Friday, May 28, 2010

Caffeinated Randomness: You are what you do

Good Morning -

Fast post this morning for some deep thoughts and a really funny story:

Deep Thoughts:
I'm reading Donald Miller's (author of "Blue Like Jazz") new book, "A Million Miles in a Hundred Years" which is about is experience working with film-makers to turn his memoirs into a movie.

In the book, he writes about the process of learning what makes a good story and about different kinds of characters.
Something he learns is that a character is what he does. He and his fellow writers and talking about a part in the movie where the character is angry -- and the film writers ask, "How do we know he is angry?" and Donald says, "He can say, 'I am angry.'" The film writers then explain that in movies, it's all action - a character is what he does.

A few weeks later, Donald Miller was meeting a friend for coffee and the man was talking about his new appreciation and new dimension of love he had for his wife recently since they had their first baby. Donald asked the friend how his wife was responding to this new expression on the husband's part -- then the friend/husband realized that he never told or showed his wife his new appreciation. That's when Donald said he realized life is the same as the movies -- people are what they do. Until this husband ACTED on this new love and new appreciation, it wasn't really a part of his life in a way that others could appreciate.

I like this concept - I am what I do. I can say I like to run until I'm blue in the face -- but if I never go running, it means nothing. I can say I want to learn to be a better cook for years but until I roll up my sleeves and start trying new recipes, it means nothing. I am what I do.

Okay, now the funny story:
I just finished reading "The Last Lecture" and I enjoyed it so much that I bought it for all of my teachers as an end-of-the-year present. I also work with a Family Service Coordinator (a family liaison with at-risk families - her work is SO valuable!) and this was her first year in that role. For her, I decided to take a picture of all the children she works with and frame them so she can always remember her first batch of children/families she impacted.

So last night, I decided to wrap all of these presents - the books and the picture frame with pictures in it. I took everything over to Chris' because I hadn't seen him in a few days and I decided to wrap presents while he and I caught up and watched a movie. I wrapped all the books and was ready to start on the picture frame when I realized -- to travel to Chris' house, I had put the pictures of the children in the pages of one of The Last Lecture books so they wouldn't get damaged -- then I wrapped all the (eight) books without removing the pictures. I couldn't believe my stupidity.

Chris and I were laughing really hard at the situation - and started trying to guess how many books I would have to unwrap before I found the pictures. I found the pictures on the second try! :-D

Okay, have a great Memorial Day weekend! Whatever your weekend holds, remember, you are what you do!

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  1. Too funny - love the entire post! The part about the "we are what we do" is so dead-on. Thanks for the fantastic reminder!

    Cute story - Jeff Zaslow is a wonderful writer. You must read The Girls from Ames.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  2. I am reading Don Millers book too and it is making me think so much about story. It is a great book.

    And the picture thing...sounds like something I would do ;)

    Have a great weekend!


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