Have you ever wondered how long you will live? Now that I am heading into my 90s and living in an assisted living facility, I have been asked to answer this question. I did not answer mainly because there is no answer. What will be, will be, and I already have plenty of other things to occupy my time.
Without the responsibilities of living alone, I was suggested to write the story of my life. My first reaction was absolutely no. I felt like I wouldn’t be able to remember much of what had happened over the past few years. However, a good night’s sleep got me thinking about the possibilities and I decided to take on the challenge.
I was offered a project to write my own story with the possibility of putting it into a book to leave to my children. Getting started was the hardest thing to do. After the first step of writing an opening statement, I still thought I would have a hard time writing. I soon discovered that I could sit at my computer and easily spend two or three hours writing and talking to myself, sometimes with a fit of laughter. Some days, memories will appear that have nothing to do with my current topic. I quickly take a note on the side, as my dementia praecox does not leave me the freedom to remember anything that I might want to include later.
I always used to think that other people would appreciate what I do, and arm twisting is one of my tactics to get someone interested in my current business. Even if you may not be thinking of retirement yet, does this idea interest you a little?
How would you start? Preferably with a computer rather than a pen or pencil and paper or typewriter (what is that?). The advantage of Lady Spellcheck constantly looking over your shoulder makes the computer your friend. Also, when you start and are disgusted enough to give up, don’t delete. Use that always-handy backup button.
I’d be willing to put some money on a bet that you can’t stay away from this project. I found that one good memory will remind you of another and another.
I also bet you haven’t thought once how long you’re going to live. That’s fine since we really have no way of knowing anyway. I say write and live.
Nancy R. Fox lives in Medford.
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