Have you reflected on the timeline of the life you’ve lived so far?
A writing workshop I led in Sarasota, Florida, years ago, was titled, “You Lived to Tell It.” Most of the participants were not there to create an article or essay to have published, nor to start a book or memoir. They had a sense that reflecting, engaging with memories, and recording their stories would provide something worthwhile—healing, resolution, gratitude, understanding, legacy, and/or a different perspective.
I learned from them that, for sure, the process of writing about one’s life bestows many different types of rewards, and each outcome is so special that it makes the effort very worthwhile.
Sometimes the easiest way to dive into our story is by making a time line of important moments and events in the order in which they happened. Rather than sitting down to craft a narrative, simply start with making a chart to fill in.
|Date||Age||World events||Big moments in my life||Associations, feelings, thoughts, shifts|
One date may follow the prior one by a week, a year, or a decade. This is not an attempt to recall a daily diary. Like a map of the world, this chart will help you see the biggest or most important points of interest. A different exercise could be to focus in on one area and delve into the details.
You will be surprised at what emerges—people start to see patterns, a theme, or a solution to a life-long riddle.
There is nothing you own that is more valuable and profoundly unique than your story. You lived to tell it.