Today’s blog was guest authored by Mary.
If someone had not taken the time to keep diaries, or jot down notes and dates, much of world history and our own American history would be forever unknown. Imagine the emptiness in today’s world if our “older brothers and sisters” had not kept stories alive by passing them on from one generation to the next. Every elder is a holder of important information, a piece of history that helps to make the picture whole for future generations.
Recording your own personal history can be a way of sharing this vital information. Your own children and extended family may never know the life stories you hold in memory unless you choose to share them. Here are just a few of the facts you know that could contribute to making history:
- The origins of your family, from grandparents, parents, to siblings – where were they born, what were the memorable events of their lives and characters?
- What was going on in the world when you were a teenager? A young adult? How did world events and cultural changes impact your everyday life?
- Where and how did you meet the people who became significant in your life, from spouses to best friends to work colleagues?
- In what important ways have you seen the world change, and what words of advice do you have for young people living with those changes?
A million, zillion, questions, and only you have the answers. Start a dialog about personal history: ask your children, spouse, siblings, or friends to ask the question, and you can supply the answers. You might decide to write your history with stories in order from childhood to the present, or ignore the timeline and write it in any order you choose, jotting down the interesting events as they occur to you.
Record this very special and valuable information in its own ledger or scrapbook. Decorate your treasure trove with picture collages, from family photos and magazines, to show the times, people and events. A glue stick, scissors, and a few ball-point pens are all you need to get started.
Do not – NOT! – worry about your writing style. This is not a test! Do not – NOT! – worry about spelling. This effort goes far beyond penmanship and spelling bees. This effort is vital to your family, your children, your grandchildren and beyond – an effort with a life of its own. You may never know all the ways the information can impact and contribute to the world, but you will know that your remembrances are memorialized. What you have seen and experienced in your rich, long life will become part of the fabric of history.