Write About Your Life (Yes, YOU)

So, here’s a recommendation for what it’s worth: Write about your life. Just start writing things down about what you remember about your life. Things that happened. What you did when you were a kid. What you thought at different times. Things you did right and wrong. Challenges. Accomplishments. Embarrassments. Times you were amazed or scared or hopeful, disappointed or happy. What kind of bike you had. Crushes, loves, friends, enemies, fights, travels.

Try to be honest. Maybe stick a photo or two in there as you go, showing a scene from the time you’re writing about. Put it in order. Write in it for a while, put it down if you get tired of it, then go back to it when you feel like it. Doesn’t have to be well written, or super long and detailed. Just whatever you want it to be.

If something happens to you, there will be this cool record of who you were and what you thought about the world. The people who love you can read it and get more insight into what you were all about. This is fun even if you’re still alive, because few of us really sit around and talk about all these things all the time. There’s a lot we miss.

You can ask someone important to you to start one. I asked my dad to do this, and he gave me 10 pages of insanely great things that I never knew about him, including terrific, everyday details that might otherwise be lost.

I started a “book” a few years ago for my son, writing down everything I can remember about his mom, who died of cancer in 2013. While I did that, I also started writing a book with things about my (yes, boring) life to him for when he’s older.

I recommend you do it, too. If you don’t want everyone reading things, then stick the document in your will and have people read it when you’re gone. Or, have them read it while you’re alive and when they’re ready, so you can understand each other more and maybe help those coming up behind you better deal with worries, fears and life in general. You can just leave out the really bad stuff if you want. But knowing how you handled that stuff might be helpful to someone else.

If you print it, then it will float around between your loved ones while you’re alive or after you die and maybe, in the year 2542, somebody will pick it up at an estate sale, be blown away by it and make an Accelerated Immersion Experience out of it (that’s the kind of movies they have in 2542).

The people who love you care more about what you think than you realize, and your perceptions about things have more value to others than you might think. And, as a bonus, some people in the future will surely be fascinated by what you think today. Even if that future is only one generation away.

Kevin Reed lives in Lakebay.

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