Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Article #72 Who Me?

Write my life story? You’ve got to be kidding. No one would read it. It’s enough to live through what I’ve experienced without taking another look at it. But starting on the road to recording your own history can be cathartic. Several years ago after retiring from teaching, I decided after compiling my grandparents and my parents’ histories to write about my own life’s experiences. I entitled it “The Journey Called Life.” (Photo of me taken by my father.)

What an adventure to gather old photos and relive some of my many experiences raising a family, getting divorced, being a single parent, remarrying and just living through the day to day trials that we each have. Examining some negative times and disappointments in my life was rewarding as the distance of years brought new insights to those experiences. Writing a history to share with my family gave me the opportunity to make sense of what happened to me. It wasn’t easy but an important event in my life.

I always wondered when people would say “Ask Grandma or Grandpa, they’ll know.” How they learned so much––it was from the lessons that life holds for each of us and that’s how they attained their wisdom. Now being of senior citizen age, I began to write my history to hopefully leave some advice for my descendents. (Photo on right, me at high school graduation.)

Don’t tell me you don’t have time to write or record your life story cause you are too busy living it. You aren’t getting any younger and if you continue to wait, your grandkids will be middle aged and working their way to elderly. Start today, pick up a pencil or typewriter (I know you have one in storage) or use one of those complicated new devices called computers. You’ll love the memories of yesterday that will flow and your family can help you with this project.





















Start at the beginning with capturing a few unique memories of your childhood that might intrigue your grand children like…We didn’t own a TV or I made a go-cart or my mom baked all our bread, and sewed all our school clothes. I had chores every summer-weeding the sugar beet rows, irrigating the crops or mowing the lawn. The older you are the more interesting the story will be to your descendents who can’t believe their parents or grandparents really lived like that. Use some of the topics from this column for ideas. (Photo above: me, my three older sons and my paternal grandma Vernon.)

11 comments:

Deborah Godin said...

I think that a great thing to leave to your offspring.

Cheryl said...

Great advice. I so enjoy talking with my mom about her growing up years. My oldest son is very much into family history and perhaps he and I can work on a project together!

Jo, a retired teacher said...

I've kept written records of my children (and now grandchildren) that I'm very thankful I've done. Just a week or so ago I had to look up how big my oldest son was at 12. His own son was 12 and sure he was taller than his dad had been. (He is.)

You have a good point; I need to write about my life too. I'll start really thinking about it.

Linda Reeder said...

I was given a type of journal that called for writing memories and I've filled out some of it. You're right about reliving the old days. It can bring tears as wel as smiles.
This is a project I would like to work on.

Brenda Leyland said...

You were quite the cutie pie!!! Great photo.

I've been journal my life's walk for years -- but there is something about looking back from a greater distance. Gives a person a chance to look with clearer eyes... sometimes.

There are other areas of my life that still pinch even after all these years are places, and I have started bringing these hurting places of the heart to God for his healing touch. I am noticing significant differences and so many of the wild places of hidden pain are transforming into places of rest and beauty.... for my own soul and the souls of those who rub shoulders with me.

Mmmmm.... where all that come from? Thanks for the trigger, Lin!

Brenda Leyland said...

PS. Oops.... I didn't proof that one very well. Hope you can read between the boo-boos.

kavita said...

My husband is writing a journal focusing around my father-in-law...On sundays he reads out few lines from his journal to the kids and kids love it....may be i will too start this sooner or later.

Kay said...

You're so right, of course, Lin. However, I keep thinking I need to focus on my mother's history since it is so Gone With the Wind.

dellgirl said...

You always share such interesting old photos, I love going back in time looking at them...to see how we (and things) have changed.

Rambling Woods said...

I think I have told you that for my daughter's 21st birthday I did a life story book with all that I could remember. I asked both grandmas to write down answers to questions and they didn't. I then got little tape recorders for them and they didn't do that either...

mom/caryn said...

RATS!!!! You SO make me want to do this. I mean... I do have a draft. Hooray! That's a giant leap for me.

But... you really make me want to put some thought into it...to work harder at bringing memories to the surface and making it come to life. I have a very hard time remembering much of anything about my childhood. Odd, really... I just don't seem to be in touch with much of it.