A critical, if often overlooked, part of genealogy is the recording and preserving of one’s own life through records, documents, the passing of family heirlooms, and stories. With a focus on collecting information about the past it is easy to forget about the present. Sometimes we think about telling our life stories, but seem to lack to focus or direction needed to get the job done. There are tools out there to help us get through the process. Some are books, some software, and some basic questionnaires. My Life & Times: A Guided Journal for Collecting Your Stories reminds me of a recipe book.
The book reminds me of the old red-checkered Better Homes & Garden cookbook that comes as a three ring binder. The cookbook comes divided by tabbed pages into categories. The beginning of each section give guidance and suggestions. Following pages provide recipes, which can be considered analogous with one’s life stories.
My Life & Times breaks down the process of preserving our own life’s details through guided categories and easy to follow, fill-in the blank pages. It is a bit like writing down the recipes that make up our lives. Collecting data and statistics about ourselves, writing the stories about our childhood, our teen years, on through the families we create and watch grow. Page by page, we are offered charts and tables to fill in. Stories are requested by topic and question. We are guided through an easy process for recording our life story. Take just a few minutes, a few times a week, and it won’t take long to fill out a treasure for your descendants. If only your ancestors had left something like this behind for you to find…
Oh, and in case it wasn’t clear, the book comes as a three ringed binder. There is also a CD from which additional pages can be printed, to help us cover up those little mistake we are bound to introduce in a hand written story.
Chapter 1 – Gathering Your Family Stories
Chapter 2 – Statistics About Me
Chapter 3 – Stories About Early Family Life
Chapter 4 – Stories From Childhood
Chapter 5 – Stories From High School
Chapter 6 – Stories From My Professional Life
Chapter 7 – Stories About a Family of My Own
Chapter 8 – Reflections on My Personal Life & Values
Chapter 9 – Preserving Your Memories
Chapter 10 – Special Forms
Order My Life & Times: A Guided Journal for Collecting Your Stories for yourself or as a gift, Christmas is just around the corner, from Family Roots Publishing; Price: $29.39.