Have you ever looked back through your childhood stories and pictures and savored the memories? Or read the journal of a Great grandparent and realized a connection you had with someone who lived 80 years before you?
These special moments come from writing a Personal History.
A personal history is a valuable way to look back and reflect on memories from your own life. And it bridges the gap between generations by sharing stories that future children can relate to (or at least have a good laugh about).
BUT, it can feel overwhelming at times.
Where do you start?
“I was a mischievous 4 year old kid…..“
(sounds like a project that will loose steam after one week).
Keeping a personal history doesn’t have to mean writing an autobiography.
It doesn’t need to be chronological or overly organized. You can work on it in snippets here and there. A personal history is only what you want it to be, as long it encompasses YOU and your life.
We all keep our history in different ways. From blogging, to printing our blogs into a bound book, to scrapbooking, to online journal writing, etc.
And a good way to get started is with a Journal Jar. The jar contains slips of paper with a different topic on each one. So when you sit down to work on your history, pull out a slip, read the topic and don’t over-think it. Just start writing what comes to your mind, based on that topic. You’ll be surprised at how the memories and words start coming down on paper. It’s a good exercise in Creative Writing.
And if it’s packaged up in a pretty jar, even better. You’ll be more motivated when you see it sitting on your desk.
Journal Jars make a wonderful gift for Mother’s Day, a birthday, graduation from school. We’re never too young to start documenting the stories in our life.
Decorate a jar and fill it with appropriate topics for the person your giving it to. If they’re someone who enjoys writing in an actual journal (vs. the computer), pair your jar with a lovely notebook/journal/book.
I found all of these at Target and Office Depot for under $5.
My mom writes her history on the computer (a valuable way to preserve the words). My dad, however, loves to sit on the couch and write in a notebook with a pen. It’s relaxing for him and motivates him to write at least one story down each Sunday morning.
So do what motivates YOU.
You can find the complete tutorial for making Journal Jars HERE, along with a list of topics to get you started.
Of course, don’t let the jar limit you. Whether you’re giving this as a gift, or making one for yourself, add your own topics and ideas to the jar. The topics are endless. .
Help your loved one get started on something many will benefit from. I guess it’s the gift that gives back.
Now, you just need to find a quiet spot to sit…..