A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Once Upon a Time #atozchallenge

Dan Fogelberg   "Once Upon A Time"   (1977)

Once Upon a Time

          Life is filled with stories.  We could think of them as chapters of a bigger story--the story of our life--but often these chapters, these smaller stories within the big story, seem disconnected.  What about your past?   Pick an age and then think of a time ten or twenty years later.  Or maybe even more if you're closer to my age.  Me at ten years old let me introduce yourself to me when I had children who were ten years old.  Or even later when I had grandchildren who were ten years old.  The cycle of stories continues to be told.

         When I look into my past I can pick out some incident that can be packaged neatly into a story.   I don't need to do much character development or to relate any backstory.   The story at hand stands alone seemingly unrelated to anything that came before or happened afterwards.   The story is simply something that happened--a beginning, a middle, and an end.

          Each day is lived as a series of stories with some connected and others just random things that are tossed haphazardly in the mix.  The story today might essentially be the same as yesterday's story and tomorrow's story.  The routine of life often passes by unextraordinary.   Those stories can be elaborated upon but there is that sameness to them that could be seen as boring.  Then one day that out of the ordinary thing happens to make a story more worth telling to others.   A lot depends on our perception of daily events and the ways we can put greater significance to those events.

          Once upon a time I was a kid and had a relatively normal kid's life.  Later I was an aimless young man sometimes lonely and confused.  Once upon a time I met a young woman whom I married and with whom I had a child.   There was a divorce, then another marriage with more children, then another divorce, and then another marriage.   Each story had a beginning and an end of sorts.

            The story in which I live now is a very different story than I was living ten years ago and that story was very different than the story ten years before that one and ten years before that one.   Stories.  A lifetime of stories.   Like a television series where each week there's a new episode with something new happening.  The characters may stay the same, but the story is different than the one that came before.

            My life is filled with once-upon-a-times.  I don't know how many more there will be or how the bigger story will end.   I'm just happy that there are stories because where there are stories like I have, there has been a life.

           Do you mostly think of your life as one big connected story or a series of smaller stories?    Have you changed much over the years?    When you were younger did you imagine that you would be where you are now?

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. Great observation on the "once upon a time" moments. My husband and I often comment to each other that it doesn't feel like we've been together for over 27 years, and yet when we look at all the individual events, births, deaths, major changes...it doesn't seem as if we could have crammed all that stuff into ONLY 27 years.

  2. I have never thought about that is my life "one big connected story or a series of smaller stories". Sorry I don't have an answer but definitely will be thinking. WAIT. I choose a series of smaller stories, because those stories could stand alone or--be one big story. Never mind. I dont' know. :)

  3. My "Publish" button isn't working on Blogger. I thank you for your comment. I had no idea I would live past 40. I had asthma as a child.

  4. Hey from Twitter, and A-Z land...
    Love your theme, as a music fan :) Todays post I can relate to, even at 28, definitely a series of chapters if not different stories make a good metaphor for my life in general!


  5. Our lives are stories, waiting to be told -- I'm paraphrasing someone, but can't remember the name. Very nice how you link each era to the next -- created a nice image in my mind as I read.
    Had fun chatting on twitter during the AZchat today.
    Silvia @

  6. Yes I do. It's a good point.

  7. My life is a series of stages or stories that have blended together to make me who I am. Thanks for the insight. Have a good day.
    Lura from A to Z

  8. Lots of connected stories. Yes, I've changed a lot over the years, and I've lived a series of lives within one lifetime. And not once when I was young did I imagine myself to be where I am today. Life is very interesting, and it's very complicated.

  9. Lynda -- Time can be deceiving. There is so much happening in life that it's difficult to get a grasp sometimes and sort it all out.

    Teresa -- I think you got it. You're doing the stories as well.

    Charlotte -- Glad you made it to where you are today and I wish you a long life ahead.

    Kay -- Some parts of our life seem like they have nothing to do with the rest of it.

    Silvia -- I've heard that saying too, but I don't know who said it either.

    Story -- And you should know about stories.

    Grammy - It goes both ways I think.

    Patricia -- I pity anyone who has not had an interesting complicated life. That would be one story of sameness.


  10. Thank you Arlee - so true that our lives are made up of many stories. Your post has encouraged me to look at 'events' in my life within timespans ...
    I am always amazed that I am where I am in this tapestry. People may say to me 'you have not changed' but of course I have. Life is change -
    Garden of Eden Blog

  11. When I was younger all I wanted to do was get as far away from Cape Cod as possible. I never in a million years thought I'd move back. Hell has indeed frozen over. And because of that, and being engaged to a high school classmate, it's made my life on the west coast seem somewhat surreal. I often compare it to Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. She's miserable and wants to leave Kansas, then she goes to Oz and has adventures, then wakes up and realizes there's no place like home.

  12. Yes, and even though I've lived with the same man for thirty-one years, our life, my life is different now than it was even five years ago. Life is constant change and like you, I'm glad of it because it means I have lived...

  13. Susan S- - Maybe next time someone says you haven't changed, question them a bit to see what exactly they're thinking. Sometimes I think people still look at us from the old viewpoint and refuse to accept the changes. Or maybe they're afraid they'll hurt our feelings?

    JoJo -- Good observation. I think many of us have that Dorothy experience.

    Lisa -- Even people whose lives on the surface seem ones of sameness are filled with subtle changes and collections of events that may pass by somewhat unnoticed yet if examined through a strong lens can be seen for the changes that did occur.


  14. I always tend to think of life more as a journey, but yes I have changed along the way.

    When I think of my life (as a single man) compared to my father's (he had six kids), I sometimes feel like I fall short.

    But you do the best you can with the cards you're dealt.

    Lots of missed opportunity by not having had a family...but a lot of other opportunities that would probably not have happened.

    Which is better? Heck if I know!


  15. Hello from Bay Essence...nice to visit :) http://www.bayessence.com/2014/04/utrecht-tipico-holandes-atozchallenge.html

  16. Larry -- A journey is always a good comparison. A journey with many stories along the way. Whatever has been is apparently as it was meant to be. Your life has had it advantages.

    Fran--thanks for stopping by.



Tell your story. Express your thoughts. We want to hear from you. This blog no longer accepts comments from "Anonymous"--That guy is really starting to bug this blog. If you want to leave me a comment then please register if you aren't already--it's easy to do and I really want to hear from you.

Arlee Bird