Bella Vida Press is proud to announce the publication of “My Story, My Life: A Journal of Self-Discovery” by Nancy Hoffman, PsyD.
This is a personal journal to use for a life review or to collect your memories and record the story of your life. It is meant to be interactive — that is, it is meant for family members to do together. However, it can also be completed on your own and given as a gift to your family.
I designed this journal for my grandmother when she had mild dementia and was living in a nursing home. She was not always able to participate in conversation, but she seemed to enjoy reminiscing and her memory for the past was very good. We kept an earlier version of the journal in a drawer next to her bed. Whenever conversation was stalled, we could pull out the journal and start asking her questions about her life. We wrote her stories down as she told them and we now have a lovely memoir to remember her by. This is particularly important for her great grandchildren who never knew her.
The journal begins by asking straightforward questions about your early life and your family members. However, as it goes on, the questions require more reflection about the road not taken, your regrets, etc. Each page is beautifully illustrated by Christi Payne of Book & Page in Astoria, Oregon. At the bottom of each page is a quote meant to help you think about the topic presented. My favorite page asks the question, “If you could take one memory into the afterlife, what would it be and why?”
My Story, My Life will make a fantastic gift for an older parent who is considering end of life issues. However, it is also an excellent gift for an adult in the middle of their life who is in transition and wants a reflective tool to help make decisions about the next step.
Check it out and let me know what you think. I am particularly interested in hearing about the different ways people have used the journal to spend time together as a family.