Um, It's Later Than You Think
It’s officially fall, and school is back in session. My Life Stories classes are back in session also. Hard to believe we’re already three weeks in on two of the classes and a third class will begin in just a couple of weeks!
Two of the people who signed up a month in advance for my current morning class didn’t show up on Day One and since have informed me that their lives are busy right now and they don’t have time to take a class or write.
I understand. Really, I do.
Each of the women said she would re-enroll “later.”
How do I tactfully tell these senior women, “It’s later than you think”?
My diagnosis of Stage 4 cancer last year was my own stark reminder of that. So I have been writing some of my own stories from adulthood, and adding to copious notes about memories I want to include in my Idyllic Childhood and Schooldays and Most Embarrassing Moments chapters. (Can I actually write about some of those embarrassing moments?? I’m working up my courage.)
I tell prospective Life Stories participants that if they are going to wait for their calendars to completely clear before they start writing, they’ll never start writing. I don’t mind at all if they miss a class here and there; I love it that they are still LIVING their lives, ADDING TO their stories.
A senior friend of mine recently told me that her peers “who are out and about, still ruling their own lives,” don’t feel the urgency to write their stories — and that it’s hard for another person to impart that urgency to them. She says that when they come to realize it on their own, they will respond.
So I will continue to share the many reasons for writing one’s life stories and hope that others come to value the importance of doing so while they are still able to act upon it.