Two weeks ago on Sunday evening, She Who Shall Not Be Named informed me that she had a great idea. I fully expected it would have something to do with cleaning the garage, exercising more and/or eating less; but I was mistaken. Instead, she suggested that we each write our histories and give them to our children for next Christmas.
I thought this was a great idea until she wanted me to turn off Bonanza and start writing---right that minute! Like most other times when she is highly motivated and strongly suggests something, I eventually give in to the greater power and conform.
I love history, but I’m not so sure about my own. As I have studied genealogy and family history, I’ve pictured perfect, flawless folks without even so much as the occasional runny nose. Sometimes, that’s how histories are written.
I know enough about life to know that these people were probably not miraculously lifted up to heaven. They were normal people with plenty of faults. I also know that when you write a history of yourself, there’s no requirement to have it be a “tell-all” or a confession. With all of that in mind, I capitulated and accepted the challenge.
I plan on telling mostly the truth. I will make myself out to be an intelligent, studious child that was serious about all the right things. I actually remember this being the case twice in my life. Both times, I had just been caught doing something that won’t fit very well in my life narrative.
I’ll have to admit this has been really enjoyable so far. I wholeheartedly encourage all of you to get started writing or recording your history. It’s brought back memories of wonderful parents, kind teachers and inspiring coaches who helped me navigate through my youth and keep me out of jail.
There’s a tendency to either self-aggrandize or self-deprecate. The truth is generally somewhere in the middle. There’s lots of help out there to get you started with your own history, so please, no more excuses! It will be a treasure for many, whether you believe it or not.
Mayor David Ogden