By Maureen Santini © Copyright 2018-2019. All Rights Reserved.
If you wrote your life story by following the decade-by-decade method advocated by this website, you have amassed a great deal of valuable information. Now is the time to review, add news details that span many decades, and to sum up.
Take the opportunity to blend in serious as well as lighthearted aspects of your life and personality that may not have fit neatly into any particular decade. Several ideas to consider are shown below but feel free to add any information or insight that seems relevant.
Witness to History
We’ve all lived through historic events that we’ll never forget and that may have changed us, our family members, our communities, our nation, and our world.
- Write about major local, national and world events that occurred during your lifetime. State where you were when these events occurred and the impact they had on you and your lifestyle.
- Identify issues that you were passionate about or that changed your life in important ways.
- Explain the conditions, if any, you were forced to endure.
- Write about major inventions that changed your life.
The Lighter Side
On the lighter side, list a few of your favorite things such as favorite sayings, places, possessions, pets, hobbies, foods, books, colors, movies, cars, clothing, residences, hangouts, and so forth.
Write down stories you’ve heard from your parents, grandparents and other family members as well as stories you’ve told over and over about yourself or others.
Review Each Decade
For those so inclined, review each decade, looking for major changes, such as when one decade differed greatly from the previous decade or decades. For instance:
- Your living situation changed.
- You retired or lost loved ones.
- Your longtime residence or routine changed.
- Your health or the health of a close family member changed.
- Your way of life or occupation changed.
- Your outlook changed, such as attitudes toward politics, world events or social issues.
These changes are likely to encapsulate the high points, low points and turning points of your life. Label them as such or let the facts speak for themselves.
Highlight your greatest achievements and proudest moments, your happiest and worst times, your regrets if any, and things you are grateful for.
Once you have a working draft of your life story, consider sharing it with close friends and family. Their comments may jog your memory and/or clarify details of main events. Encourage them to write their stories.
Finally, write down “need to know” information for family members such as the location of your will, your financial accounts, your insurance policies, and your wishes for your funeral. You can keep this document in a separate place but be sure your family members know the location.
Your family and descendants will be grateful you took the time to pass down your life story for posterity. Please encourage others to write their stories by sharing these posts. Feel free to post your impressions of the decade-by-decade method in the “comments” section on this website.