Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

G.K. Chesterton

Carter has one criteria when choosing a book to read or a movie to watch. Does it have action? This is inevitably his first question. Which interests me, because he enjoys a wide variety of entertainment. I mean, recently he asked if we could watch that show with all of those crazy women in it and the armadillo cake, which, after some further investigation, I discovered was Steel Magnolias. Not much action. But lots of fun.

But the hero stories, the action, the fighting and overcoming and good winning in the end, these are his favourite stories. Characters like Frodo, Hercules, Persius … these are the guys that get him excited.

If he gets to the end of the day, and the day has been too ordinary, it bothers him. Where was the excitement? Where was the adventure?

I try to tell him that not all days are adventures. That lots of days are ordinary. That the trick is to find excitement in the ordinary things.

He doesn’t really get it. And to be honest, I don’t know if I do, either. Because I kind of agree with him.

That’s part of the reason I planned five stories at the beginning of the year. Not resolutions or goals. Stories. Because this year I hope to live a year of excitement and adventure.

And I woke up this morning and thought, Oh, my goodness. It’s the beginning of February already. One month down, and only eleven more to go. Am I living my stories?

Some of them. Kinda. I have a big bag of steel cut oats sitting on my counter, but I haven’t actually cooked any of them yet. We spent two solid weeks as a family working on some home renovations, but now the leftover, unfinished stuff is waiting. Mocking me. And I haven’t read the February chapter in my Year of Happiness book.

I’m not discouraged, exactly. I’m not giving up. I’m just recognizing that there is a difference between having an idea about something, and actually doing something. The idea and planning are fun, but the real adventure is in the doing.

It’s the difference between reading about dragons, and slaying dragons.

It’s the difference between reading a story, and living a story.