“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Civil Rights Leader
So, where DO I stand?
This week’s entry may take a bit more time than others. It’s not too difficult but please be careful about triggering yourself. Go one little bit at a time and then move on to the next part. I’ll try not to put too much out at once or too fast. It’s ok to leave and come back to it and for it to take a longer time than you think you want it to. Life is an ongoing process.
— The challenge is to begin a timeline of your life.
— Take one sheet of paper for each 5-year period of your life.
— Draw a line down the middle of the page.
— Divide each of the sheets into five periods of a year each the long way down the middle of the page so that you can write on both sides of the line. I’ve found it easier to work on each sheet separately. (It’s not quite so overwhelming as looking at 30 years laid out on paper)
— Now, start with the first sheet (0 to 5 years) and put only significant happenings on it and only in point form (moved from such and such a place, broke my arm on the playground, marriages, births, stuff like that). No big long paragraphs are needed.
— This is “just” a place to record the happenings of your life. It will change as you discover new things and as you get older.
— When you’ve completed a few pages, keeping in mind that they’re never really complete, you might want to tape them together accordion style.
— Store your lifeline somewhere safe and accessible so that you can go back when you think of it and add things that have come up.
— Your journal is the place to write about what you discovered in going through this process. I encourage you to write about the process as you move through it. As well, feel free to talk about it here, both the good and the bad.
What did you discover?
What did you think you’d discover? Did you, or was it different?
The first time I started this I got about half way through my life and suddenly had the realization why I am overwhelmed by feelings of abandonment. It’s not that they weren’t there before – I just didn’t associate the happenings with any of my feelings. Seeing them down on paper in my own handwriting made them more concrete. It taught me something really significant about myself. My feelings have a valid basis.
©Tracey, CSM 2002