Tuesday, January 1, 2019

How to Remember

I would like to share my January President's message to the Family History Society of Arizona.

Another year is past, another year is before us.

Last January, in my newsletter message, I mentioned how, as genealogists, we are so used to looking at the past, that we forget to look to the future. I suggested that perhaps we needed to start looking forward, becoming the record and story keepers we wished our ancestors had been. Well, I am sorry to report that I am not much better this past year than in years past.

Recently my wife pointed out an article to me in the January 2019, issue of Parents magazine, “How to Remember Even More Good Times” by Matthew Dicks, (you can read the article at http://tiny.cc/fhsajan19). In the article he discusses those little stories that happen every day in our lives and how, later, we wished we had written them down.

He created a simple Excel spreadsheet, a small notebook would work, with only two columns. Column A lists the date. Column B, just large enough for a sentence or two, lists just a snippet of the event, just enough to jog his memory. A couple of examples he gave: “The first time my daughter ran into dance class on her own, telling me to stay in the car” and “the time my son told me that it’s not helpful when a doctor says it will only pinch but it really hurts.” Now he has over 27 pages and over 3,500 entries.

What a wonderful idea. How many times have you said, “I wish I had written that down”? I know there are too many for me.

Please take the time and check out his article, it has been a game changer for me.

So, for 2019, let’s all set aside a little time, and make sure we are recording those small, precious moments that make life meaningful.

Just set aside a few minutes, some time in the day, but just do it. First thing, last thing, at noon, whenever. Let’s not just record our genealogies but start creating Family Histories.

Richard Young, FHSA President (2017-2019)

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