Often times we are confronted with major decisions when we least expect them. Although we are confident that we can handle anything that comes our way, we often get giddy at the joy or crumble under the stress that occurs from these decision making moments. School, moving, jobs, family, buying a house, loss of a loved one, care of a loved one and the list goes on. A few of these I have mentioned have made my top list in the last three months, good things and bad things happen in tandem. Isn’t this what we call the “circle of life”? (go ahead and sing the song, I am in my head!)
So in the last three weeks my husband and I have traveled in three different states, taken care of an ailing parent, started a masters program, met 35 relatives we have never met in person before, said goodbye to my beloved mother in law, celebrated a wedding for a dear friends daughter, launched a business and took a deep breath every day. Not to mention said a little prayer to get us through it all. None of this in any particular order.
Now I am not sharing this with you to have you be excited or sad for us, or to even commiserate with us on how busy and hectic life can be. I am showing you this scope of happenings, because all of these moments and some milestones happened within 21 days. Mixed and incredible feelings came with every moment. In such a short amount of time life can flash by us in a moment. Are you recording it? Are you thinking about it?
Each of us shares thoughts and moments in different ways, some people are great storytellers! I met a cousin in Oklahoma that told great stories. When my husband asked him if he had written them down, he replied softly with a no and said he needed to get on that! Others are collectors, photographers, bloggers, and so on. So what do we do as family historians to record and preserve these moments for future generations? We have no time, when will we do this?
I have a couple tips and ideas that have worked for me throughout the years and would love to share them with you. I am horrible at journaling “in the moment” unless I have serious down time to write. So see if these can get you started and on the journey to great habits to family history.
Kristi’s Quick Tips:
- Whatever your strategy, make time for it. Schedule it in your calendar for one hour a week to begin with. You can do it while you watch your favorite show. Before you know it a habit will be formed.
- Remember my journal post, found here? it has to be something that is comfortable for you. Writing, design, pen, even the ink color matters. If you don’t like it, you will avoid using it.
- For travel trips, stage shows, even the movies, save your ticket stubs. Put them some place like a cute box (I have the one pictured below from Michaels) to put them in. But during that hour each week, you have to commit to organize them. Either journal, scrapbook, store in the appropriate place and then toss it away. Yes I said throw it away! Come on now folks, no hoarders here! Believe me I have come close to being a junior one before. Here is a really darling idea I found on Pinterest to keep concert and movie ticket stubs in! By Practice what you Pinterest. Plus I love this one for Travel and this could be modified to hold anything really – by My Dream Canvas found here.
- Remember length does not equal quality! You can simply post your pics in your scrapbook or journal, give the identifying information (who, what, where, when) and put things like “grandparents farm”. Or. “First date…..so fun” or “opening night…two thumbs down”.
Whatever you choose to say, remember it should be in your voice. So if you aren’t wordy or comfortable writing, people will see through it. You aren’t writing a Pulitzer Prize novel, So the trick is to be you and relax.
5. My last tip is to be real. Be honest if you have feelings that aren’t bubbly and happy all the time! We all do. I know I do.
Do you think our ancestors that crossed the plains to go west, or the trail of tears, or even came across the pond from Europe had a PERFECTLY HAPPY POSITIVE life every day. The answer is no. Some of my favorite stories to read in history are those of the trials, triumphs and tragedies that occurred. It makes me thankful for those who forged they way before me, and appreciative I live in the era I do.
Upcoming next post: our long distance family reunion, crossing three states.