Part 3 of “Top 7 Reasons for Golden Agers to Write Their Life Stories

~~REASON #3: TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF~~

Write Your Life Stories

By writing your stories and sharing them with your family and friends you’ll end up feeling pretty good about yourself. You’ll come to recognize and acknowledge you are a special, unique individual. There has never been anyone exactly like you – and there never will be.

You’ll discover that those with whom you share your stories will be amazed, amused, shocked, stunned, tickled, and impressed – definitely impressed. Your children and grandchildren may be astonished at what they learn about you. Even people who have known you your entire life will learn things they never suspected. People will begin to see you in a new light, and as they do, your perception of yourself may change too.

What you’re doing is something so momentous, so grand, that in accomplishing it you’re bound to feel pride, in the best sense of the word. Your self-esteem will blossom, and so will your morale. As you see the stories pile up, and as you place them into some sort of assemblage and realize their importance, you’ll feel what a writer feels upon completion of a book. Elated. Joyful. Proud.

I recommend that you put your stories into a book of some kind. Some people get very fancy with their presentation of their life stories, others not so much. It doesn’t matter. Even a three-ring binder will do. The main thing is that your stories are printed and accessible to your readers – especially your descendants. There are now online publishers, such as www.Lulu.com, which produce real books; you can get just a few copies, if that’s all you want. They make it easy and affordable to get your stories into print.

When you hold your very own book in your hands . . . well, I can’t tell you how good you’re going to feel. But I can tell you it will make it all worthwhile.

As your family and friends – and memoir class or writing group, if you’re lucky enough to be in one – validate your life experiences, you’ll come to hold yourself in higher regard. Many people denigrate their own adventures — “Aw shucks, ‘t’warnt nothin’.” — until others hear or read about them and express appreciation. As others learn about your life you may change your tune. You may decide that it and you were/are most definitely “something”.

You want to remember that you are probably not writing these stories for members of your own generation. Your most fascinated readers will likely be in the future, or at least a generation once removed. You are writing about a time that will seem quaint, foreign, or even other-worldly to them. Your childhood home, for instance, your mother’s kitchen and cooking implements, your father’s tools, your toys and games, etc., may seem as if they’re from another planet to your readers.

I wrote about my mom’s new refrigerator (1946-7) in this excerpt from “Mom’s New Appliances” in That’s Life*:

… So Mom got her new refrigerator. Its edges were rounded, and it was a lovely eggshell enamel. In addition to shelves in the door, it had a freezer in the top-center, with room for two ice cube trays and a pound of hamburger. Whenever company came over she ushered them out to the laundry room where her new refrigerator stood, swung the door wide and proudly exclaimed, “Look! It has shelves right in the door.” Everyone was suitably impressed with this new kind of refrigerator . . . **

** Click link for a funky singing commercial for my mom’s new refrigerator: http://www.betcher.com/funstuff/crosely/refrigerator_song_1.html
(If it doesn’t open, copy link and paste in search bar.)

And this link for an exterior view:
http://www.antiqueappliances.com/products/crosley/1952_crosley_shelvador_refrigerator.htm

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Some things you may want to share with your descendants, and their reactions:

Your dating rituals will seem peculiar, if not downright preposterous, to your grandchildren. Sex was just for after you got married? 

And what about the cars of your teenage years? A steering wheel spinner knob (a.k.a “necker knob”)? A running board? A bench seat? How quaint.

Only sailors and gypsies – and circus freaks — had tattoos.

Lawn mowers didn’t have motors. We pushed them.

We researched our homework at the library and wrote it in pencil, pen, or on a typewriter.

There was generally one phone per household, and it was attached to the wall.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

You’ll impress everyone with your tales of yesteryear, your recollections of then-commonplace items and customs that are almost unimaginable in today’s world.

One of the most significant benefits of writing your life stories and reasons for doing so is that you’ll feel amazingly good about yourself and your magnificent accomplishment . . . and your life itself.

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* My book on memoir writing, Your Life Oughta Be A Book, is available at http://CarolPurroy.com, in print form as well as Kindle and Nook eBooks. It is chock full of helpful ideas and stories to inspire you in your writing.

Also available at http://CarolPurroy.com is her own book of memoirs, That’s Life, which many memoirists have found to be extremely useful. In addition, it’s a very good read, with approximately 100 short stories – funny, poignant, sad, joyful, miraculous, amazing. (Also in print and eBook at my website.)

** Click link for a funky singing commercial for my mom’s new refrigerator: http://www.betcher.com/funstuff/crosely/refrigerator_song_1.html
and this link for an exterior view:
http://www.antiqueappliances.com/products/crosley/1952_crosley_shelvador_refrigerator.htm

 

 

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