For many years I’ve used writing as a way to help me work through and remember things. I have poems written after a challenging break-up. A stack of diaries and journals from elementary school all the way through today detailing whatever I was/am going through at the time. Even this blog is a way for me to put my thoughts down and organize them in a way that makes sense. Writing helps me unlock memories and remember details in a way that nothing else can. I wonder, how often do we take the time to think back on the experiences in our life that shaped us and made us who we are today? Are they positive or negative? Which would you rather focus on?
When I was presented with the opportunity to review the book Bucket of Awesome, I wasn’t completely sure what to expect. As I opened it up to the introduction and started reading, I became excited. Kathryn Thompson, the author of the book, explains that choosing to tell your life story from a perspective of joy, triumph, love, growth and overcoming will help you shift your focus. This is not to say that we should only focus on the happy moments. She suggests that we can find the good even in the bad experiences because many times those are the same things that help us become who we are today. I love this quote: “You get to decide if your mistakes were dismal failures or learning opportunities. You choose to focus on how you grew from your trials or how they hurt you.”
There are many days when I feel like one day just melts into another. I’m doing the same things, having the same conversations or arguments with my kids, taking the same routes as I run errands. It all feels very boring and mundane and I wonder why I’d want to record that. Who in the future is going to want to read about that? Bucket of Awesome is laid out in a way that allows you to see things from a different perspective. Kathryn points out that “your unique life has something worth sharing with the world, whether it’s a world of your thirty grandchildren or a neighbor or a friend who needs to hear what you have to say.” Have you ever had someone come up to you and tell you about a time you said or did something that made a huge impact on them and you don’t remember it at all? We all have the ability to influence others, whether we know it or not. I would even say that we might even influence our future self with words that seem common at the time we write them, but come to mean something special later on in life.
When I started working through the book, it felt a little awkward. Some of the questions I didn’t have anything to write about. Others I could have gone on for a couple of pages once the memories started flowing. The book is designed for you to go through it at your own pace and to be flexible. If you want to skip a question, skip it. Come back later, or don’t. Kathryn reminds the reader throughout the book that if writing about a certain question or topic added negativity, then don’t include it in your Bucket of Awesome. Again, the purpose of the book is to shift focus to the positive.
I haven’t made it all the way through the book yet. I think that is something that is going to take a little bit of time. But I believe that by sticking with it, I’ll get in a more positive mindset both about my life in the past, my present and also my future. I don’t want that to sound cliche or that I’m trying to be deep. I know from personal experience that the more I focus on the positive or things that are going right, the more I see of it and the less I see the negative.
If you’ve been feeling like you should write your life story down, but feel totally overwhelmed, Bucket of Awesome is for you. It’s divided up into sections and takes the guesswork out of what to include. This could also be a great gift for the journal writer in your life, or even something you could go through with a parent or grandparent to help them get their own life story written.
The author finishes the introduction with these words: “You are about to embark on an amazing journey to uncover the best of what makes you who you are. Your journey is unique. Tell it with patience. Tell it with love. Tell it with Awesome.”
Lastly, I have one copy of Bucket of Awesome up for grabs to one lucky winner! To enter, you will need to do the following:
- Visit Sunshine & Munchkins on Facebook (required)
- Follow Sunshine & Munchkins on Pinterest (required)
- Comment below on what interests you most about Bucket of Awesome (required)
- Follow Sunshine & Munchkins on Instagram (optional, extra entry)
The giveaway will run from today, March 8, 2017 thru Sunday, March 12, 2017 at midnight MST. The winner will be announced on Facebook on March 13, 2017.
Please feel free to share this post with anyone you think would be interested in learning more about Bucket of Awesome or entering the giveaway.