22 January 2015

The Book of Me (20)

This is the virtual end of virtual me. Julie Goucher's inspired series of The Book of Me Written by You will continue in 2015 without me. It's been challenging, it's been fun, sometimes serious. It prompted, reminded, encouraged so many of us to record our own memories and biographical bits. I will continue to add to my Memoirs file.

What are your priorities? (Prompt 67)
What are your priorities? American author, Kathleen Winsor owns this quote: "Most people are so busy knocking themselves out trying to do everything they think they should do, they never get around to do what they want to do."

How much of life is necessary routine and how much is left for "what you want to do"? A lot of adult prime time is naturally consumed with working to earn shelter and food, then transforming the food into meals and keeping the shelter maintained to some minimum standards of hygiene and respectability (unless you're a rabid genealogist). Also to mention the care and feeding and counselling of pop-up junior human beans. Attending to social relationships and obligations take up more time.

Genealogists have been known to abandon all such normal human activities, living in bunkers with crates of paper and a figurative umbilical cord to the Internet with all its technological manifestations. Ergo, a resemblance to decent humanity may be accidental.
But ...
Any genealogist will tell you s/he is doing what they want to do. Lucky us who find or make the time! The way the world works, this generally happens when you reach Seniorhood, that affirmative age of bucket lists and wishful self-indulgence.
I do love those tartans, don't I?
It is resolved that the FRASERS Family History must be completed this year!
Secondarily, Brenda must work on revisions to the DOUGALL and LATVIAN ancestors!

Memory Tree (Prompt 68)
Julie showed us this image to illustrate the prompt. Think of those who will not be with us for the festive / holiday season. Who would you put on your memory tree and why? friends and family, former pets and colleagues.

My parents are up there for many reasons, a strong one being that my children never knew them. I'd put my kids there too, cuz they're not around most any time of the year. Plus a host of other relatives I knew, who left us too soon.

What is your most treasured possession? (Prompt 69)
This could be something that you have bought from an inheritance, a gift from a family member, or an item from a friend. How do you plan to secure its survival with future generations?

Over the years we collect so many things. And we have favourites. Then a lot of us find that we have to downsize at a certain point of life. Maybe more than once. De-cluttering is like a preliminary step. Sentiment must be governed by stern practicalities. Give away or sell. Wedding gifts of a million years ago are useless if they only gather dust. What is the one thing I won't be parted from? My mother's engagement ring, I guess. Or ... And ... Oh my, I seem to be merging this with Prompt 66. Well, literary licence and all that. 

My children may or may not respect and love my treasures after I am gone. If anyone figures out how to spy on them from the afterlife and threaten the disobedient with unholy disasters, do please let me know before it's too late.

What have you learnt about yourself and your family? (Final Prompt, No. 70)
Think back to the question we asked in Prompt One - Who am I? Before you review the answers you wrote then, answer the question again. Now compare: Are there similarities? Is it the same, or have any answers changed? In the wider, original question, what have you learnt about yourself and your family? Anything you still want to write / explore?

Memory being what it is, I can't for the life of me recall if the original question was more extensive, i.e. more details to the prompt? I do believe many people answered with bullet points. One of my thoughts is that the question ― who am I ― would definitely be answered somewhat differently at each stage of a long life. But we are where we are, so let's see; it's still a mystery where this is going until I check back with Prompt 1:
Now:
I am a writer, a family historian, a genealogist, a mother, a grandmother, a camel chaser, allergy survivor, and always an optimist, solitary dancer, defender of redheads, and part-time hermit.
Then:
I see what I did was cheat. I ticked off everything Julie had listed for herself, which I can't find now (good excuse) with a few amendments including camel chaser. Doubting that I've changed a bit over the length of the series.

The wider view: Myself is the same writer of irreverent tendency but I still have much to learn about my family, living and dead. And the cosmos is endless for writing and exploring. As my Free Thinker Grandpa would say: So long, see you in the Land of Imagination.

© 2015 Brenda Dougall Merriman. All rights reserved.

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