This is my last entry in this year-long Storyworth project. It’s number 52 and even though I could write more, I think 52 entries is a good number. I wrote my first one back on December 22, 2020 and now it’s December 29, 2021 and since I was late a few times, this seems like a great place to finish up.
To start with, this project made me remember things I hadn’t thought of in years, possibly decades. There were stories which I had told numerous times in varying contexts but had never really written down, so it was great to revisit some of those events.
My blog, which started in 2008 with my European backpacking trip but didn’t really become a thing until 2013. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I had blogged a bit on the Apple platform, but then that went away, and I lost quite a bit. I’d also blogged a bit previously, back in 2001 when the family all went to Florida for a week, and I documented that particular adventure. But beyond that, there was little I had done in the way of making sure I remembered these tales other than repeating them over and over again, whenever the occasion arose. That’s okay, I like telling stories.
Part of this, though, and in fact, part of the whole blogging process, is to not only remind myself of the things I’ve thought or done (and I have used it for that purpose on multiple occasions) but also to leave a written record for Monki and Monki’s kids. Being an older father means I am constantly aware of my own mortality, constantly running the numbers, comparing her milestone ages to my own. When she graduates high school, I’ll be X year old for example. The upshot of that is wanting to make sure she always has a record of me.
Many years ago, my dad had an idea called Living Memories. Not sure where it came from, whether it was a spontaneous generation of ideas from other, similar ventures or if he were basing it on something else, but the gist of it was a book of questions for grandparents to jot down notes and then he would videotape them answering the questions. The idea was similar to what I’m doing here, leaving a record of existence for those who come after.
Sure, correspondence and diaries have been around as long as people had paper to write on and words to write with, but in the last 40-50 years or so, technology has changed. The Shoah Foundation took this idea and implemented it as a way to make sure no one forgot what happened to the Jews (and others) in the Holocaust. My dad was able to use his semi-pro video camera, the same one he used to record social occasions, to record memories of older folks so they didn’t vanish when their corporeal forms did.
Today, we all walk around with digital video cameras in our pockets, uploaded constantly to a network of computers, so the records of our existence will always be around. My daughter and grandkids and great great great grandkids will all have access to images of me (providing they keep updating their software and data), both still and moving, but the stories, the adventures, the deeper thoughts, they exist here, in the words.
And so, I am grateful for Storyworth (and Troy and Katie for the gift of it) for giving me a weekly reminiscence, a weekly check in to explore what was important at the moment of writing, how various pop culture items were ranked on that particular day. Of course, now that the year of questions is coming to a close, I’ll have to try and find my own questions to answer, my specific day to day adventures to write about.
It’s been a wild ride and I think 52 weeks of questions is just about the right length of time to let occupy this project. I’m sure there are more questions which can be answered, but as I say, I’m at the point where I need to find them on my own, where I need them to be specific to me and my situations. I believe I’m up to the task.
Can’t wait to see where we go from here.
PS: Interestingly, without meaning to, I chose the exact same picture to end this blog as I chose to start it. Everything comes full circle, huh?