Timelines are a great way to visualize a life. Tape a few sheets of paper together, use a pencil or colored pens, your choice, then draw a line down the middle lengthwise. Events you remember as positive go above the line, those that were difficult below the line. You can start anywhere and move forward and backward as you remember.
This technique of recalling life events even works in an oral format. Think about helping a friend with this, you can both record the storytelling and remembering as well as work on the paper outline while you talk. It’s especially good for folks who have difficulty writing. You do the writing, they do the talking.
Create a timeline of significant events in your life. Include the basics (birth, childhood, education, training, career highlights, love, marriage, children, faith and special interests). Highlight the turning points and special events that helped shape your life. What were your proudest moments, your toughest challenges, your greatest frustrations, your fondest memories?
Include the ordinary too. Describe a typical day: school, farm chores, Sundays, seasonal activities, a day with your best friend, your favorite way to spend a lazy summer afternoon as a child.
How were you affected by where you lived at different times in your life? Did you stay in one place or move around? What are your memories of each place you’ve lived?
Record or take some notes about stories that convey
those life highlights. You can add more or go deeper at another time.
Contact me if you’d like a copy of the questions and information packet I hand out at Life Legacy workshops. I’d love to send it to you to inspire and give you practical help to begin telling your story. (Packet + first class postage only $6)