THEME 2: WHAT?

Don’t get it right. GET IT WRITTEN!

This theme starts to explore the ‘what’s’ of the life you’re recording by asking about Titles, Position and Values.

As always, keep the answers short and to the point and be careful not to get dragged down a rabbit hole of information.

We know it’s there, and we will get to it, but for now we are proceeding gently to make sure we extract and preserve the best!

Exercise 1   

TITLES 
What names do people call you?                      
If you have a nickname, how did you get it?     
What titles have you earned?                
How do you feel about your titles?                   
POSITION 
Where do you come in your family?                 
What was that like growing up?                       
What is your highest level of education?          
How did your education influence your position? 
VALUES 
What are your core values? 
How do you ensure those values are upheld? 
How do you feel if your core values are challenged? 
Where did you values come from? 

Exercise 2

  • Once you’ve recorded those basic details, you need to start to put them into sentences.
  • You don’t need anything other than the most basic information at this stage.
  • Resist the temptation to dig deeper or add embellishments!

If you are writing your own story, it will look something like this.

FIRST PERSON NARRATIVE

I don’t really have a nickname, although one friend shortens my name to ‘EYE’, which I like.

Other names I’m called by include Mom***, and Nanny***. I have nieces and nephews, but the ‘Aunty’ title was never really used in my generation. *

The tiles that I earned – or acquired in other ways – are Mrs (I rarely used that one), Volunteer, Facilitator, Trainer, First Aider, Writer, Editor and Mammy. ***

I don’t really like being called Mrs because that’s my husband’s name, and I wasn’t born with his name. *

The rest of my titles, I really like.

I am the eldest in my family. I’m also the first grandchild on my mother’s side. **    

Being the eldest brought a lot of responsibility and pressure as I was growing up. ***

I didn’t start 3rd level education until I was in my 50’s. ***

 I now have a Master’s in Writing and am almost finding a Post-Grad in Mental Health Promotion. **

My lack of formal education always made me feel inferior. ***

Honesty and integrity are my core values. ***

I do my best to uphold them by being honest and truthful in all my dealings with the world, and by checking in with myself before I make decisions to see if it feels right for me.

If those values are challenged, I feel threatened but more determined to uphold them. ***

Looking back, I think my father influenced my early values, but because he died when I was very young, I have learned to create my own personal rules. ***

If you’re writing somebody else’s story, it will look something like this.

(To keep things simple, we’ll stick with my story as the example for now.)

THIRD  PERSON NARRATIVE

Eileen doesn’t really have a nickname, although one friend shortens her name to ‘EYE’, which she likes.

Other names she’s called by include Mom***, and Nanny***. She has nieces and nephews but the ‘Aunty’ title was never really used in her generation. *

The tiles that she has earned – or acquired in other ways – are Mrs (she rarely uses that one), Volunteer, Facilitator, Trainer, First Aider, Writer, Editor and Mammy. ***

Eileen doesn’t really like being called Mrs because that’s her husband’s name, and she wasn’t born with his name. *

The rest of her titles, she really likes.

She is the eldest in her family. She’s also the first grandchild on her mother’s side. **

She feels that being the eldest brought a lot of responsibility and pressure as she was growing up. ***

She didn’t start 3rd level education until she was in her 50’s. ***

Eileen now has a Master’s in Writing and is almost finding a Post-Grad in Mental Health Promotion. **

Her lack of formal education always made her feel inferior. ***

Her core values are honesty and integrity. ***

She does her best to uphold them by being honest and truthful in all her dealings with the world, and by checking in with herself before making decisions to see if it feels right for her.

If those values are challenged, she feels threatened but more determined to uphold them. ***

Looking back, Eileen thinks her father influenced her early values, but because he died when she was very young, she has learned to create her own personal rules. ***

Exercise 3   Mark and rank significant story points as above.

A life remembered lives forever …