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.)