

This Week: A significant ingredient in Transforming Your Horizons is to inspire a community; to share common beliefs, to create momentum, etc. So, pick a medium – words, pictures, sounds – and share a story, any story. How do you want to inspire others with your story? How do you want to be inspired?

In Next Week’s Post: The truest meaning of Community.

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