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As I’m looking at my to-do list, this wonderful article heading I had jotted down a while back caught my eye. “How Does My Difference Affect the Results?”

Why would anyone be interested in what I have to say? Mmmm… I think it has to do with my journey and the paths that I have taken to get me to this point. (Stay with me… this is NOT an article all about myself. It is all about you and your own life story.)

I couldn’t be an avid genealogy researcher if I didn’t have my background in computers and programming. Actually, I could… but my experience in the field definitely gives me a great background in search tactics.

I could not have my passion for writing family history stories if I hadn’t lost my mother fifteen years ago and my father five years ago. How could I understand the importance of talking with elder family members sooner than later if I hadn’t had close calls myself? I missed the boat on many of my family members but on the few that I did contact after my own lightbulb moment, including my own father, I am extremely thankful that I carved out that small amount of time it takes to get their stories.

Maybe you have heard a recent commercial that tells us that we are pursuing our dreams not by ourselves but with all the people in our lives that helped us to get where we wanted to go. Sorry, I can’t for the life of me remember the product, but the presentation certainly caught my attention.

So, how does your unique differences affect your own life?

We all take for granted that our family knows what makes us tick or why we do certain things, but we might also be surprised at how much our family doesn’t know. Anyone in business knows that keeping a resume up-to-date is extremely important. It is your unique pathway that clearly describes your work experience.

Along those lines, let’s make it equally as important to start working on our own family history resume – one life story at a time. There is no better place to start than with yourself!

If I have peaked your interest, then the rest of this article is a great starting point. These do not have to be done in order, but you can simply check them off or make your own notes in the margins.

Let’s get started!

  1. Print out a copy of your resume, number each company, and on a separate piece of paper, write the reason you chose this particular company to apply for the position.

It doesn’t have to be a long section, but if you had a memorable experience or worked with or for someone that impressed you, feel free to write about that as well.

In one of my positions, I found myself with the opportunity to work for one of my clients that was a female entrepreneur. She was powerful, intelligent, and very forward-thinking in her visions for her business. It was an important time in my young career when I was also a young mother and I quickly became very understanding of the rules of the corporate world while working under her.

  1. Make a list of at least five of your elder family members and asterisk the ones that are over 70 years old. 

Call or write them to see when you might be able to talk with them or even better, visit them in person to chat about some of their favorite family memories.

Don’t forget to take some pictures that these family members will recognize – they are great conversation starters – and take lots of notes or video.

Five questions to ask about a photo:


  1. Write down five childhood stories about yourself.

These don’t have to be earthshaking or especially notable moments, but stories that stick in your mind. Have some fun with this. There is no right or wrong way to do this or write it. It’s more important to just start!

I never really thought I had any great stories to share with my kids but my youngest child started to ask questions about “when I was little.” As I started to think back and talk about some minor stories, I realized that they didn’t seem especially incredible to me, but to my daughter, they were very interesting. Guess what? A few stories were worthy of requests for repeats. Who would have imagined that? Certainly not me…

Here are five to begin with:


  1. Check to see if you have any photos taken of yourself with each of your children. 

Insert that picture into a document and write a note to that child describing some of their special traits. If this is hard to find, then hopefully you will be inspired to get some photos taken with just you and each one of your children (young or adult.)

This one comes to life for me in a fairly painful way. You see, I have searched through photos since my own mother passed away fifteen years ago and I quickly figured out that my mom was much happier behind the camera than she ever was in front of it. I might have a handful of pictures where we are both in the photo together and maybe only a couple where we might have really posed for the shot — just her and me. This has changed my own picture-taking so that I make a point to get photos taken by myself with each child at random times. I want them to be able to find those photos and be able to see our progression through time as Mother and Daughter/Son.

Here are five ideas to get you thinking:

4_photos w kids

  1. Find pictures from your childhood homes and/or your own homes or apartments. 

Either scan the photo or take a quick photo of the picture so that you can insert it into a document and write a note with your favorite memories of that home. This might be an “aha” moment for some of you as well. Do you even have a picture of each of the places you have lived in your life? If not, there is no time like the present to grab someone to take a photo of you and possibly your spouse in front of your own home where you currently live. It’s kind of creepy but you can always find the addresses of your previous homes online if you poke around enough. Add that address as well.

Remember seeing old black and white pics of families sitting or standing outside their homes that are so fascinating to look at? Let’s look ahead fifty years from now. House photos with the parents sitting or standing in front is such a classic photo and gives us such a great view of life right at that moment; it literally stands still forever in time.

Here are five thought-starters to document not only the photo but your own stories:

5_childhood homes

I know… I used a lot of fives for no apparent reason but to give myself some goals! That is always the best way to accomplish anything – set a goal and give yourself tiny steps to make the process attainable. As Nike says so clearly… Just do it!

There is no time like the present. I can throw out all sorts of clichés… but they really are words to the wise.

After all, take it from someone that has been there and done that… living with regrets is just not very much fun. We all have the idea that we have tomorrow to do things, when sometimes it is today that we need to give priority to!

What kind of topics would you add to this life story resume of your own? For myself, these all have me itching to dive into my scrapbooking! No time like the present as they say.

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