Your Life is Your Story Go To Your Life is Your Story Home Page

The "Your Life is Your Story" Blog Archives

© Tom Gilbert

Read about quality family history and life story news, views, methods, products, links, services

                     ...and whatever else catches our fancy of personal historian  

July, 2018

current blog entries
blog archive index

High School Classmate Makes Home Town Sports Hall of Fame

July 23, 2018

I am tooting a horn today for somebody most of you won't know. But I can't help it. These are the kind of "everyday people stories" I love.

Tom Neidl was one of my classmates at Rome Catholic High. He was a good athlete, but an even better person. He had a strong moral compass without being a "wet blanket" (if you know what I mean). And even though I didn't keep in touch with him after we graduated (aside from a couple of class reunions), it is clear he made his mark with his coaching career.

Tommy was a beloved and highly successful high school football coach. He led the Cazenovia Lakers to multiple winning seasons over a 30 year career. He also was a good husband and dad. Sadly, he passed away at the end of 2016. But news broke today in the Rome Sentinel that Neidl is being inducted into the Rome, New York Sports Hall of Fame.

Way to go, Tom! 

Your friends and classmates from school are living their lives and hopefully making the most of it. I hope you are, as well. Never take for granted the time you have. Keep in mind, too, that you and they have a story. Our life stories are important to share so that we can help each other along our journeys.

Journaling Check Up

July 18, 2018

Although I may not be as regular in some kinds of writing, including here on my blog  for Your Life Is Your Story, one area that I am faithful to writing nearly everyday is in my journal.

I have been keeping journals for years. I have used both handwritten journals and digital. I like writing on a computer because I can type pretty fast and it helps me get my thoughts out. Handwritten journals have their advantages too, such as being more readily available, portable and allowing for doodling and illustrations. I enjoy keeping my journal writing on files that I can return to and reflect on. Journal writing reflection can be helpful in a lot of ways. Check out an article I wrote about this very subject back in 2013. I think it still has timely points.

Journals are not necessarily for anyone else to read, although they could be. Some people turn journals into memoirs. It certainly can be a helpful record for inspiration when writing life stories.

I find that I will write about a lot of different things in my journal entries. Usually it is a conversation with myself and not something I would make public. Sometimes it is deeply spiritual. At other times I may be musing more about events in my daily life or what is going on with family and friends. There have been times when my journal entries have led to inspiration for articles or other written pieces. The freedom to write whatever I want and to sort of test it out by getting the thoughts from my head to the page (or screen) is often therapeutic.

Do I ever write my feelings or observations about what is happening on a more global scale? Yes, sometimes, but it is not that often that I will get political. I guess it just depends on what is happening in the world that strikes a nerve and that I feel I need to process with writing. In other words, for me, my journals are not necessarily rants. 

It is totally up to you what you make your journals about. I find that keeping a positive outlook on life, even through various struggles and having gratitude be an ongoing theme helps me as both a writer and a human being.

Journal writing can certainly help you grow as a writer. Like anything that needs practice writing benefits and improves over time when you do it regularly. So if for no other reason than to grow as a writer I will continue to journal. But I know that I am doing it for more than the benefit of honing my writing skill. I journal write so that I can help make sense of life and that makes it an ongoing adventure.

On the Road With Kin

July 8, 2018

"On the road again, I just can't wait to get on the road again." So sang Willie Nelson in one of his more popular songs. Borrowing from that theme, summertime is often when many families get on the road for vacation, driving to various destinations. 

Road trips with family (on the road with kin) can be both enjoyable and stressful. Mostly they are memorable, thanks to the good times and the bad. Anyone who has driven long distances with their children can attest to the highs and lows of such travel. You know the oft repeated weary refrain: "Are we there yet?"

Anyone who has seen the hilarious road trip comedy National Lampoon's Vacation recognizes that not all goes according to plans, no matter how well you prepare.

I've been following the exploits of a somewhat epic road vacation by a teacher friend of mine. She, her husband and two adorable little girls have been all over the Eastern portion of the United States the past month. It is a long journey from New Mexico. But from the many social media posts I can tell they are having a vacation for the ages. Surely the girls will long remember the many places they've been and the good times with relatives.

Recently my brother took his 16 year old son on a long trip from Virginia to the midwest. They started by bus because one of the goals was to pickup an important purchase. My brother was buying a vintage 1986 Trans Am for his son and then they were driving it back home. But as part of the journey they made stops in places like Chicago, Indianapolis and Cleveland.  The "Windy City", Indy 500 racetrack and Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame are worthy stops along the way. I am sure both father and son will never forget the road trip, expecially the bonding resulting from such experiences.

Road trips give us a chance to expand our horizons, both figuratively and literally. We get out of our normal routines and we spend many miles in each other's company. The travels are about seeing new or old places, but also living lives of adventure. This nurtures our spirits and forges strong bonds. And that contributes to our life experiences and can make us better, even more appreciative, people.

Everybody has a story to tell!
Copyright © 2003 - 2018 All rights reserved
Email Tom Gilbert