Story and Why
"Your Life is Your
© Tom Gilbert
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Sparking Our Core Values
July 28, 2021
One of the valuable benefits of life story reflection, reminiscence and
writing is the often helpful perspective of where we have been in life
as well as where we are now. I know this to be quite true for me. And I
know it to be true of many others whom I have assisted in preserving
their life stories.
It is wonderful to look back at times in our lives and appreciate all
the goodness. Harder to view the troubled times. Yet these times often
are the most valuable, at least in teaching us lessons and helping us
to grow as people who learn to love and care about others.
At age 93 Jerry Witkovsky - author, social work professional and grandparenting activist - reflects on his core values in an article in the summer issue of GRAND Magazine.
One of the things he states is "You know more than you give yourself
credit for." But the knowledge is often hard won. Such is life. It's
not all easy peasy. I know for myself that the struggle is where I have the opportunity to become something better.
Mr. Witkovsky's article delves into the issues of compassion and
empathy, but he does it by relating experiences from his life and
interactions with others. It was a good read and helped me to again
reflect on just what I consider my core values. It really is about
being a part of life, hopefully in a positive way. We are not here just
for ourselves. We need each other and we all can use some help and
encouragement along the way.
Mary Guathier Saved by a Song
July 16, 2021
Mary Gauthier is one of those singer-songwriters who speaks about her
life and life experiences through her songs. A true balladeer. She gets
rigorously honest about her life journey. I admit I am attracted to
such artists. It is never easy to face our demons, but when we hear
about how others do and make it through to the other side we often can
gain inspiration and motivation to do the same.
Gauthier has just released a memoir that started as an intended
songwriting manual to share insight into the craft of songwriting. In
the end she achieved that and more.
The resulting book is Saved by a Song. Nashville Scene published an article by Brittney McKenna
that provides some insight into the book, and life, of Mary Gauthier.
Influences and support from others like Bob Dylan and the late John
Prine have helped her on her journey. Now her memoir may do the same
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Diamond Anniversary
July 7, 2021
do you measure a successful marriage? Longevity is certainly a factor.
Today is the 75th wedding anniversary for Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. 75
years! Their marriage is a great love story.
It is more than the
years. It is the quality of that time and the legacy of this couple.
Jimmy Carter was a one term president, but his presidency was during a
difficult period of United States history. In the late 1970s the
country was dealing with the Iran hostage situation and a gas shortage,
among other things.
The years following have maybe better
defined former President Jimmy Carter. He is a recipient of a Nobel
Peace Prize. He and Rosalynn have helped a great number of people with
their social and charitable efforts, among them building homes with Habitat for Humanity.
is 96 and Rosalynn 93. Good, long and well-lived lives. They met when
he was three and she was a day old. They both grew up in Plains, a
small Georgia town and lived just three miles apart. Growing up
Rosalynn became best friends with Jimmy's younger sister. Jimmy was
later smitten with Rosalynn while a Naval Academy cadet. Their first
date was in 1945. She was 17 and he was 20. He soon told his mother,
"She's the girl I want to marry."
Happy anniversary to the
longest presidential marriage in U.S. history! If you don't know much
about this wonderful couple I recommend you read up on them. A short
piece on NPR Radio this morning is a good starting point.
Tail Wagging Tales
June 28, 2021
Pet life stories are important to many people. Tail wagging tales told
about your fur babies are often entertaining. More importantly, they
say something about their owners. It is part of your personal history
to share about the lives of your dogs, cats, birds, reptiles or
whatever kind of pets you have.
I am currently house-sitting for my son and his roommate. Between the two of them they own four dogs. Four large dogs.
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Walk, Run, Ride and Reflect
June 24, 2021
One of my favorite themes is the importance of walking, running or
riding for health. I find that getting outdoors for a walk, run or
bike ride gives a different perspective to the world and life. It is
much needed so that I don't get too much in my head, which
unfortunately is often a problem for me. The health benefits are much
more than physical. There is gain for my emotional, mental and
spiritual state. Frankly, I find it is all connected.
Look, writers by necessity spend a fair amount of time in isolation,
penning words to paper or screen. In order to have proper inspiration I
need the "ventilation" of outdoor air. The added bonus is that I see
the world while getting exercise. And seeing things while walking,
jogging or riding a bike is a different, and interesting, pace than the speed of car,
train or plane.
I was rummaging through some running medals from the days of my half and
full marathon events. I haven't run one of those for about four years
now, but there was a ten year stretch when I was doing it fairly
regularly. I have run two full marathons (26.2 miles) and a dozen or so
half marathons (13.1). It takes a lot of training and that means time.
I started at the age of 50 and frankly, I just don't have it in me at
65 to keep it up. But I thought that decade was a pretty good run (pun intended).
Lately I've taken to riding my bicycle more. Believe it or not, my
10-speed is almost forty years old! I've had it tuned a few times and
it actually rides well, at least good enough for my needs. My wife
bought it for me as a birthday gift, before we married.
Walking, running or riding were activities that could be done during
the pandemic, but I see more people out doing it now than a year ago.
The world is emerging from Covid, at least in my part of the country.
It's good and I am grateful to have lived through it all without
catching the virus. I know many people who did contract the virus and
with varying degrees of difficulty. It's part of our history now.
Walk, run, ride and reflect. A good prescription for health - physical, mental and spiritual.
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