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Your Life is Your Story, Issue #141 – Don’t Fear the Reaper Edition
December 27, 2016

"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

December 27, 2016
Issue #141 – Don’t Fear the Reaper Edition

From Tom Gilbert – Editor and Writer,

In this Issue:

Opening remarks: Breaking Down 2016
Featured Article: Don’t Fear the Reaper
Featured Resource: Personalized Mile Markers

Opening Remarks: Breaking Down 2016

Another year is about to wrap up. 2016 was a year notable for a presidential election that reflects the divisiveness of many in the United States. There was also plenty of tragic news, from terrorism and natural disasters to a slew of celebrity deaths. This prompted a lot of themes for my writing, including articles in past newsletters on Life Vigilance, The Measure of a Life , The Talk Worth Having , and Rock On…and Gone.

Nevertheless, there was plenty of good in the past twelve months for anyone willing to look for it. In my own journey my teaching career continues to develop (I even got recognized as “Teacher of the Year” for my school). I had an opportunity to share my passion for life story preservation and I worked with a handful of clients to write about their lives. I am also blessed with a loving family with children and grandchildren all doing their thing and making their mark.

Thank you so much for being part of the Your Life Is Your Story community. Thanks to all our subscribers. I hope you enjoy this month’s issue. 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: Don’t Fear the Reaper

By Tom Gilbert - Copyright © December, 2016

This has been quite the year for death. According to to CNN there have been more celebrity deaths in 2016 than just about any other year. That hasn’t gone unnoticed by me. It seems like every month I’ve noted in my journaling and writing about the death of yet another person. Some of them have been famous, others were obscure. Some touched my life in some way; others were anonymous, but their passing was noted.

Death is inevitable and we never know when it might come. A rock song, “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult, keeps coming to mind. “All our times have come / Here but now they’re gone.”

But cowering in fear of our impending demise is no way to live and for most of us the day-to-day doesn’t involve life threatening situations.

Eventually our day will come. How do you prepare for that? In my opinion it is by living a full and purposeful life. Each day brings fresh opportunities to appreciate the gift of living, to share love and time and talents, and to recognize that opportunities to make connections are everywhere.

Earlier this year, prompted by the ongoing news of people dying and the recognition of my aging and own mortality, I began to reflect in my journal writing about life and death. In each entry I would ponder my current situation and ask myself how I was doing in the “end of life” department. In other words, If I died today was I ready? Maybe that sounds morbid, but it wasn’t my thinking (and still isn’t). Rather, it was to make sure I appreciated the time I have been given. And to remember that to live in the now is the key to it all. The only time we really have is right now.

As a writer and personal historian it is my message to encourage the recording of our lives. Each person’s story of their life has its unique value. Regardless of circumstances and accomplishments, we all have a story to tell because each of us is distinctive. Furthermore, we are all part of a greater community. The world at large may never recognize your life journey, but some people will. I think we have a certain responsibility to pass on our experience, strength and hope. Most of us never know how much we influence others, especially our friends and family. Don’t be afraid to “cast your bread upon the water” and don’t fear the end of life. Instead, have a healthy recognition that you only have a limited lifespan. Don’t wait to pay it forward with some encouragement and kindness.

Perhaps you are already on board with the idea of preserving your life story. There are many ways to go about it and there is no wrong way. Find time to create a list of significant moments or turning points in your life. With this memory list you can begin to organize your thoughts. You can be the writer or you might choose someone for that task. Talking to someone, even recording your stories, taking pictures, using video, writing in a journal, writing letters and reading the stories of others can all be beneficial in moving the process forward.

You can read other life story articles here.

Featured Resource: Personalized Journey Markers

I am sure you’ve seen signs that show the mileage to destinations. Not the kind on the highway, but those funky looking poles or stands with multiple little arrow-shaped signs stating how far to a town, city or tourist location. Those signs bring to mind memories and dreams about those destinations. They are fun and amusing. How would you like a customized journey marker to show off your favorite spots in life? I came across just this thing and these Personalized Journey Markers come in a variety of styles (hanging, tabletop and post, to mention a few). Each one is made to order and is a unique "mile marker" for your life journey. Jay Keeler has been doing this for years and he invites you to take a look at what he offers. Go here and look around. If you place an order be sure to enter the access code Your Life. This is a great gift idea during the holidays of for any occasion. It is definitely different and an interesting way to preserve some life memories.

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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