Capturing your life story

by MichelleR on November 12, 2012

Recently, Rod Stewart was on the Late Night Show with Jimmy Kimmel promoting his newly published autobiography. When asked by Jimmy, “Why now?” Rod Stewart’s response was, “I’m getting up there, my brother and my sister are getting up there, I wanted to write down my recollections before I couldn’t remember them anymore.”
Rod Stewart brings up a very good point: before those memories are gone or details get jumbled, it’s a great idea to capture those moments, archive, and share them! Some people might think that their lives are not worth documenting, but you don’t have to be a superstar to share your life. There are plenty of moments and keepsakes that are worth recording, such as births, weddings, graduations/diplomas, and absolutely anything else that left a lasting impression in your life. Not only is personal history being passed on, but in the process of documenting there are old relationships that might be rekindled and possibly new bonds being formed.

Home Instead Senior Care has partnered with LifeCatching ™ Solutions to train our CAREGivers to be amateur documentarists’, so to speak and work with some of our clients. We have found that when we spend time asking our clients to tell us their stories they become energized and delighted to share their past experiences and events. While listening to their stories we also observe how they lose themselves in the moment and find joy in the memories they revisit. Capturing their stories becomes an opportunity for them to absolve feelings and to give a gift of legacy to their family and the generations that are to come.

Here are some different ways to capture your loved one’s life:

Time Capsules or Treasure Chests-

Fill with personal memorabilia. It gives future generations a chance to better understand the concerns and interests of your past. Try to find items that are defined by certain decades; maybe lyrics of your favorite songs. You can also include scrapbooks– you can never have too many photos. Don’t forget to include some words of wisdom!

If you’re the type of person that does not keep much but the memories in your head, then writing a memoir is a great way to capture your life! Start by making a list of all the important dates and events in your life. If you are having a hard time remembering, try looking through photos, reading old journals, or interviewing your friends and family. After you gather all the information you can, start writing! Focus more on the big story and try not to dwell on trying to remember the small details. Just like the time capsule, leave words of wisdom at the closing of your memoir.

Plot your past-

Use maps (online or actual) to plot your past! Where you’ve lived is part of who you are. Use Google maps and streetview, plus the screen capture key to make a record of the residences in your past. Save the picture images along with dates and descriptions of each residence. Make a map of your common routes and pin point favorite places along the way using Google Street View or Google Images to annotate. Commemorate the pub crawl where you met your spouse, or leave the kids a fake map to buried treasure, there are a lot of fun options here.


For those who don’t mind being in front of a camera, this is your 15 minutes of fame! You can prepare in the same way that you would for a memoir. Recruit a family member to be the cameraman, or put the camera on a tripod and start telling your story! Let your personality shine through and have fun with it.

*A combination of all 4 is a good way to capture all aspects of your life*

Previous post:

Next post: