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Dec 31, 2018

Review and Renew

Here we are, on the cusp of a new year. Many people make big plans to celebrate on New Year's Eve and people are typically in a hopeful and celebratory mood. All good.

But because I try to live one day at a time and be present to each moment, I find that the end of the year does bring about reflection. However, I am not that big on New Year's resolutions. I do like to renew my commitments to live for today and to do better. You might notice that I said, "do better" instead of "do my best". Best is the goal, but progress is how I measure. I know myself well enough to recognize that I will and do make mistakes.

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Dec 23, 2018

Asking the Right Questions

It's the Holiday Season and as you gather with family and friends it is natural to renew our relationships and talk about our lives. This is typical. What is not so typical is spending the time to preserve the stories about our lives and families for us to appreciate and for future generations to learn about us.

When I interview people about their lives I like to prepare a list of questions. It doesn't mean I don't leave room for spontaneity. It is very important to let the interview unfold like a conversation. But it helps to have some starting points and to think in advance about areas to explore.

Continue reading "Asking the Right Questions"

Dec 23, 2018

Asking the Right Questions

It's the Holiday Season and as you gather with family and friends it is natural to renew our relationships and talk about our lives. This is typical. What is not so typical is spending the time to preserve the stories about our lives and families for us to appreciate and for future generations to learn about us.

When I interview people about their lives I like to prepare a list of questions. It doesn't mean I don't leave room for spontaneity. It is very important to let the interview unfold like a conversation. But it helps to have some starting points and to think in advance about areas to explore.

Continue reading "Asking the Right Questions"

Dec 18, 2018

Springsteen Rocks Broadway

Being a life-long fan of Springsteen I was naturally anxious to see the Springsteen on Broadway show. I couldn't go to New York, but fortunately Netflix is streaming one of the shows in a excellently produced special. Bruce reminisces about his life, growing up, his sometimes embattled but ultimately redeeming relationship with his father, other family members and his career journey. It is passionate and heartfelt. I read Springsteen's memoir, Born to Run, last year and much of the Broadway show feeds on that material.

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Dec 16, 2018

The Best Part of Feeling Better

There are times when we are down, depressed or ill. These struggling times can take a toll. Yet when we finally feel better it gives us a new perspective and a relief that I find very valuable and gratifying.

I realize that many people have experiences that are hard to deal with. When we lose a loved one or have a life setback it is completely normal to suffer. The good news is we do not have to remain in the suffering. I believe there is always a silver lining, even when it is not apparent.

I am very fortunate that I have a loving family and friends who support me and help me through the hard times. I have much to be grateful for and staying in touch with that is one of the keys to my mental and emotional well-being.

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Dec 06, 2018

George H. W. Bush - a Kinder, Gentler President

The big takeaway from this week's tributes and remembrances of former President George H. W. Bush was that this was a man who lived a long life with a dedication to his country and to his family.

It is a rare thing these days to hear people talk about a kind and humble person who had a long career in politics.

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Dec 03, 2018

Your-Life-Your-Story - My Life Story Blog Archives, November, 2018

An archive of previous My Life Story blog entries from November, 2018 regarding personal history, life story writing and more.

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Nov 27, 2018

Art and Sensitivity

Do artists have a proclivity to heightened sensitivity? I definitely think there is a connection. Some artists seem to border on madness, or even tumble into it (e.g. Vincent Van Gogh). Others might seem self absorbed and bizarre (Kanye West, in my opinion). So many creators of music, stories, images and more are vividly alive and hyper-sensitive. Personally, I think this can be a good thing.

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Nov 21, 2018

Gratitude Memoir

I think gratitude can be very useful in life reflection and in putting our life stories together. Here's a suggestion that could translate into a satisfying life story exercise. In about 30 minutes I think you could write a short "gratitude memoir". Of course, this would not be a lengthy piece, although it certainly could be expanded at a later time.

Reflect on an experience that was meaningful in your life and write about it. This experience needs to be one that you are thankful for. Usually that means something good that happened, but not necessarily. Good things sometimes come out of hardship.

It helps to use visualization. You want to recall the experience in more than thoughts. What were you feeling at that time? Who was there and how did you act? Find a quiet place to sit with this memory. Maybe you have photographs, a letter, card or journal entry that will help your memory

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Nov 12, 2018

100th Anniversary of Armistice Day

Yesterday, November 11, was the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. This became known as Armistice Day, although in the United States the name of the day has since been renamed Veterans Day to honor all members of our military for their service.

By 1918 people were very relieved to have the end of the bloody and global conflict. It was the worst war the world had ever experienced and people were praying it would never happen again. Unfortunately, just over twenty years later the world was at it again.

History teaches us that we must learn from our mistakes and learn about our past or we make those mistakes again. Looks like we are still learning.

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