Personal Growth through Memory-Keeping

I think memory-keeping is magic.  Memory-keeping (or preserving photos and memories in a tangible way) is great for you, great for kids, and great for families.  How many ways are there to spend your time?  How many of those ways help kids and families while at the same time allow you personal growth and even therapeutic effects?  As we take a good look at personal growth during this month’s #familyhistoryfriday articles, you will learn surprising reasons why memory-keeping is at the top of my personal growth to-do list.  And, of course, I’ll help you get starting DOING IT with simple and straightforward solutions.

Leaving a Legacy through Stories

The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.”  -Kalu Kalu

This is exactly why every human heart needs his or her family history!  Stories give us a foundation, something to stand on.  Our experiences, our stories, shape us.  There’s always something to learn or appreciate or remember from everything we go through–even difficulties.  From our own stories and experiences to the life lessons learned from family history, we are responsible for making sure our legacy is shared.  Family stories, including our stories as a smaller part of family stories, teach our children (and ourselves) that we can do hard things, that good times should be remembered over and over again, and that family ties can be a tremendous source of strength.

Your Loved One’s Story: Part of Your Family History

Learning, collecting, and then recording your family’s history can seem like a daunting task unless it’s broken down into parts.  It’s much more than time spent on ancestor websites or recording information off headstones, though.  This month on #familyhistoryfriday we have looked at many aspects of a family history:  family stories, your own life story, “our” stories (such as love stories), and more.  These are “bites” of family history, and they all matter!

You are the person best-equipped to tell your own story, so starting there is perfect.  Who do you know and love who might need a little help or encouragement to record his or her story?  It only takes a couple of generations before someone’s life story is lost to the world.  My grandparents died before my children were born, so it falls to me to make sure my children know about my grandparents.  I can leave a legacy for my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the form of a written story!  Today we will look at a few ideas to help you tell the story of a loved one.

Telling Our Story: another important part of family history

The best way to begin recording family history is to start with what you know.  You are most familiar with your own life, your own story.  Once you have recorded your own history (which we talked about last week), think of the “our” stories you know.  Maybe it’s your own love story.  Maybe it’s the life stories of your parents, or the story of how your grandparents came to this country.  What couple or family stories do you know?  If you don’t know any, who is your resource for learning them?  Let’s look at different possibilities for “our story” as part of your greater family history.  See which idea resonates most with you on #familyhistoryfriday this week.

An Important Part of Family History: My Story

I’ve learned two important lessons in my life.  I forgot the first one, but the second one is that I need to start writing stuff down.  ~anonymous

As we focus this month on family history, it might surprise you to learn that an important part of family history is your own story.  Connecting with yourself first through recording your own life story gives you a starting point.  It also gives you a sense of belonging, peace, and gratitude.  And that’s a great way to begin a story!

Why Every Human Heart Needs His or Her Family History

Today you’re going to find out that family history is for you.  You will learn that family history is much more than you thought, and you will get a taste of the power it can bring into your life.  Not everyone knows their own family stories, and not everyone loves the stories they know.  So today on #familyhistoryfriday we are going to look at why each human heart desperately needs his or her own family history.  If you don’t believe me, keep reading!

How to Print Your Pictures From Your Phone

It’s estimated that we take 1.2 trillion pictures a year, and 85% of them are taken on smartphones!  We all know that taking a picture is really easy, but what about getting that digital image into a form where it can be seen more readily?  As you know from previous #familyhistoryfriday articles, accumulating a stockpile of photos isn’t really the goal.  Having gigabytes upon gigabytes of photos that remain untouched and unappreciated don’t do the heart and soul good– seeing those photos does.  The whole point of taking a picture is to see it, not to store it.  We’ve all mastered Step 1: how to take a digital picture.  Now let’s conquer Step 2: how to print those pictures from our phones.

How to Organize Both Printed and Digital Photos

As we talk about photos this month on Evolve’s #familyhistoryfriday, it’s important to talk specifically about how to organize both printed and digital photos.  Organizing printed (physical) photos requires a good strategy, but digital photos are a whole new animal.  We just didn’t take thousands upon thousands of photos back when we used film.  In fact, you’ll sometimes see me mention people I meet who have a terabyte (or more) worth of digital photos on their computers.  A terabyte can hold 2,000,000 photos.  Two million.  So organizing digital photos really is imperative simply because we have so many of them!  Let me help with some steps on HOW to organize your photos.

How to Get Your Pictures off Your Phone

Pictures are the focus of this month’s #familyhistoryfriday, and today we’ll look at one of the most basic photo obstacles:  getting them off your phone.  In the last 10 years or so, photos taken on a phone have come a long way.  Back then, the grainy image was not really worth a second glance, but today I can take better quality photos with my phone than I could on the first digital camera I owned!  With increasing memory capabilities on phones and better quality, the phone is a common way to take photos these days.  And because phones are in our pockets, it’s easy to take a lot of photos with them.  But now what?

Decluttering and Organizing Photos

I should expect it by now, but I’m always a little astonished when I hear the number of digital photos people have on their phones, cameras, computers, and external hard drives.  5,000 on a phone.  Two terabytes’ worth on a hard drive.  No wonder people today suffer from Photo Overwhelm!  This month on Evolve’s #familyhistoryfridays, we will learn some tips for decluttering photos and then organizing them.  Knowing what you have and where it all is is very important, but much more important is putting those photos in a format where they can be seen with their stories.  Don’t forget that digital photo storage is a backup, not the goal.  Print is how photos are known and loved.  (There’s a lot of flexibility in HOW you print, by the way.  See several ideas here.)