The Richmond Register

March 21, 2014

Life Story: Your history can help you and your family

By Gina Noe
Extension Agent


Memories can be very powerful. They remind us of life’s ups and downs, times of growth, maturity, good times and bad.

Do you remember when you met your spouse? How much did you pay for your first house? What was your experience like when you went to school or started your first job? How did you feel when you held your first child?

On March 31, at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., the Madison County Cooperative Extension Service will host “Life Story: How Your History Can Help You”. Consider signing up for this opportunity to explore ways to document your life story.

Your special memories may not only be important to you, but they could be important to family and friends as well. Many people wish they knew more about their family history. Writing your life story can help.

Life stories include information about family and friends, the different locations and dwellings you’ve called home, your education, work, hobbies, spirituality and how you were affected by important world events, such as the end of the Vietnam War or 9/11.

Life stories should also include family medical history as this can provide useful information for both you and future generations. Knowing your family medical history can encourage preventative measures and even lead to early detection of certain health problems or disorders.

Documenting and sharing a life story has many mental and social benefits. The process contributes to overall mental healthfulness, reinforces a sense of purpose and strengthens family and caregiver relationships. In addition, the legacy of life story and family history influences future generations.

Life story is an account of the series of events that make up your life and define who you are.

This account starts at birth and continues throughout life. But it’s an account that very few of us document over time. No one is too young or too old to start writing down their life story. But the sooner you start, the more accurate or detailed your stories will be.

Life story can be captured many ways – journaling, photographs, voice recordings and formal life story programs. Recording and sharing life story is important because it helps explain to you and to others who you are, where you’ve been, how you got there, where you are now and even where and what you will be doing in the future.

For more details, call the Madison County Extension office for a free publication or sign up for the March 31 class, 859-623-4072. The class is free, but please call to register so we have enough seating and handouts.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.