If you have Word© and Excel© . . . and a willingness to respond to "memory prompts" on age-appropriate subjects of your choosing – from cradle to grave, as it were – and save or print your responses, you may find this to be a well-planned and more organized way to start.
45 Chapters (see below) include literally thousands of memory prompts (from your first toy – to your first best friend), and in later chapters – your viewpoints on life – conclusions and advice on a wide range of general and social issues. A Timeline Maker (in Excel©) is aboard – perfect for the "A" folks among us. And we all know who we are.
You can actually START without the software. Just get out a pen and paper, and engage with each of the "chapters" below, making a list of memories or potential "stories" for each one.
Or, in a deeper engagement, just respond to the prompts – adding subjects as you will, and each chapter will almost write itself. Well, with a pass or two of refinements later.
What you're looking at (above) are sample "prompts" . . . designed to draw your memories out.
There are nearly 3,400 at last count (with 170 in "Favorites of Everything" alone). Where one thing will lead to another – very QUICKLY. As one thing you remember will "release" a whole SET of memories. You'll see IMMEDIATELY . . . that your "memory" is better than you thought!
There will be some things you won't remember (at least the first time through). It happens in the very best of families . . . But as you drop into a groove . . . at almost every stage of life (you may need to trust us here) . . . you'll unearth FAR more than you ever thought you would!!
Answer each prompt in ONE word or a HUNDRED words . . . and you'll automatically "back off" the next prompt . . . so you can write as little or as much as you want. And save and print!
As a next step . . .
Make a list (in chronological order) – of all the places on the planet where you've ever lived – from your infancy to the present. This will bring back memories, too. Doing this will help you "segment" your life into a series of more manageable "parts."
You'll find that your photos, movies, and other artifacts will naturally "cluster" around your Life Locales. Making it potentially more obvious how to organize your stories – many of which may be built around the show & tell artifacts you gather . . . and ordered in a very LINEAR way around the well-established order – and longevity (see below) of your Life Locales.
The whole "subject" of life can seem at first overwhelming. Life is a big subject! But when each Life Locale is a separate "subject" – each one defined by a distinct "location" – suddenly your Harvest is more manageable.
Here's where it gets to be more fun. Your Lifebook's "Timeline" is a highly formatted Excel file, PRE-formatted just to do this task. After you've listed your "Life Locales," represent the TIME you spent in EACH locale with a yellow LINE or BAR out to the right – which will correspond not just to your AGE – but to the year.
This may (or it may not) give you hints about how to prioritize your time in "staging" (gathering) the elements of your Harvest. But you can see the CONTEXT of your Life Locales more clearly – and at a glance. You'll often find that the longer yellow lines – that show the longest TIME commitments – almost always mean a HEFTY list of "locale-associated" artifacts and stories.
And someone coming LATER can more INSTANTLY see the basic texture – and commitments of your life – by longevity alone . . . in the YEARS you've spent at each locale.
We offer the Lifebook© disk for $20; a really inexpensive way to "Start." It's FREE with almost any project you assign. Just ask! Still unconvinced? We'll E-Mail you Chapter 13-C ("Favorites") – so you can evaluate the prompts. Just write to Dianna@storyofmylife.cc . . . and ask.