Social media has a much greater audience than a verandah after a few rum and cokes. That’s how my Dad shared his stories when I was little. I remember being captivated by the stories he would share about growing up with pretty humble roots. As one of seven in St. Philip, Barbados, I could listen to the same story over and over. With or without a rum in hand. Still can. Recently I have started sharing some random stories too. Some of my own life experiences and lessons learned. For my children’s sake. To help them find some answers when they are looking for meaning. Here’s a question for you. Do you think it is possible to remember the future before it happens? I’m not referring to fortune telling. I am talking about future telling. With 2017 literally around the corner, I have tried to make some notes for myself. Call it my guide to future sense. My rules.
Throwback. 1977. Age 5. Dressed as a “Sophisticated Lady” for Kiddies Carnival, Barbados. I suspect I did not know the meaning of a “Sophisticated Lady”. My Mum knew better. And so did Ella Fitzgerald when she sung this famous song. Image filter by Prisma.
Perhaps one of the biggest differences between then and now, is that we no longer live in the age of privacy. In this post Internet world, I share this post because I reckon I can refer to this whenever I feel the need to fact check my intuition. Call it my own “Sophisticated Lady” common sense. Cause let’s face it, if you believe at all in karma, you will understand where I am going with this.
Talking of social media and life lessons, I have a fridge magnet that acts as a daily reminder to…
no matter where you read it
or who has said it,
not even if i have said it,
unless it agrees with you own reason
and your own common sense.
There is a lot of questionable news and content out there. This is the 21st Century. The Information Age. So before I share a story, I have to be pretty darn sure that I am OK with what I am sharing. This statement I know for sure to be true: one day I will not be here. My blog here might be. Unless Interpol seizes my wisdom because somehow it is viewed as a threat to national security. I doubt that. This basically means that anything I say on my blog may very well remain. A legacy in the making, of sorts. A bunch of stories I want my kids to know about. Not just about me, but their family history too. Not sure how that differs to life before blogs or the Internet existed. Oh right, that was called a diary. And a storytelling Dad. For the moment, blogging somehow gives me accountability. Makes me think before I write and before I “publish” or “share”.
What happens when my kids grow up? What happens when they have kids? And they have kids? What meaning will they get from this? Will they come to this little loopy blog and say to themselves: so that is who my great grandmother was. What was she thinking? Gee thanks a lot, ‘Nana’. No wonder I have strong opinions and let my inside voices out more than I probably should.
My Common Sense Rules for a New Year:
- Is what I am about to share going to hurt anyone in my family or any of my friends? If the answer is yes then don’t do it. Find that little trash can icon or discard button.
- Is it true? To the best of my knowledge? Do I believe it? Like what my magnet says? If yes, then go for it.
- Is it funny? Sad? Both? Slightly irreverent? Fair game.
- Is it judgemental? Critical? Listen, we all judge. Mostly ourselves but sometimes we do let our inside voices slip out. Especially Mums. Do I want a slew of comments and feedback that I may not expect? Or like? If so, do as the infamous Walter White tells Hank in one of my favourite scenes of Breaking Bad, “Maybe your best course would be to tread lightly”.
- If I share a story failing to abide by any of the above rules and realize after that I regret it, then be prepared and get ready to apologize. Shit happens. We must do our best to be accountable for our actions. If not, take a chance but be prepared for the consequences like what happens in the Monopoly game…
[Image credit: Monopoly Wiki]
I believe storytelling is worth taking a chance on. Opinions too. And maybe even the odd recipe that is good enough. Stories truly have the power to stir up happy feelings, laughter and smiles. Stories can also bring on tears and feelings of nostalgia and sadness. Either way, you learn something. Not only about the people from the stories but also about yourself.
While I may not be famous, I am making memories every day. And the more memories I can make out of my everyday, the more I will be able to cherish the time I do have. Memories are a testament to life. When I am no longer making memories, my kids will have stories to remember not only me, but also their grandparents and their great grandparents. As my magnet aptly says, whether you read them, believe them or not is for your own reason and your own common sense.
[Photo credit: Taken from a card my daughter gave me on my 40th birthday. I am not one for keeping cards but somehow I think this one is a keeper. I like to think of it as my way of remembering the future].