Have you ever thought about writing your personal history? There are so many different ways you could go about doing this.
Here is a great site (Family Search) that gives some input into how to go about getting started and writing your history. I have been helping a good friend write her personal history, and have really come to understand why this is important. I have also been doing some looking into a bit of family history as of late and reading some of these stories, and I always find it fascinating to try and think of how they must have lived. I know it isn’t a topic that everyone loves, but I sure do.
So then I get to thinking that perhaps I should start writing my own history. I have kept a sort of journal off and on through the years, which does reflect somewhat on some of the things that I went through, but there are many gaps. And yes, some of those gaps, I think I would prefer to leave as gaps. Not totally sure that I want my kids to know some of the dumb things I did! However, having a close brush with the other side has got me to do some serious thinking about life. I think about what I would want my kids to know about my life, my feelings and thoughts on different things, and the values I have. What better way to do this, than to start writing about my history, and the present. I need to keep a current journal as I go along right now, so that it is fresh in my mind and doesn’t soon become the history too!
So where the heck does one start? You can decide to do it on your computer, or if you are a bit more old school, just go buy a simple coil bound notebook and start writing. Maybe a binder might even be better than a notebook, because then you can go back and add in more pages as you remember experiences and stories. You could add in some of the old pictures that your parents saved from way back, add in some of the old school report cards, some of the memorabilia that you have kicking around from forever ago, sitting in boxes under your stairs. Just grab a binder of some sort and get started.
Think back to some of your earliest memories, or the earliest stories that people remember about you, and just start writing about them. You could break it down into small chunks of time, like five year chunks of your life and write about everything that you can remember of that time frame. You could break it down into places that you have lived, or schools that you have attended. Before you know it, you will have your life stories down in print.
You could write your history in stories instead of a journal. Or add the two together. You could write it down as memories through time, specific milestones that you have accomplished in life. You could put together a history in pictures, if you were lucky enough to have parents who took and kept many pictures. There are quite a few different places online that you can upload your pictures or even your text, and print off a really nice book. Just think, that would be a really precious book to have to pass along to your kids and grandkids. If you a good at scrapbooking, or good at using these kinds of computer programs, you can make some really nice looking scrapbooks and have them printed off as gifts.
So start today by gathering all of the information you can get together about your life. You could even add in old newspaper clippings that show what was going on during certain events and times in your life. Gather it all and sort into time periods. Then break these down into smaller chunks and organize it all in order.
The whole thing boils down to just getting started. It doesn’t really matter how you go about doing it, because what works for me, may not work for you. It doesn’t really matter how it all looks or reads in the end, as long as the information is there. What really matters is getting going. Start writing and recording your history, before it is all of a sudden too late, and your family will wish you did it.
Any other ideas or creative ways that you have compiled your own personal history? I would love to hear them.