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Your Life is Your Story, Issue #079 – Unfinished Business
July 31, 2010

"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

July 31, 2010 Issue #079 – Unfinished Business

From Tom Gilbert – Editor and Writer,

In this Issue:

Opening remarks: What Matters Most
Featured Article: Unfinished Business
Resources You Can Use

Opening Remarks: What Matters Most

Taking time for the most important things in life is a theme of this month’s issue (which is down to the wire as today is the last day of July!). Talk about your “unfinished business”.

I hope your summer is going well. And I hope that you are taking time for the most important things in life. Such as following your bliss and spending time with your family. Right now my 6-month old grandson is here at the house. He gets to spend the night with us and we love that. Even if my wife told me I will be the one getting up for the 3 AM feeding (LOL!).

The featured article, “Unfinished Business”, should get you considering what in life matters most…and what needs your attention. It’s likely you won’t do everything in life you hope to. But you can make priorities and live life to the fullest.

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: Unfinished Business

By Tom Gilbert - Copyright © July, 2010

I think the majority of us hope when we reach the end of our lives we can look back and see that we realized our dreams. We did the things that mattered. We made our mark.

Do you think about this? Have you considered your legacy?

This article is not intended to be morbid. But all of us will one day die. So why not have goals, dreams and aspirations? What “mountains do you want to climb; what rivers will you cross?”

I’ve been so busy this year that I’ve often become frustrated. It seems like I have so many projects to finish. Plus, I am going to school to become certified as a teacher. And I work various part time jobs along with my writing work. It makes for a full load. But it is something I’ve chosen.

When you are confronted with more to do than you feel you can accomplish it is time to pull back and take a hard look at what is most important to you. I have a number of books I’d still like to read, maybe a few I’d like to write, and I want to grow old with my wife and family. I want to travel and see new places, meet new people and discover new things. New experiences are around each bend in life. But you can’t live in the future; you have to take each day as it comes and be present to the fullness of each moment.

As you consider your unfinished business in life take time to inventory your hopes, dreams and plans. Your most important unfinished business would be what has the greatest value. Examples include your family relationships (spouse, parents, children, siblings), your spiritual belief system and your contribution to society.

A movie came out a couple of years starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. The Bucket List was the tale of a wealthy man (played by Nicholson) who discovers he has a terminal disease and decides to pursue a list of things he’s always wanted to accomplish before he dies (before he “kicks the bucket”). The Morgan Freeman character is also dying, but he’s more grounded in lasting values and in this “buddy flick” he has a few lessons to pass along to the rich man.

What do we want our legacy to be? What will people say when we die? What do you want your epitaph to read?

Have you heard of the Six-word memoir? Take a stab at writing a six word phrase or sentence that sums up your idea of a well-lived life. I’ve read some great examples, like “When I’m me, I am free.” For a writer or speaker, “Never at a loss for words.” Or how about, “If done right, a wonderful life.” You can find out more about the six-word memoir at with Life Stories Distilled NPR.

Think about the projects you could take on before you die. You can build something creative (art, crafts, writing, painting, designing). What about travel? Where do you want to go? What places do you want to see or visit?

Do you speak other languages? Want to learn another?

Reading: What books do you want to have read or finished before you die?

What movies or plays do you want to see?

What type of writing do you want to accomplish? Novels, poems, essays, short stories, letters, ethical will, memoir/autobiography are all ways to express yourself and share with others your inner thoughts and values along with your lifetime experiences.

Other topics include education (what do you want to know, or know more about?), hobbies and athletics.

The way to life a full life without regrets is to spend time living your life each and every day. Make some plans, but don’t get stuck in them. Leave some room for flexibility. Suit up and show up for each day. And be willing to be surprised.

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

Resources You Can Use


MemoryGrabber is a great downloadable e-book resource to help you put together your life story. Michael Boyter of Family History Products put this valuable resource together and he has updated and revised it to make it even better.

It’s very affordable (just $14.95). If you are unsure how to get started on your memoir, autobiography, or life story the MemoryGrabber 4.0 will inspire you and lead you through the practical process of your life history. Find out more here.

The Journal Software

The Journal Software is so much more than just “diary software”. An amazing amount of great tools, templates, writing prompts and organized with so many wonderful features, and free updates. I use it and highly recommend it. There is even an add-on that uses the MemoryGrabber! Find out more here.

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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