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

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June, 2007

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June 28, 2007

I believe one of the great quests for each of us in life is to discover the purpose of life and specifically what part we play in it.  This is a very personal thing.  Most of us have a great craving to discover and fulfill our purpose. It seems to be wired into our DNA.

One of the things that helps unpackage it for us is to hear others speak about their purpose, their life and what they think it is all about.  Some of the most profound revelations can come from people that you would think might have a negative outlook. People who've had very difficult circumstances and obstacles to rise above.

Alvin Law doesn't let it such obstacles defeat him.  Take a look.

June 26, 2007

It has been a long, hard day and I'm tired. I find myself not really wanting to post a blog entry.  And then I realize, this is life. Life is made up of the events and interactions with others, the good and the bad, the long and the short of it.  As has been said by someone, life is just so darn daily!

Like many of you I am interested in my story and the stories of my family.  Part of preserving our personal history is to reminisce and part of that reminiscing is to recognize that our stories are unfolding all the time.  Not every day can be an entry in your story - we'd have ridiculously long and boring stories if we did that.  But, some of your life story must include those days when you look at significant events, of turning points.  If you haven't started to compile a memory list of these critical times I encourage you to start.  A life lived well is worth remembering and sharing.  Don't deprive others of the life lessons and experiences that should be shared. The journey of your life is more important than the "destination". Don't deprive yourself of that story either.

June 25, 2007

It has now been a year and a half since I started running again. I'm 51 and the last time that I truly ran distances was in High School on the cross country team.  To be honest, I didn't think I could do distance running anymore. But when I accepted the challenge to train and run for the Team in Training cause to fight blood cancers (TNT is part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) I found the running events, the training and the cause rewarding. Yes, it can be difficult, but there are also the many benefits on a physical, emotional and spiritual level.

In the past year and a half I've run in two half-marathons and a full marathon and I'm currently training for the September 2 New Mexico Marathon right here in my home city of Albuquerque.

One of the most important things for proper distance running is good shoes. I'm not married to any particular brand. I've owned Nike, Brooks and my latest pair of shoes are by Saucony. The main thing is to invest in good shoes.  However, I was on the Saucony website and discovered something they've been doing that has implications for those of us chronicling our life stories. They have interviewed various everyday runners in marathons. They call it the Saucony 26 with the tagline, every runner has a story. I find that interesting as I use the tagline in my life story business of Everybody has a story to tell.  Find out more about the Saucony 26 here.

June 18, 2007

Doreene Clement was a successful woman. She achieved her dreams and goals. Not because she just "wished" to. It's because she learned the power of journaling. She harnessed this power in a unique way and created journaling tools that you can use to change your life!

Over the past several years Doreene successfully battled cancer and was even declared cancer-free.  However, she recently was diagnosed with another form of cancer - a particularly agressive bone and breast cancer and she passed away on June 14, 2007.  But Doreene's legacy lives on and her encouragement has touched many lives.  Her 
5 Year Journal can help change your life. More here.

June 17, 2007

Dad, Daddy, Pop, Pops, Papa or Father - however you refer to him, today is the special day for fathers.  I hope you've celebrated in some way and showed your appreciation.  My dad is in a different city from where I live but we got to talk and he was enjoying a cookout and gathering at my sister's house.

I enjoyed the day with my family.  It is truly special to be a father and I'm grateful for my two children.  Yes, even in their teen years!  My Father's day card was pretty funny - it read, "Know why Father's Day is in June?"  "Because about a month after Mother's Day somebody said, 'Hey, wait a minute!' "

One thing I've learned for sure.  You truly appreciate fatherhood when you have your own children.  I'm grateful to be a son and a dad.

June 15, 2007

Today is bittersweet  It is the one year anniversary of my Mother's death. She lived a good life and she was a great wife to my Dad for 55 years (their anniversary was June 14). And she put up with my wildness in my youth and was something of a spiritual advisor to me in recent years.  

I miss her, but I am so grateful for her.  She faced and accepted her death with peace and her faith was strong.  She was quite an inspiration to our family and we were all with her when she passed.  It brought my dad, my sister and my brother all closer together.  
Last year I wrote Opening Death's Door about my mom.

June 13, 2007

Father's Day is coming up.  It is this Sunday, June 17.  Men can often be procrastinators and not good at expressing emotions. So, Father's Day often takes on a different complexion than Mother's Day.  Moms are caring, nurturing and thoughtful.  Dads - well, we're guys and that doesn't mean we don't care, nurture or think. But we often show it differently.

Getting your father to talk about his life might be challenging.  But what a great conversation it can be.  Depending on your father's disposition and personality he may be very talkative and open or he might be reluctant to discuss his life.  Regardless, it is worth the effort to know the stories of our fathers.  Maybe you can initiate that conversation with your Dad this year. And those of you who are fathers, maybe think about your life and try to get some of it down on paper, tape or video.  Share some of your life lessons, values and experiences.

Father's Day is certainly a time for dads to reflect about their children.  One of my favorite pieces I've ever written is The Walk, a little story about my son. It's true to life and it really just flowed out of me. It wasn't contrived and it was real and maybe that's why it's struck such a chord with many people.  You can read it here.

June 9, 2007

There are a number of people who are developing various services and resources to help people preserve their stories and family history.  Many of them are small business operators. It is not easy to survive in any business when you start out.  This is true for many personal historians.

Nevertheless, the market continues to grow for life story preservation.  I have discovered that many working in this field believe it to be their true calling in life. For some it is an avocation - a pursuit in addition to their regular work. My experience is that there is a high degree of passion for the work from fulltime personal historians to those who pursue it on a part-time basis or as a hobby. I think this is due in part to seeing the great satisfaction and joy you bring to others with a well done book, video or other form of life story.

Because it involves a great deal of time and work to do a life story the costs can be greater than many people realize.  It's not that the "life story" product is an exotic item.  Rather the amount of work is extensive.  If the price tag of a full life story is beyond your means then you are faced with other options, like a smaller project, utilizing a web-based type of service (such as the iMemoryBook), or doing it yourself.

One of the personal historians, writers and business consultants who truly understands the importance of developing a solid line of quality services and consistently "tells it like it is" when creating a viable business model is Denis Ledoux of the Soleil Lifestory Network, our current featured  highlight site.

June 5, 2007

Today was one of those days.  You have them, too, I'm sure. At my "day" job in radio (I work as a promotions director) the work was coming in at a faster rate than I could multi-task and handle. I had to settle with doing the best I could, prioritizing projects, and at the end of the day recognizing that I did what I could and tomorrow is another day.

When I got home I realized that I still have responsibilities to deal with, including the work I have as a personal historian.  And I needed to take time for my family, to reflect, and to be grateful.  I could not have done this without writing in my journal and looking for what I can be grateful about.  

Why am I sharing this with you?  Because we all have days where despite all our efforts we can't seem to get it all done.  It is important to recognize that we cannot control everything. If we don't step back, pause and ask for some spiritual guidance we miss the point of living.  Yes, work is important and when we have responsibilities we should do our best to fulfill them.  But we also live for more than work.  This is something I have to be reminded of (do you?) and I even wrote an article previously about the importance of finding balance in life. You can read Let Us Play here.

Everybody has a story to tell!
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