Story and Why
"Your Life is Your Story" Blog Archives
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New Mexico Families Sharing Health Care Stories
July 26, 2017
The news has been filled with stories about health care, insurance
coverage, the Affordable Care Act and the desire by many Republicans
and the current administration in the U.S. (President Donald Trump and
staff) to repeal the health act legislation and replace it with
Most people, myself included, believe that having health care is
important and that health insurance is necessary. At the same time, in
the United States health care insurance can be incredibly expensive and
complicated. A lot of people would agree that it needs to be better and
that the Affordable Care Act (often referred to as Obama Care) could be
improved. But many parts of the ACA are important to people, including
covering pre-existing conditions and access to government assistance
programs like Medicaid.
Politics aside, the everyday person just wants to be able to have a
life that isn't consumed with fear and anxiety about their medical and
health care. It's hard enough to deal with disease and injury. Not
being able to afford it complicates things and is why so many countries
have some sort of universal health care provided by the government.
From a personal history and life story standpoint the stories of
people dealing with issues involving health care and coverage can be
very revealing. I live in New Mexico and there is a large portion
of the population who cannot afford health insurance without assistance
from Medicaid. One of our senators, Tom Udall, has been
collecting and sharing stories from consituents and I found it
interesting to watch these stories on this short video compilation.
Birthdays, Anniversaries and Reunions - Oh My!
July 24, 2017
How do you celebrate special events?
It is a common practice to create a social event around a birthday,
anniversary or reunion. Think about it.
It starts early on with your birthday. Parents, family and friends
gather around a cake lit with birthday candles. They sing to you and
then present gifts and cards. You, the birthday celebrant, are the
center of attention. And that attention usually creates strong
memories, hopefully happy ones.
Anniversaries are often special
times. If you've been married a number of years you know the
accomplishment and challenge of staying together.
A third type of marker of time with a social aspect are reunions.
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On the Occasion of the 200th Birthday of Henry David Thoreau
July 12, 2017
Most people have heard something about Henry David Thoreau. Maybe you have a vague recollection of Walden's Pond or that the man was something of a loner in nature, whiling his days away with deep philosophical thoughts.
That would capture a bit of the story, but there is oh so much more.
Thoreau's life was fascinating. If he were alive today, he'd probably have some things to say
about the state of our politics and society. It would undoubtably pain
him to see how we've become ever more anxious and desperate.
In his relatively short life (he died of tuberculosis at the age of 45)
he accomplished a great deal. He's remembered for his writings and his
simple living. A well educated man who attended Harvard, he spent some
years working as a teacher. But he also had to work hard in his
father's pencil factory and that time gave birth to his realization
that "the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."
One of his favorite ways to contemplate life was by walking in nature.
I can relate; I often get insights into things by taking a walk.
His mentor was another great thinker and writer of the day, Ralph Waldo
Emerson. We owe a lot to reflection on our lives and thinking about the
nature of things, including the nature of nature, to Thoreau. Mostly I
admire his spirit of independence while also caring greatly about how
we all need to live together in some kind of harmony. And with a sense
On the occasion of the 200th birthday of Henry David Thoreau perhaps
you can take a few minutes to ponder your life and legacy (read about
the life and legacy of Thoreau at the Thoreau Society site). Here are three of my favorite Thoreau quotes:
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify.
Things do not change; we change.
Trusting in Something Bigger
July 6, 2017
I am not one to be preachy or to talk much about my own personal faith here on my blog for Your Life Is Your Story.
It's not that I don't have a faith or spirituality - quite the contrary!
But I strongly believe that it is a personal matter that each person
should explore in their lifetime. I don't shy away from talking about
what I believe in or sharing about my own life experiences that involve
trusting in Something Bigger. I just choose those opportunities carefully.
What that has to do with our life stories should be fairly obvious.
When you are writing about your life it is important to explore those
areas that are full of meaning and help shape your values and outlook
on life. Reading about other people's struggles with the difficulties
of life and how we grow from them can be inspiring and helpful.
At the same time, a narrative full of complaining and whining can be a
turn-off. So consider carefully what you write that will be shared with
One of the things I treasure about journaling
is that I can be truthful to myself and include anything. It's not for
public consumption. If I ever intend to share from my journal writing I
can use excerpts, edit where necessary, and put it out in some format
for others, be that in a letter, book, soocial media or a blog post.
Today I am in the middle of great concern over a family member's health
situation. It is not appropriate to go into the private details, but I
will relate that it has to do with a burst appendix followed by
surgery. That led to a day of what appeared to be improvemet followed
by the next day and complications. It's scary. I am worried. Yet my
life experiences and my personal faith have taught me that life is full
of possibilities. Good and bad happen. What's really important is what
I am doing. How am I responding? How can I be of help?
Trouble comes. Life can be hard. I know because I've had some of those
experiences. I also get lots of emails from other people interested in
preserving their life stories and frequently they mention how they have
had extremely difficult life experiences.
Keep in mind that your life is not what happens to you. Sun and rain, joy and pain fall on us all. Your life is what you do with all that joy, pain and everything in between.