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Your Life is Your Story, Issue #042 – These Days
June 18, 2007

"Your past is your story up to now. The future is the story yet to come. The present is where you live with that experience, your hopes and your dreams."

Your Life is Your Story Newsletter

June 18, 2007
Issue #042 – These Days

From Tom Gilbert – Editor and Writer,

In this Issue:

Opening remarks: These Days
Featured Article: The Dad Days of Summer
Resources You Can Use: The 5 Year Journal, iMemoryBook, Write from the Inside

Opening Remarks: These Days

We all have significant days – special life days - throughout the course of our lives. Our birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, memorials, and many others are markers in our life stories. You could easily take any one particular special date and reminiscence about it. I’ve found that most of these special days are part of my memory list and I usually am journaling when these days come along.

For me there is one particular month loaded with special days and that’s this one. June has my parents’ wedding anniversary (14th), the day my Mom passed away (just last year on June 15), Father’s Day, birthdays for two of my nephews (20th and 21st) and a day that I will always treasure as a turning point in my life and the beginning of a very real spiritual awakening (June 22).

Take time to write out the important calendar days in your life. Just getting them down on a list can be the beginning of your personal history.

Thank you for the opportunity to present another ezine issue to you. For all the fathers I’ve included in this issue an article I wrote two years ago, The Dad Days of Summer. I hope you like it. Feel free to email me with questions and comments. I welcome the feedback.

You are receiving this e-zine because you signed up for it or someone who is subscribed passed it along to you. If a friend DID forward this to you consider subscribing by visiting our signup page . Also, let me know what you’d like to see more of in this newsletter – simply reply to this email e-zine.

While the main focus of this newsletter is to share thoughts, ideas, and insights on life story writing you should know that I offer various services and also mention some products and services that can be helpful. You are under no obligation to purchase anything, but if any of these products or services are helpful and you decide to utilize them then I am most grateful.

Thanks for reading. – Tom

Featured Article: The Dad Days of Summer

The life journey we are on should, and will, teach us many lessons. One of those great lessons is that we are not in control of everything.

This is not an easy lesson for men. Society in most cultures tells us that men are tough, strong and in charge. If we are to make anything of our lives we must do it ourselves. We are frequently told if we admit defeat or show weakness then we lack character. We’re told that real men are not like that.

Some of the attributes that society tells men are important are even contradictory. We’re told people respect the “strong and silent type”. At the same time we get encouragement to be part of loud and boisterous events like sports and the military. We’re told to be “our own man” and yet sent messages about “hero worship”.

Eventually men discover the falseness of this approach. You can be successful early in life, build your career and have some “triumphs”, but sooner or later the reality that you are not in control will hit home. Quite often this happens about the age of 35 or 40. It might be a family or health crisis, a job loss or a major addiction problem. It also could simply be the realization that all the things we thought we were supposed to achieve don’t fully satisfy. Along comes the mid-life crisis.

At this point we discover the truth about powerlessness. This is actually a good thing. This is when real growth happens.

The truth about being a real man and a good father can only be achieved through experience. You can learn by reading, but self-knowledge is not sufficient. Being a dad is not easy and it’s a process. It will come with the “ups and downs” of parenting. There will be struggles between being an authority figure, setting boundaries, disciplining your children and the need to show unconditional love, encouragement and for your children to not be afraid of you or life.

Hey, nobody said it would be easy. Singer and songwriter Loudon Wainwright III says it well in his humorous and poignant song, Being a Dad .

Being a dad can make you feel sad, like you’re the insignificant other. Yeah, right from the start they break your heart. In the end every kid wants his mother.

One of the great rewards I’ve experienced in my journey is to watch my children grow and face life and to recognize with a new perspective what my father faced with me as a child.

You can get good advice and learn parenting techniques, but remember there really isn’t a specific instruction manual. You learn to be a parent by doing it. And we all learn from our mistakes. Yes, especially from our mistakes! Bob Dylan said it well in one of his songs, “There’s no success life failure/and failure is no success at all.”

If we don’t examine our lives and our journey it is hard to learn from it. What we learn from it and the unique perspective that only each one of us can give is worthy of being passed on to others. This is one of the great reasons for telling your story.

In the end we should do the best we can and hope for the day when we get to watch our children go through the parenting experience with their own kids. No wonder grandparents have that special “knowing” smile.

You can read other articles on life-story writing here.

Resources You Can Use

Doreen Clement’s 5 Year Journal

I was sorry to hear the news that Doreen Clement, the writer, courageous human being and the creator of the 5 Year Journal passed away last week from cancer. She had battled and beaten previous cancers, but this time the bone and breast cancer was too much for her. However, she is lovingly remembered and her journaling and custom journals have been helpful to many, many people. The 5 Year Journal is an amazing tool that you can give to yourself and share with others. The Journal lists 3 lines per day, so you can summarize your day, track a goal or intention, create a gratitude journal, and so much more and in a glance see where you were, what you were thinking and what was happening in your life last year, 2 years ago, even 5 years later. You can find out more about the 5 Year Journal here.

The iMemoryBook

iMemoryBooks are a great way to share your life story. There are a couple of ways to do this. You can buy the main package for less than $200 and your story will be online forever as well as getting one hardcover book. Plus, you can affordably order additional books and because your story stays online (password protected so you can share it only with those you choose to) you can update it in the future. Or you can use the Heirloom package for just $49.95 that allows you to follow the same process. Plus, you get a $37 coupon towards the cost of your project that gives you a 25 page full-color or 150 page black and white hardbound book. For anyone intimidated by the large investment required when hiring a professional biographer this can be an alternative. Or, you can use this process together with a professional who can help you – I’ve done this for others and I can help you!

For more information and to get started visit here .

Write from the Inside: Dig for Treasures, Discover Yourself, Leave a Legacy

Lissa Ann Forbes is a personal historian, niche publisher and public speaker based in Colorado. Her business,The Elemental Press, creates wonderful custom journals (I’m a satisfied customer) and she writes an excellent e-zine. I’ve been reading again in her book she wrote containing some of her best articles and writings. Write from the Inside: Dig for Treasures, Discover Yourself, Leave a Legacy!. It is available from her website and I recommend it. It’s real, thoughtful and inspiring.

Closing Information

That’s it for this month’s issue. Thanks for reading. Be sure to visit our blog regularly, and here’s to telling your story. Do give it some serious consideration because I just know you’ve got a great story to tell! Be sure to see the Get Started section.

Any comments, ideas or feedback is greatly appreciated. Just reply to this ‘zine and tell me what you think!

Until next time, – keep your story alive!

Tom Gilbert

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