The other day, I was speaking to my girls about their story. I was encouraging them to start journaling about their days.
Their response… “But mom, our day is no different than any other kids who are stuck at home and doing schoolwork online.”
And although they were right, I reminded them about Anne Frank and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Did their lives really look that much different than that of their closest friends at the time? Probably not. They each likely knew many, many others in the same impossibly difficult situations that they faced. They were just ordinary kids, facing extraordinary circumstances – but we remember them because they wrote it down.
We remember their story, not because it was outstandingly different from the others during the time, but because they captured it for us in such detail that we finally understood what they all faced.
Day by day, the most significant global event in our lifetime is unfolding. For most of us, we do not realize the magnitude of it. Many are spending their days, safely tucked inside their homes, watching movies, reading books and living at a slower pace. Yet, even this is worth capturing.
Journaling about these difficult times, what your day-to-day activities look like and what emotions are running through you has value. Your words will one day help another gain perspective as they face their own struggles. Your words paint a picture about this moment in time, the good and bad, as it unfolds in front of your eyes.
Today, I encourage you to begin to document your story.
Here are 5 simple ways to do so:
1. Start journaling. Free flow words about your day and how you are feeling. It doesn’t have to be structured or pretty, just start.
2. Create. Dig out a blank canvas, piece of paper, or even a broken-down cardboard box. Lay out the emotions and challenges you face through paint, collage or pottery.
3. Create a bullet gratitude journal. Simply bullet out 10 things you are grateful for every single day. It can be as simple as a cup of tea to end your day or a phone call from a friend.
4. Take photos. Document what you house looks like during this time. Is it tidy and neat? Chaotic and messy? Take a photo of your dog curled up on the couch or the spring buds sprouting on your trees. Photography captures the fine details we tend to miss in the everyday.
5. Interview your family and friends. Connect through a video call or letter. Ask them fun easygoing questions about their favorite things or get into deep conversation about their life and their greatest joys, challenges and heartbreaks.
These are just a handful of ideas of how you can capture and share your story. Even though almost everyone in the world is facing this epidemic right now, each of our stories are vastly different.
Your story is worth capturing, it is worth documenting and keeping for future generations. Your story can only be told by you. It’s time to seize it.
Hi! I'm Jessy, one of the co-owners of Purpose + Grit and co-authors of the book Faith Over Fear: Walking Angie Home. My husband Kyle and I live in an old general store, converted to residence, with our three kids, Ally, Charley and Rad and our German Shephard, Roxy. You will usually find me with paint on my clothes creating my next artwork piece.