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Book 357 - A Year of Magical Learning

Reflection Title: Virtue is What You Do When No One is Watching!

Book – One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Book Description:

One of the most influential literary works of our time, One Hundred Years of Solitude remains a dazzling and original achievement by the masterful Gabriel Garcia Marquez, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendiá family. Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad and alive with unforgettable men and women—brimming with truth, compassion, and a lyrical magic that strikes the soul—this novel is a masterpiece in the art of fiction.


I’m not a big movie guy, but every year around Oscar’s time I start to hear about some random off-the-wall movie or 2 that was nominated for best picture that everyone is buzzing about. I’m thinking of movies like The Shape of Water, No Country for Old Men, The Danish Girl, or something similar like that. The hype never ceases to fail to attract my attention as the buzz grows for these random off the beaten path movies during award season. I hear about how beautiful, symbolic, intriguing, intelligent, and masterful works of art they are that will make you feel like you have a hole in your human experience if you don’t see it.

This year, that buzzworthy movie was Everything Everywhere All at Once. It won best picture, best actress, best supporting actor, best supporting actress, best director, etc. It had to be great…right? Well, that one was actually pretty good, at least to me, but that isn’t usually the case. Most of the time, I sit down with sky high expectations that this buzz worthy movie will somehow transform my life, and I’m usually epically let down. Not only am I usually left thinking, “I don’t get it?”, but most of the time I’m left wondering how this film even was nominated for anything because it was just awful.

That movie experience was One Hundred Years of Solitude for me!

I mean, this book won a freaking Noble Prize…I didn’t even know that existed for literature (not kidding). It must be good…right?

Well, I didn’t get it! I was lost the whole time, couldn’t follow along with the story, and by the end I was wondering if I was stupid because I couldn’t comprehend why this story is so “important”. How could a book win a Nobel Prize and be considered by many to be one of the greatest works in literary history and I could hardly make it through? I’ll never understand these things sometimes.

One Hundred Years of Solitude was recommended to me by that same new work friend that got me to read The Song of Achilles, which I enjoyed. As you all know, I’m not a big fiction reader, but I am big on the core value of not doing things alone. This work friend had taken an interest in learning more about Emilia and I’s journey and I appreciated his curiosity and being willing to learn about her life. I felt it only right to return the favor and learn more about things he cares about. That is how I found myself starting my epic journey with One Hundred Years of Solitude.

This book now holds the distinction of taking me the longest amount of time to finish of any other book on this journey. I started this one over a year ago and just finished it yesterday. It took me over a year because I just couldn’t stand it.

Truth be told, I had no plans to finish this one if I’m being honest. I got 25% of the way through about a year ago and I just couldn’t go any further. If I had to hear the name Buendia one more time, I was going to lose it (kidding of course). If this journey was just about reading and learning, I wouldn’t have thought twice about leaving it a quarter of the way complete for the rest of my days.

But that isn’t what the Year of Magical Learning is about…is it?

The Year of Magical Learning is about bringing values to life so I can spend time with my daughter each day.

I promised that person that I would read this book, and that means something. Virtue is what you do when no one is watching. That is what integrity is in my book, and why it is one of my core values. If you say you are going to do something, then you do it. That work colleague will never know if I finished this book or not, but I will, and most importantly, Emilia will.

Your values can’t be your values unless your actions bring them to life, most importantly when no one else gives a crap.

Values aren’t some performance for the masses, they are a deeply personal navigation system for your actions to determine what you will and will not do.

Well, we weren’t about to finish this journey knowing that we never completed something we said we were going to do. So, this past weekend, I sucked it up and powered my way through to finish this epic tale that I still have no idea what the hell happened in it other than some crazy family named Buendia lived in some place called Macondo. I didn’t get it, but that I did get to spend more time with my daughter, and that is all that really counts.

Passing my mile marker 25.6 today and we’re not leaving any loose ends on this journey. We can see the finish line, we can taste it. It’s time to finish with one strong kick and leave no regrets out there.

Question: Who are you living your values for?



What is The Year of Magical Learning? - An Introduction

YOML Podcast Discussion - Coming Soon

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