Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



The Book of Your Life

Chany Rosengarten

This time of year, your personal “book” is being opened and reviewed Above. Do you know what’s inside? Can you remember all your deeds and mishaps? Memoirists and those in the habit of keeping regular diaries have a real advantage: they’re practiced in the art of capturing memories

Monday, September 26, 2011

hand
“Do you remember what you did yesterday? Or the day before? Life usually
becomes misty in retrospect, very quickly. It slips through our fingers,” says
Sarah Shapiro, a writer and memoirist. “When you write it down, you see it with
greater depth and understanding. To preserve life with words is to treasure
it.”

As we contemplate our actions from the past year,
most of us will encounter blank spots. It’s hard enough to remember our deeds
and shortcomings from the prior week, let alone all of last year. Memoirists
and even those who keep a regular diary have an advantage: By putting words
down on paper, they cement the memories in their minds, often processing the
life experience as they write.

“Those three years that I was writing a daily journal
methodically, in detail, with a passion for recording everything accurately and
as truthfully as I could, are the only ones I remember well,” says Sarah, who
wrote about her life as a young mother in her first book, Growing With My
Children
. For a long time
after she finished the memoir, she missed how her life was enhanced when she
was keeping that diary every day with devotion. “Once I stopped, it was more
hit and miss if I’d remember something.

“That book,” she adds, “is a record of what it was
like being a young mother at that stage of life, with young children. And for
my children — who now have kids the same age as they were then — it’s a record
of their childhoods.”

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
Using Our Free Will Effectively
Yonoson Rosenblum The image we carry of ourselves is key
Pitcher-Perfect
Eytan Kobre The ripple effects of one Jew’s kiddush Sheim Shamayim
Living the High Life
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger It is exhilarating to matter, to be truly alive
It’s Time for Us to Speak Up
Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie We must speak out proudly for the values of Yiddishkeit
Kiruv Is Not Dead
Rabbi Meir Goldberg Do these sound like uninspired or closed students?
Frosting on the Cake
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman “Let’s not let a missing chocolate cake ruin our siyum!”
A Warm Corner in Flatbush
Yosef Zoimen It was a simple shul with a choshuve leader
Out of Control
Jacob L. Freedman “That’s illegal, Dr. Fine. I can’t have a part in this”
Song of Reckoning in the Skulener Court
Riki Goldstein “It’s awe-inspiring to watch the Rebbe sing this song”
“U’teshuvah, U’tefillah, U’tzedakah”
Riki Goldstein Throughout the Yamim Noraim, three words accompany us
The Rebbe Held His Gaze
Riki Goldstein A moment etched in Reb Dovid Werdyger’s memory forever
The Road Taken
Faigy Peritzman In the end it’s clear who really merits true happiness
Sincere Apology
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A heartfelt and complete apology can turn things around
Power Pack of Mercy
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz The 13 Attributes of Mercy are “an infinite treasure”
The Appraiser: Part II
D. Himy M.S. CCC-SLP, and Zivia Reischer “Eli needs to see people who struggled to achieve”