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Every once in a while my wife and I like to have a date night. So our two girls go to the sitters and we go out to a movie or dinner or something like that.
It usually included going out because that seems to be the standard definition of a date. But more recently we started doing date night at home. So the girls are send off to the sitter, I’ll pick up dinner from a restaurant and we order a movie on Amazon Prime. My eight-year-old calls that lame. I call it relaxing.
We eat the dinner sitting on the couch in our sweatpants and just hang out. It was quite relaxing and fun even though when my eight-year-old return home she said that it appeared that we had a “lame date” because you know we didn’t go out.
Didn’t seem very lame to me. It was very relaxing and fun and we even picked up the girls before 9 o’clock, which 20 years ago used to be the time when we would go out on a date. Everyone – including me – was in bed by 9:30.
Twenty years ago that would’ve sounded lame to me too but today as were getting older it seem just fine. And it actually reached our goal of the night: to spend some uninterrupted time together as a couple.
So what does that have to do with authentic storytelling? Sometimes the definition of meaningful authentic stories changes. Twenty years ago that would’ve seemed boring, but today I enjoyed it very much and the dissenting opinion of my eight-year-old or anybody else (other thany wife) didn’t make it any less enjoyable.
So that’s something to keep in mind as we are living and then telling our authentic stories.
So how do we make sure we live our own stories versus somebody else’s or the stories that are expected by people around us?
Here’s how I think of it:
- Think about the goal of the experience. And that doesn’t mean we have to make a strategic plan around date night but think about what’s the point?
- Then think about ways to achieve that goal. For example the goal of date night is not to go out but the goal is to spend quality uninterrupted time together. Certainly there are more ways than one to achieve that goal.
- Then execute.
- Then evaluate. In this case both of the parties whose opinion mattered thought it was a success. So it was.
If you’re wondering: What movie did we watch? Bad Moms. (Watch the trailer here.) Very appropriate as it is about moms who are trying to break out of the norm. They also seemed to have fun.
Here’s to everyone living their own story, the one that’s best for you. And don’t forget to share what worked so we can all learn from each other.