Transitions With Jean Blog

How do you want to share your memories?

October 4, 2020

Are there favorite memories that you want to preserve? I’ll bet you have thought about it. Do you tell yourself that you are going to do it “one of these days”?

Let’s make today the day! Sharing your life-journey is fulfilling. It is also fun to go back and remember special events.

First, ask yourself, realistically, how much time can you put into this project? Based on that answer, I’ll offer three ideas of how to proceed.

Grab a notepad and jot down your answers to the basic questions we learned in grade school: Who, What, Why, When, Where, and How? This will give you a clue to your next step.

Who are you creating this for? Is it for the next generations, for yourself, for your community?

What is your final goal? Is it to share a story? To impart knowledge? What do you want others to know?

Why do you want to do this? Only you know your “why”.

When are you going to do it? I’ll help you with that answer: It is now! It will never happen unless you take the first step.

Where to start? Sometimes one can get so bogged down with where to start, that they can’t get going. My suggestion is to start with “Once upon a time…” and go from there.

How? That’s the part we’ll touch on today.

If you have the time to invest in it, you can write a book. Yes, this is the best way to tell your whole story. The key word here is time. Unless you have self-discipline and a real commitment to getting it done, it may remain an incomplete dream. If you want to do it, make and execute a plan for your schedule. Set goals and buckle down. Enjoy the trip.

Perhaps, you decide that your message and time might not be as large as a novel. You could write out or type your messages and send each to your intended readers as you complete them. (Picture those annual Christmas letters you send/receive.) If it is family memories that you want to share, it will be a pleasure for your family to receive them, bit by bit. Of course, if you collect enough stories over time, you can put them together into a book, after all.

Finally, if you want to share stories, another way is to make a snippet. Using your smartphone, record short stories, save, and send. You could do one right now.

This is also a great way to share the story behind special items you have in your home. You can hold them up, briefly tell the story in about a minute, and then share it with your family. What an easy way to preserve history. If you feel the technology is too complicated, ask one of your children or grandchildren to do it with you. It can be done with safe distancing and is a fun way to spend time together.

Now, let’s get started.

Jean Long Manteufel, senior move manager and CEO of Long’s Senior Transitions in Appleton, writes a column on the first Sunday of each month about life changes associated with aging. She can be reached at 920-734-3260 or

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