By Maureen Santini© Copyright 2018-2019. All Rights Reserved.
Most of you presumably accessed this post after writing about your sixth decade. Your seventh decade, ages 60 through 69, begins with the year of your sixtieth birthday. If you were born in 1950, for example, your seventh decade began in 2010.
This is a decade of momentous change for many.
One way to approach this decade is to contrast your situation at the start of the decade with your situation at the end. In many cases, people will have retired, shifted direction, or undergone other significant events. You can also jot down a sentence or two about each year in the decade, mentioning events that had an impact on your life.
Remember you are a historian of your own life but also of a way of life, given our rapidly changing society. To this end, your descendants may appreciate knowing not only about your life but also about your lifestyle and daily routine. Things that seem very familiar to you now – as if they require no explanation – may seem quite different and even perplexing to future readers.
As with all decades, list the addresses of your residences and the names of others in your household and their relationship to you. Name places you visited frequently, such as churches, restaurants, parks, clubs, and libraries. Mention teams, clubs, and organizations you belonged to.
Family and Relationships
Describe your family life and main relationships during this decade. Detail major events such as weddings, reunions, vacations, and funerals. Write about the people you spent the most time with and your typical activities during the week and on weekends.
Work and Retirement
Describe the jobs you held during this decade if you were working. Write down the names and addresses of your employers and your bosses. Explain the skills and duties involved in carrying out your work.
If you retired during this decade, write about the ways your life changed and how you transitioned to a different lifestyle. For instance, mention if you began working part-time, started traveling, switched to a different field, began volunteer work, spent more time with grandchildren, or simply found time to relax and enjoy a more leisurely pace of life.
Hobbies and Interests
In some cases, retirement provides opportunities to take up new interests, perhaps hobbies and adventures they’ve looked forward to for years. Some may even have begun new money-making ventures. Whatever your situation, mention activities you spent the most time on and were most passionate about such as movies, books, cards, sports, crafts, exercise, cooking, coaching, gardening, travel, or volunteer work, to name a few.
Health and Welfare
Describe the state of your physical, mental and emotional health at various points during the decade. Write down the details of any medical events that happened to you or your family members.
Characterize the political environment of the times and your positions on issues. Note especially if any of your opinions on major topics changed from decade to decade. State your political affiliation and the extent of your interest and involvement in political matters. Mention political or non-profit causes you were involved in.
The goal of this process is to document your lifestyle, activities, challenges, and rewards – whatever they may be. In addition to the above categories of information, write about any topic, person, place or event that was important to you during this time.
Congratulations on getting this far! Keep going. Your eighth decade is next.
If you have written about each decade of your life so far, consider summing up. You can always add to the summary after you’ve completed additional decades.
The best family histories are those in which multiple family members over several generations write about their lives and lifestyles. Consider encouraging your family members to write their stories.
We hope you are enjoying this process. Comments on the website are appreciated. Please share these posts to encourage others to write their stories.
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