In teaching others how to write their life story in classes over the years, it’s amazing the EXCUSES that people come up with for NOT tackling this task: no one is interested in my story, I can’t spell anything, I’m not a writer, etc. No one stops to think about possible BENEFITS capturing in words their experiences could be for their family. How I wish my dad who died at age 29 would have kept a journal of his life. I’d love to know his feelings about me-his firstborn. What were his hopes for my future, etc. I would ask you: How can you be so selfish to NOT leave something for your family of your life and your hopes for your descendant’s future? Any words of wisdom to share with them?
Next to my computer I have a folder with funeral information, suggestions for my obituary, program, etc. plus a letter to my family telling them of my love for each of them. Consider your life story as a GIFT to your descendents. If you need assistance with this process, ask for help. Surely there is someone in your extended family-a cousin, sibling, grandchild who loves to write and would take your simple notes, edit them into an enduring legacy to be passed down for decades. Your life story is also a place to gather your photos and preserve them.
There are unlimited resources in our modern world to help with this process: books on the topic, Internet sites, computer software, community education classes, etc. All it takes is the DECISION on your part to go forward, to make your life story a PRIORITY before it’s too late. It’s more important than the quilt you are making or the daily golf game that fills many retirement days. A feeling of achievement can come as you look back on your accomplishments forgotten through the years. The greatest contribution you can make is your example and your love preserved for your family to read and reread. Resolve to do this starting today. Make time in your busy life for this task and ask for help.
Here are some questions to get you started thinking. What was your biggest accomplishment in life? Describe challenges you had and how you overcame them. What does your family mean to you? Any advice for the rising generation? Pitfalls to look out for, things to be grateful for, etc.? NEXT TIME: Keep it Simple.