Creating a Family History in 2018
What sports does your family play? Gather photos of different activities and generations. Remember that school pictures often include teams and practices. Are there band members in your family?
Don’t forget that adults played sports and there may be photos of them to include. Military, church, and community centers sometimes distribute photos to team members.
One of the most popular books for most non-professionals is a family history. Putting together a simple book that can be shared with your family members can be fun but it is also a lot of work.
Involving your kids, if you have any, can turn this into a family activity. Children and teens alike might like drawing family pets or houses where they’ve lived. Some will warm to the idea of self-portraits. Of course, the trusty cell phone can help them take pictures to include.
At some point, you can help them create a family tree. This can be helpful, but be aware that difficult issues can arise. Think of how each family member will react to the information included: divorces, deceased infants, suicides, adoptions, and other events may not be known by everyone who will see this information.
I will post this each month as a reminder to be cautious about information you share. Better safe than sorry!
Consider interviewing relatives, too; their stories are often treasures. Ask them for copies of old photographs of people and places. Don’t limit this to family. One of the things that makes these histories so interesting is pictures of friends, places of worship, schools, and favorite vacation spots.
I will be posting a suggestion each month for an activity that will help you focus your efforts. I think most of these can be done in less than four hours a month. You can spend more time if your interest is piqued.
Commitment to Your Art
One of the tasks I have set for myself is to update my profiles on social media sites. Many changes have occurred in my life over the last decade. Some of my experiences were life-changing. Some were developmental intellectually and emotionally. All have changed me. I consider that a good thing; there is something sad about a living creature that never grows, never learns, never becomes.
My priorities are dramatically different now. Family is foremost in importance. For a homeschool Mom, that may seem more of the same. The focus is different somehow. I cherish every moment, both good and bad. They are my past and my future. Most importantly, they are my present, the reasons I am happy to wake each day and the calm that lets me sleep at night.
I am blessed with many friends. A few disappeared during hard times; poverty and illness have a way of interfering with some relationships. For everyone I lost, more stepped up. Their patience and willingness to accept the person I am becoming has made difficult times seem surmountable. That has helped me to understand true gratitude and to recognize love in places I overlooked before.
Attempting to communicate all these concepts to family, friends, and colleagues is daunting. Who needs to know? And what should I say?
There are quite a few “unmentionable” topics: politics, religion, money, personal relationships, and illness. Strangely, there are some who want to discuss the taboo ideas and some who steadfastly want no mention of them.
I have decided to err on the side of honesty and trust. We took a hit in the Great Recession. So did many, many other people. I had major health issues. So did many other people. I have unresolved anger issues about where our nation is heading. Like many others I have no true solution to our problems; I choose not to share my opinions as much as before and listen to ideas that may enlighten my own.
My life is changing. I am still growing, developing, and becoming. What more could I ask?
“Life is a lot like jazz – it’s best when you improvise.”